Men’s Mental Health: It’s Okay to Be Not Okay
Even in today’s more emotionally open society, men still find it difficult to seek psychological counseling when confronted with mounting emotional distress. Instead, they are more likely to hide or ignore mental health issues until a crisis occurs that forces them to get help. Of course, by the time that happens, there has often been collateral damage such as a failed marriage, substance abuse, loss of employment, or even suicide attempts.
Mental Health Stigma: Why Men Are Less Likely to Seek Help
Often, the main reason men don’t seek help for their mental health issues is because they are afraid they’ll be seen as less masculine. Men and boys don’t want to be considered “whiners” so they just “get on with it,” “suck it up,” or “work it off” when dealing with emotional overload. Much of this behavior is learned. Society tells men they must be independent, tough, and self-reliant. By embracing those norms, men actually learn not to seek help.
Men and Mental Health
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, men commit suicide 3.53 times more frequently than women; white males accounted for seven out of 10 suicides in 2016. Men are much less likely to seek help for depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems that can lead to feelings of hopelessness that often precede suicidal thoughts. As boys, males are often encouraged not to show emotion or to seek comfort when they’re feeling hurt. Many grow up with an issue called alexithymia, meaning “no words for emotions,” making it difficult for them to articulate their problems later in life. Additionally, growing up modeling the stereotypical masculine role has been proven to cause a negative attitude toward seeking help for psychological problems. In fact, the more a man identifies with his traditional masculine gender role, the more likely he is to eschew feeling troubled or asking for help.
Signs of Mental Illness in Men
Depression in men is often difficult to pinpoint because men express the signs of mental illness in very different ways from women. A woman might appear sad when dealing with trauma or psychological pressure, giving an obvious clue to her state of mind. However, a man who’s dealing with depression or anxiety may not appear sad at all. He is more likely to act aggressive or angry, making it difficult for loved ones to grasp the underlying issues. Men also have a greater tendency to experience physical symptoms of anxiety and depression such as racing heart, headaches, and stomach issues.
Other symptoms of mental illness in men can include:
- Mood, energy level, or appetite changes
- Sleeping too much or insomnia
- Feelings of restlessness and an inability to concentrate
- Feeling stressed or worried
- Alcohol or drug use or abuse
- Sadness or hopelessness
- Thoughts of suicide
- Engaging in dangerous activities
- Obsessive or compulsive thinking or behavior
- Being unable to engage with activities of daily living
- Unusual thinking or behavior
Decoding men’s mental health means paying attention to these unique — and sometimes subtle —signals that something is wrong. It also means educating men on their own feelings so they’re more comfortable reaching out for help when they need it.
A Man’s Primer on Getting Help
If you notice some of the previous signs and symptoms are occurring in your life, you’re not alone. Thirty percent of men have experienced depression at some point in their lives and one in five adults has dealt with some form of mental illness. The good news is that help is available. At One Love Periodic Services Inc., we have a wide variety of programs specifically designed to meet your unique needs.
If you’re in crisis, you may want to opt for our Adult Inpatient Program. This program is designed for patients suffering from:
- Bipolar Disorder
- Substance Related Disorders with Psychiatric Symptoms
We have a comprehensive treatment plan that provides secure, safe, and comfortable 24-hour treatment in our state-of-the-art facility. We offer group therapy, as well as support for your family and lots of recreational and expressive options, including our Motivational Enhancement Therapy. Our goal is to provide patients with the coping skills they need to return to a full and vibrant life after discharge. We provide individualized follow-up care to ensure patients make full recoveries.
If you don’t need full-time care, then our Outpatient Program is the perfect choice for getting some stability back into your life.
Just some of the issues our Outpatient Program can help with are:
- Anxiety and Mood Disorders
- Suicidal Thoughts
- Personality Disorders
- Family and Relationship Issues
- Chemical Dependency
Group therapy will focus on a multitude of issues such as:
- Interpersonal Skills/Relationships
- Spirituality & Wellness
- Grief & Loss
- Healthy Habits
- Positive Thinking
- Relapse Prevention
- Conflict Resolution
- Distress Tolerance
- Making Goals
Take Your First Step Toward Wellness Today
At One Love Periodic Services, Inc., we give you the tools you need to live your best life. We provide a caring, safe environment in which you can explore all the healing option our evidence-based treatment plans offer.