Mental health conditions can affect anyone, men and women alike. However, there are causes and effects associated with mental health issues that are unique to men.
Depression can affect men, and some estimates of male depression state that more than 3 million men suffer from depression each year. Depression includes ongoing feelings of intense sadness, tiredness, and disinterest in one’s personal and professional life. With men, depression often takes the form of anger and irritableness. Also, many men who face depression do not address their mental health until they exhibit physical symptoms of depression, including cardiac issues, digestion issues, and ongoing headaches.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can affect men, too. PTSD results in episodes of anxiety, nightmares, and depression when a person recalls the memory of a traumatic event. The trauma that causes PTSD can include sexual assault, experiences of violence, and natural disasters. Often, men fail to recognize or decline to admit the impact of trauma on their mental health, and unfortunately, that behavior can exacerbate symptoms of PTSD. Sometimes, men attempt to cope with PTSD through the use of drugs and alcohol, and this practice can lead to comorbid substance abuse issues.
Another important topic in male mental health is the impact of low testosterone and Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome (TD) on mental health. Some men experience negative mental health effects from low testosterone, which can contribute to depression, moodiness, irritability, and a general sense of declined well-being. Ageing, obesity, some prescription medications, and a variety of different disease conditions can contribute to low testosterone levels.
We should note that the mental health topics we list above are by no means exhaustive when it comes to men’s health. In fact, they only scratch the surface, and men can experience different mental health issues that certainly warrant attention from trained health professionals.
Removing the stigma associated with men’s mental health
One common thread across men’s mental health issues is that men often do not seek help when they need it. Many men view mental health issues as a result of personal shortcomings or as a sign of weakness, and they believe that they should overcome mental health issues themselves. In our view, that belief is similar to thinking that a broken leg is a personal shortcoming and that the individual should figure out how to deal with his broken leg himself. It’s incorrect, and that way of thinking does not address the underlying issues.
During Men’s Mental Health Month, people can work to remove the stigma surrounding men’s mental health issues. People can help remove stigma by sharing information on the prevalence of mental health issues among men. Men who struggle with their mental health are not alone, and it is helpful for men who are suffering from mental health issues to know that. Secondly, men can help remove the stigma surrounding mental health issues by opening up about their mental health struggles. In addition to serving a therapeutic component, that sharing can help normalize conversations surrounding men’s mental health issues.
Many mental health problems only get worse over time if a trained health professional does not intervene. Removing the stigma of mental health among men is important, as, without the associated stigma, more men who are struggling with mental health will seek treatment. Proper treatment can help mental health issues from developing into substance abuse problems and, in the worst cases, instances of suicide. A study from the National Association for Suicide Prevention found that over 48,000 people died from suicide in 2018, and among those people, over three times more men died by suicide than women.
How Dallas Behavioral Healthcare Hospital can help with men’s mental health
If you or loved one struggles with mental health, Dallas Behavioral Healthcare Hospital may be able to help. Men who struggle with mental health should not attempt to deal with their struggle alone, and treatment from trained health professionals can be critical for getting a person back on track.
We offer a variety of mental health programs and treatments for men, and we develop a treatment strategy that is unique for each patient’s individual needs. To get started, call our hotline anytime at (972) 982-0897. A member of our caring staff can help explain the intake process and help you determine if Dallas Behavioral Healthcare Hospital is right for your needs.
In the meantime, please check out our mental health resources page for a variety of helpful articles. If you or someone you know is ever in immediate danger, please call 911 immediately.