Both men and women experience mental health challenges. However, the prevalence of mental illnesses in men is lower than women, but men are less likely to seek treatment than women. According to the CDC, men are more likely to die from suicide than women.
Unfortunately, there is a great deal of stigma surrounding mental illnesses particularly among men. Mental illnesses can be caused by a number of factors such as chemical imbalances, genetics, traumatic events, and brain injuries as well as other factors.
For many men, admitting that you are experiencing emotional issues or other signs of mental illness can be seen as a sign of weakness. It is not. Admitting that we need help can be challenging for anyone. Many men may experience substance misuse as a way to cope with their symptoms.
What are the common symptoms of mental illnesses?
Men and women can develop the same mental illnesses and conditions, but the symptoms that they experience may be different. Some symptoms include:
• 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, headaches, 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
Where should I start to seek help?
Many resources are available for mental health. A good place to start is with your primary care provider. They can help you get started or refer you to a specialist. Check with your insurance provider to see which doctors are covered under your plan.
For information on mental health and treatment options, you can find more information at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
For an immediate crisis, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255.