Five Mental Health Illnesses That Affect Men and Why Seeking Help is Crucial
by Carolyn Lee May 15, 2023
Mental illness or psychiatric disorders can affect men and women, but there are notable gender differences in the patterns of mental illness. Although men are less likely to be diagnosed with mental health problems, those who are, do not often seek treatment. Failure to treat mental health challenges in men can lead to higher suicide rates than in women. We have five typical signs of mental health disorders in men and when to get help.
Five typical mental health disorders that affect men.
Men don’t openly speak about their emotional struggles, feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or worthlessness. Typical mental health issues that affect men include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and substance abuse.
Depression: Depression is a severe medical illness characterised by a persistent low mood, sadness or disinterest that can impact daily activities. Anxiety, hopelessness, loss of appetite, tiredness, sadness, and emptiness are symptoms of depression. Some people might experience other symptoms of depression, including angry outbursts, increased fatigue, suicidal thoughts or attempts, difficulty concentrating, or feelings of worthlessness.
Anxiety disorders: Intense fear or worry is connected to anxiety disorders. Generalised anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and social disorder are anxiety illnesses.
Schizophrenia: Someone diagnosed with schizophrenia has a severe mental health condition where they experience delusions, disordered thinking, and hallucinations. Schizophrenia can significantly impact their quality of life and relationships. Ninety per cent of people diagnosed with schizophrenia by 30 are men.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): Hyperarousal, avoidance and reliving a traumatic experience are symptoms of PTSD. Men may experience PTSD after an accident, natural disaster, assault, combat or witnessing an injury or death.
Substance abuse: Men across different age groups have a higher dependency rate on alcohol and illicit drugs than women. Men are also more likely to die from an overdose or alcohol-related causes.
Mental health symptoms in men.
Male mental health conditions often manifest in identifiable symptoms that can encourage you to seek treatment for yourself or someone you love.
- Misuse of drugs or alcohol
- Hopelessness or sadness
- Aggression, irritability, or anger
- Visible changes in mood, appetite, or energy level
- Suicidal thoughts
- High-risk activities
- Compulsive behaviour or overthinking
- Frequently worrying or feeling stressed
- Sleeping too much or insomnia
- Restlessness or a lack of concentration
What are some of the things that can trigger mental health issues in men?
Men’s mental health struggles can result from different causes or triggers than those affecting women. Some men’s issues might stem from traditional gender roles or societal expectations that make them think they must show traditional masculine traits (strength, control, etc.). Other problems include self-reliance, hiding emotions, and being the family breadwinner. These conventional beliefs can keep some men from seeking treatment and support.
Who is at risk?
Men who have experienced traumatic events, including victims of assault or combat, are likely to have PTSD. Marital breakdown, unemployment, legal or financial worry, misusing drugs or alcohol, and a family history of mental issues (depression, bipolar disorder, etc.) are also risk factors.
Why is seeking help crucial?
Unchecked mental illness can lead to harmful behaviours affecting the individual and others. Seeking treatment for a mental health problem is necessary for overall wellness. By addressing the issue, someone with a mental disorder can improve their physical health, self-perception, relationships, and general well-being.
If you are struggling with any mental illness symptoms outlined in this article, please immediately speak with your healthcare provider. You can use our FindYello listings to search for doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, or related services.
Sources: National Institute of Mental Health, Newport Institute, Mental Health Foundation, and Medical News Today.