Most Common Male Mental Health Disorders To Look Out For
As we celebrate all the men in our lives this Men’s Mental Health Awareness Month, it’s important to identify how we can support men and their mental health.
According to the National Institute of Health, men are diagnosed with depression at low rates, however, have higher rates of suicide and poor engagement with mental health services. Additionally, Newport Institute notes that men are less likely than women to be diagnosed with a mental health disorder and less likely to seek treatment when they are.
If men seek out mental health services, they are more likely to downplay their symptoms and reluctant to seek extended care, such as meeting with a psychiatrist or committing to ongoing talk therapy. Men’s masculinity plays a significant role in these disparities due to how men are socialized in society. Too often, men don’t talk about their feelings with others. Instead, they focus on issues that are functional, such as work or sex. Hiding behind these types of issues only exacerbates the emotional symptoms and causes many men to suffer in silence.
For men, hiding difficult emotions can lead to increased discomfort. Seeking help and committing to consistent mental health care can help decrease uncomfortable feelings and allow healthier relationships for men and their families. Here are the most common male mental health disorders to look out for:
Male depression is currently one of the biggest mental health concerns for this population. According to the National Health Institute, approximately one in nine men will be diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) in their lifetime. This research indicates that men are substantially undiagnosed when we look at the suicide rates of women versus men, being that men are four times as likely to die from suicide than women.
According to Newport Institute, anxiety in men often leads to higher rates of substance use disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Anxiety disorders that often get overlooked in men include panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 60% of men experience at least one trauma in their lives that is typically related to accidents, physical assaults, combat, or witnessing a death or injury, compared to 50% of women. Symptoms that can show up in men are physical pain, shame, fear, and inability to show affection. Additionally, PTSD and substance abuse can go hand in hand.
Substance Use Disorder
Problematic drinking and other male substance abuse can be seen as socially acceptable for young men in our society. Therefore, it is less frequently recognized as a symptom of a male mental health issue. According to AddictionCenter.com, men are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol than women, and 11.5% of boys and men over 12 have a substance use disorder.
Bipolar disorder can be identified by extreme ups and downs in mood and activity levels. As common with the other mental health disorders listed, bipolar disorder is underdiagnosed in young men. Sometimes the symptoms are written off as normal behavior for a young male. Overconfidence, reckless behavior, irritability, and social withdrawal are seen as phases, however, can be clear signs of the manic and depressive phases of bipolar disorder. Additionally, the Newport Institute noted that men tend to experience less frequent cycling between bipolar phases, making it harder to recognize in males.
There are many resources and mental health professionals available to help men with these mental health disorders. Seeking help sooner rather than later is key because symptoms can worsen and further interfere with one’s daily functioning. A mental health professional can help someone with these disorders by discussing these symptoms to come up with a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. There is nothing lost and much to gain by accepting help. Acknowledging feelings and knowing how to manage them in a healthy way profoundly benefits personal health, friendships, and romantic relationships.
For more information, you can reach out to us, where you can schedule a consultation and talk about your counseling needs. We can help guide you through the steps above and share our mental health resources.
About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: For more than 25 years, Vaughn Greene Funeral Services has been providing a ministry of care to Baltimore’s African American community. As a leading local, minority- and family-owned provider, we promise to provide our highest level of service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved ones. For more information about our funeral, cremation, memorial, repast, and grief counseling services, please call us at 410.655.0015 or visit us online at https://vaughncgreene.com/.