Men and Mental Health: A Silent Crisis
Every year, 1 in 5 adults is diagnosed with a mental illness. While women are more likely to suffer from mental health problems, evidence reveals that men rarely use mental health services. A strong argument exists that men could actually have more mental health struggles than women but refuse to talk about it. As a result, there is a large problem for these men and mental health statistics. How can we know how common these problems are if we socialize young boys to be strong “act tough” “man up” and deal with their problems solo? It points to a silent crisis with men and mental health.
Here’s what we know:
- Males make up 70% of suicides nationwide. According to Psychology Today, 1 man kills himself every 20 minutes.
- Men outnumber women in Substance Abuse 3:1. For every woman struggling with addiction, there are 3 men.
- Out of every 5 men, 1 will develop an addiction after trying drugs or alcohol.
- Over 6 million men in America suffer from depression. And this is only what has been diagnosed.
Common Mental Health Problems for Men:
Source: Mental Health America.
How to Raise Awareness of the Silent Crisis of Men and Mental Health:
It’s essential to start at an early age. Too often, we see men’s well being pushed aside in favor of cultural stereotypes are men as the strong, silent, unemotional sex. Teachers, therapists, and guidance counselors need to be educated not only about warning signs for mental health struggles but also how to instill a positive self-image and healthy habits in young men. Schools should focus on academic achievement and mental health education. Ideally, teachers would be trained in these practices because it’s nearly impossible to focus on one’s education when mental health struggles are happening. What’s critical to understand is that all of the most common mental health problems begin early in life. That includes anxiety, social anxiety, depression, and borderline personality. Every year treating mental illnesses costs $193.2 billion. Why fix tomorrow what we can prevent today?
What You Can Do If You’re Struggling:
There are online forums made for men who struggle with mental health problems. It may sound odd to consider getting help online. But for the man who isn’t yet ready to seek therapy or counseling, an anonymous online forum to share struggles is a significant first step.
Check out these Hashtags:
Or check out these additional forums where you can talk to others, share struggles, or read about other struggles.
How Do I Know If I Have A Mental Health Struggle?:
Start by asking yourself a few questions:
- Do you have people you can speak to about your emotions or stresses?
- Did you have people like that while growing up?
- How do you typically express negative emotions? What’s your go-to?
+ If you answered “no” to one or both of the first questions, then you have no one to help you deal with stressful things. Letting emotions build up only makes them stronger over time.
+ If you responded with “hold it in” “drink” or “explode” or something similar to the third question, you are more likely to develop mental struggles. Contrary to what many people think, mental health struggles are not inborn. Anyone can develop depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, or social anxiety under the right conditions.
Signs of Future Mental Health Issues:
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, other Warning Signs of Mental Health struggles are:
- Anger, irritability, or aggressiveness.
- Noticeable changes in mood, energy level, or appetite.
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much.
- Difficulty concentrating, feeling restless, or on edge.
- Increased worry or feeling stressed.
- Misuse of alcohol and/or drugs.
- Sadness or hopelessness.
- Suicidal thoughts.
- Feeling flat or having trouble feeling positive emotions.
- Engaging in high-risk activities.
- Aches, pains, headaches, or digestive problems without a clear cause.
- Obsessive thinking or compulsive behavior.
- Thoughts or behaviors that interfere with work, family, or social life.
- Unusual thinking or behaviors that concern other people.
If you have these signs, don’t keep them inside. They will only grow. Instead, reach out to a friend or share them online (see above). Or consider speaking to a psychologist or therapist. They help millions of people every year. Why shouldn’t you be one of them?
Tree House Recovery of Orange County, California is an addiction treatment facility that focuses on the causes of a men’s substance abuse. These happen long before their first drug or drink. We help men realize, acknowledge, and move past the struggles which brought them to substance abuse. Every man recognizes that he is stronger than he ever believed and is capable of anything with the right tools. Get started with Tree House Recovery, call us today at (855) 202-2138.