Men and Mental Health: A Silent Crisis
Mental illness is something that affects all people. However, men are less likely to seek and receive treatment when dealing with mental illness. There are many cultural pressures and stigma that often lead to men ignoring their problems instead of getting proper treatment. That’s why there needs to be a greater awareness of mental health for men and helping them seek treatment. It’s important for family members, partners, and even the men themselves, to know what it’s like to deal with mental illness.
Mental Illness Symptoms that You Need to Be Aware Of
When it comes to men and mental health, it can be really difficult to identify that there’s a problem. The reason is because men tend to keep their emotions to themselves. They also tend to deal with their problems by coping in various ways.
However, you can still identify that there’s a problem by looking for the following symptoms:
- Increase in aggressiveness and irritability. Some conditions may lead to intense angry outbursts.
- A change in sleeping patterns. More specifically, sleeping too much or finding it difficult to fall asleep.
- Engagement in negative emotions. Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, and intense sadness.
- Over-dependence on substances such as alcohol, cannabis, and other drugs to help cope with their problem.
- Digestive issues and stomach pain which can be caused by stress, painful emotions, and depression.
- Drastic changes in behavior. The person may be feeling hyper, involve themselves in more risk-taking, or seem flat and emotionally numb.
- Obsessive or suicidal thoughts that seem to persist for prolonged periods of time.
These are just some of the symptoms that men experience. The symptoms depend on the condition the man is experiencing. It’s important to look into your family history for conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia as they are often genetic.
What Does Depression Look Like in a Man
When you bring up the topic of men and mental health, the most common problem that men face is depression. Around 75 to 80 percent of suicide victims are male despite the fact that men and women deal with depression at near equal rates. Depression in men can be very hard to identify because men are less likely to express their emotions and take others into their confidence. Mental health is also a topic that is downplayed in our culture when it comes to men. As a result, even doctors miss the signs that indicate their male patients are dealing with depression.
To help you figure out if there’s a problem, here is what depression can look like in a man:
- Lack of motivation for doing everyday things and taking responsibility whether it’s at home or at work.
- Loss of interest in activities that the person used to enjoy.
- Increased social isolation. The person may withdraw from social settings and disengage emotionally.
- A sense of emotional numbness and detachment from reality. It may seem as if the person has mentally checked out.
- Feeling tired all the time, having no energy, and/or having difficulty sleeping.
- Decreased appetite. You may see that the person is eating significantly less and even losing weight.
Fighting depression starts when the symptoms are identified and acknowledged. From there, the person can find the proper treatment by visiting a psychologist and, eventually a psychiatrist, if the evaluation determines that extra help from medication is needed.
How Can You Tell if a Man is Mentally Ill
While depression is the most common mental illness, it’s important to look for symptoms of other conditions such as OCD, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. While these mental illnesses are rare, they still affect millions of people in Western countries. It’s also important to look for these conditions if you know it’s in your family history.
Bipolar disorder is a condition where the person deals with extreme changes in their moods. They often go from very intense depressive states to high states where they are emotionally high (happy, excited, driven, creative, etc.) The changes can be very drastic and the timeframe between the changes can vary from one person to another.
Here are the symptoms to look for:
- Fluctuations between depression and hyperactive states. It can look like intense mood swings.
- Bouts of intense anger, sadness, and depression. Overwhelming thoughts of suicide and hopelessness.
- Manic episodes where the person loses touch with reality or hypomanic episodes where the person feels emotionally high.
- Engage in risky behaviors when the person is in a manic or hypomanic state.
OCD is another problem that millions of men deal with. It is often easy to identify as the symptoms are very visible and persistent.
Here are the symptoms to look for:
- An uncontrollable urge (compulsion) to repeat a behavior over and over.
- Constant obsessive thoughts that cannot be controlled by the sufferer.
- Repeating problematic and illogical behaviors that make life unnecessarily difficult.
There are many other men’s mental health issues from which you or your loved one may be suffering. Mental illness can be tricky because there are variations of these conditions as well as situations where the person might be dealing with multiple conditions.
Get the Help You or Your Loved One Deserves
The bottom line is that mental health care for men should be taken seriously. If you feel that you or your loved one is dealing with a mental health problem, the best thing you can do is to opt for proper evaluation. If you’re looking for Sudbury psychiatrist, Novum Psychiatry can offer proper care and help. We treat a wide range of mental conditions including depression, anxiety, OCD, bipolar disorder, ADD/ADHD, phobias, and more.
Call us at (978) 252-0873 to make an appointment and get a proper evaluation.
We know the importance of treating our patients with compassion, using the most effective treatments, and accepting a wide range of health care plans.
You can also reach us on our website to request an evaluation.