Understanding Men’s Mental Health Issues

While it may not seem like it at first, life has a way of wearing down a person’s mental fortitude. Despite having many different ways of expressing itself, it is essential to know what to look for when addressing men’s mental health.

While many mental health issues can be successfully treated with therapy, society’s traditional values put men in a bit of a juxtaposition of being aware of the prevalence of mental health problems while also understanding the perception of vulnerability as a sign of weakness they can’t address as men.

While the criteria for mental health issues is malleable, the nature of masculinity keeps many men from seeking out the help they may need. This mentality can allow even minor problems to evolve into more severe and malignant issues if left untreated.

Today we will discuss how we can make sure you and your loved ones are taking care of their mental health and ensuring they get the help they need.

What Is the Difference Between the Mental Health Issues of Men and Women?

The main difference between men’s mental issues and women’s mental issues is its development method. The development of mental health issues can fall into a context that primarily applies to men. 

These contexts can cause an individual to define particular behavior as something a conventional man may or may not do, commonly expressed as a man’s inability to ask for help. This includes psychological help even when an individual needs it most.

This point was demonstrated in a recent Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) survey when it was found that the number of men who seek treatment for mental health concerns is much lower than the number of women:

  • Only roughly 60% of men with depression get treatment, but over 72% of women do
  • Despite having a lower rate of depression than women, men have a suicide rate that is nearly four times higher.

Many psychology professionals have come to understand that certain cultural beliefs and social norms revolving around concepts of masculinity play a major role. Men often not only have trouble asking for help but also in receiving it in many cases.

Those same beliefs or social norms can also prevent men from opening up during therapy, which is crucial in the healing process. 

3 Mental Health Issues Worth Discussing With a Professional

Many issues may plague an individual, but some people may not feel comfortable discussing these issues for fear of looking weak in one way or another. 

That, however, does not stop these issues from being essential to discuss with someone looking to help you deal with these issues. Here we have provided a small list of topics that may need to be addressed if you are looking to better your mental health.

Issue #1. Unhealthy Desires of Affection or Attention

Desiring affection isn’t uncommon, but a way men sometimes achieve this sensation is to “do something” in exchange for it. In many cases, this is enacted by fixing something, buying something, or even attempting to help with a problem that no one has asked them to assist them with. 

These can often cause more problems than they are intended to solve and cause strife between normally agreeable parties. By discussing this desire to feel needed or noticed, wounds can begin to heal, and more healthy means can be discovered.

Issue #2. Intense Anger or Irritability

As men often feel the need to hide the more vulnerable emotions like sadness or fear, they tend to resurface as something else. Typically these emotions come back as something they may feel more comfortable handling, like anger or resentment. 

These emotions, however, can often have a more devastating effect than their melancholy counterparts. By learning how to voice their hurt or sadness effectively, men can allow themselves to reveal and potentially address issues in a healthy and open manner.

Issue #3. Turning Numb to Emotions

We’ve discussed the context that men tend to be raised that renders certain emotions as ‘lesser,’ but some are raised to learn that ANY emotion is unacceptable. This nature of raising causes individuals to control or outright avoid their feelings.

This can be expressed by physical altercations, ending relationships, alcohol or drug abuse, and even in denying the personal importance of a loved one. As is the case, anytime an emotion goes unexpressed, it can have more of an impact than actually expressing these feelings.

This is just a short list of the many and varied issues worth bringing up if you or a loved one is struggling with mental health, but the scope of men’s mental health issues is extensive and can manifest in several ways.

At Lisa Rodgers Counseling, Therapy Can Help

At Lisa Rogers Counseling, we offer a wide range of therapy and mental health services for several areas. You are not alone in your struggle and neither are your loved ones.

Reach out to me today to make an appointment.

Since 1993, I have been providing a combination of all my years of training tailoring specific treatments based on the individual needs and challenges of my patients, facilitating healing. I make every effort to accommodate the busy schedules of my patients by offering evenings, weekend appointments and Telemental Health (Online Counseling-Virtual/Video Conference and Phone Sessions) offered in the following states I am licensed in: New York, California, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, Georgia, Florida, and Vermont.