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To survive, you require excellent mental health just as much as you do air. Most of the time, men’s and boys’ mental health isn’t taken into account, even though it can have a big effect on their lives.
Untreated mental illnesses can have a negative impact on physical health and life expectancy. High-risk behaviours, such as substance abuse, gambling, and other addictions, can develop as a result of untreated mental diseases. Unresolved emotional concerns might also hinder a man’s ability to fully contribute to society and his family.
Causes of male mental health problems
People of both genders can experience depression, anxiety, and other mental health difficulties. Men, on the other hand, might look differently.
The situation is significantly worse for men’s mental health since males are much less likely to seek mental health therapy because their problems are largely overlooked and unreported. Alcohol is typically used by men to numb their emotions.
Males had a 9 percent prevalence of alcohol use disorders compared to females’ 0.5 percent, according to the National Mental Health Survey 2015–16. In addition, men (13.9%) had a greater overall prevalence of mental illness than women (12.9%). (7.5 percent).
• Trauma: It can refer to grave emotional experiences like sexual abuse, war, or daily exposure to high-stress situations (e.g., firefighters or policemen). Among guys who have been raped, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects 65% of them. 10 Participating in combat or seeing violent events makes it more likely that you will develop an anxiety disorder like PTSD.
• An excessive workload or unfavourable working conditions Men are more likely than women to have problems with their mental health because of stress at work and a lack of social support.
• Gender stereotypes, such as the pressure to be a provider or social norms that make it hard for men to show how they feel
• Men are more likely to experience depression after retirement and unemployment. One in seven males experiences depression after losing their job.
• Financial worries Financial worries are a common source of stress for many people, and they may play a role in the development of a number of mental health conditions.
• Family issues or abuse of children: Any kind of trouble in childhood can make it more likely that a person will have mental health problems as an adult.
Stigma associated with men’s mental health
In this civilised society, both men and women have various duties to play. Some scholars claim that the mental health of men is in a quiet crisis.
In its 2018 report, the WHO emphasises that one of the biggest obstacles to people admitting they need help and receiving it is cultural stigma related to mental health.
They learn early on to support their family financially, morally, and physically as they grow up. In our society, men are consistently portrayed as being of a stronger gender who is physically fit, doesn’t weep, and has a strong emotional foundation. This false belief weakens men and makes them feel under pressure to live up to social norms.
They try to blame themselves if they are given a mental health diagnosis such as depression, anxiety, or other psychiatric diseases. Men should be able to identify signs of mental illness in themselves or someone they know and seek professional assistance. They can better control these symptoms with early detection.
It is not surprising that men and boys of colour are more likely to face loneliness and mental health problems when you consider the stigma associated with help-seeking behaviour among men of all races.
These problems could show up as drug use or angry or violent outbursts, which would make people think less of the person and lead to a cycle of relapse.
• Compared to women, men are less likely to seek psychological assistance; just 36% of referrals to NHS talking therapies are for men.
• Three times as many men die by suicide as women do. Relationship-related concerns are among the leading causes. Financial difficulties and unemployment
• According to the American Psychological Association, 9% of men deal with anxiety or depression every day. Of these men, 1 in 3 needed medication to deal with their feelings, and 1 in 4 went to a professional for help with their mental health.
• The Child and Adolescent Survey, done in Australia, indicates that boys are more likely than girls to encounter problems with their mental health. For kids aged 4 to 11, the disparity is bigger.
• Young men typically face more difficulties with their mental health than at any other point in their lives.
• Depression has a less severe impact on men. Instead of depression and anxiety, alcohol and drugs are linked to more mental disorders.
Men may experience the following mental health symptoms:
• Anger and Aggression
• High-risk behaviour
• Irritability; frustration
• Substance abuse
• Difficulty concentrating
• persistent feelings of stress
• suicidal thoughts
Anxiety and depression are two mental health issues that can have physical symptoms as well that people may choose to ignore. Changes in appetite and energy, new aches and pains, digestive problems, difficulty sleeping, and sleeping more than normal are a few of these symptoms.
Common mental health conditions that affect guys
- Disorders connected to alcohol and drugs: Men are more likely to experience diseases linked to alcohol and drugs than disorders related to anxiety and sadness.
- Depression: Male depression is far too frequently misdiagnosed. But every year, more than six million men die from depression. Men and women both experience depression, but the symptoms are different. Men are more likely to take drugs and act aggressively when they are depressed.
- Anxiety: Men are also susceptible to anxiety. Five out of ten males have anxiety, panic attacks, agoraphobia, and other phobias. Some of the signs and symptoms are anger and irritability, headaches, trouble sleeping, and pain in the muscles.
- Bipolar Disorder: Men are just as prone to the condition as women are, both as children and as adults. It is the sixth-most common cause of death worldwide. Men frequently experience manic episodes, heightened hostility, concurrent substance addiction, and other symptoms.
- Schizophrenia: Men make up 90% of those with schizophrenia who are under 30 years old. Some of the symptoms include delusions, hallucinations, and fuzzy thinking.
- Eating disorders: Men are more focused on building muscle mass than women with eating disorders are on decreasing weight.
How can I assist? How can you help?
A person can help a loved one who is struggling with mental illness in a number of ways. Think about the following actions:
- Look for any changes in the person’s behaviour or attitude. These symptoms might indicate the beginning of a mental health issue.
- Interact with the person and find out what they are feeling. If they have recently gone through a painful event like a divorce, a death in the family, or retirement, this is extremely important.
- Encourage them to discuss their worries with their physician or a mental health professional.
- Offer to find them a treatment centre, make an appointment for them, or go with them to their appointment.
- Regularly check in with them to see how they’re doing.
In conclusion, men’s mental health issues are very different from women’s difficulties, yet they are just as critical. Men are unwilling to seek help for their issues, which is a cause for concern. The lives of individuals with mental illness can, however, be significantly improved by continuing to seek therapy. You can lessen symptoms, enhance your quality of life, and lower your risk of suicide with the assistance of family members and medical specialists. Many organisations assist those who suffer from mental illness, and many of them concentrate entirely on educating and helping males.