Have you ever heard of the phrase, “Man up”? Both men and women experience mental illness, but men may be more apprehensive to seeking treatment due to gendered social constructions and behavioral norms. For example, it’s a societal expectation that men should “deal with issues on their own” rather than talk with others about it, as women are often expected to. As times change, these roles adapt; however, there are still many expectations surrounding the issue of men and mental illness. If we can break the stigma that men don’t experience mental illness or that men shouldn’t need help, we can provide more resources to those who need it – potentially saving lives in the process.
According to a 2015 study conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA), approximately 9% of men in the United States have daily symptoms of depression or anxiety, and the death by suicide rate is four times higher for American men than women, as reported by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If mental health concerns are not properly addressed, men are likely to turn to substances, which could lead to dependence or addiction. Anger and aggression are also signs of mental illness, along with the following:
- Major changes in mood, energy level, or appetite
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sadness or hopelessness
- Suicidal thoughts
- Having difficulty feeling positive emotions
- Engaging in high-risk activities
- Headaches, digestive issues, or pain
- Thoughts or behaviors that interfere with work, family, or social life
- Obsessive thinking or compulsive behavior
Men are just as capable of women as experiencing a variety of mental illnesses, including: post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, eating and body image disorders, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, and more. Responses such as that men are weak or inferior for speaking up about symptoms related to a mental illness only further worsen the situation, making it more difficult for them to feel okay seeking help. Together, we can work to help ourselves and the men in our lives to seek the help they need – in fact, it will make them stronger.
Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665.