top of page
  • Dr. B

Anxiety and Depression Among Men

June is Men’s Mental Health Awareness Month. Men often tend to suffer in silence. I can relate to this notion of being a man in America, where the expectation is to work, provide, produce, and protect. Often, there have been times in my life when I have suffered under the assumption that nobody would care about my problems; they only want to see my results. Frequently, amid things going wrong in my life and me voicing the issues, many people only wanted to know if I had done what they requested or if they could get something from me. The high level of stress had impacted me in ways I was not aware of years ago. I hope to shed some light on how stress can lead to problems among men.

Two men struggling with anxiety and depression

According to the World Health Organization (2022), 1 in every eight people around the world is suffering from a mental health disorder. Anxiety and depression were ranked as the most common disorders. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of people suffering from two issues increased significantly. Despite the prevalence of adequate treatment options and techniques, many people do not have access to quality care.


In 2019, it was estimated that millions of people suffered from anxiety disorder and depression, including adults and children (World Health Organization, 2022). Anxiety disorders can manifest in different ways with different types of disorders. Typically, the symptoms are dire enough to lead to significant distress or negatively impact our daily functioning. Depression can negatively affect our mood, making people sad or irritable; it can lead to a loss of pleasure or interest in activities daily for approximately a couple of weeks. There are effective mental health counseling and therapy treatments to help people overcome and manage these disorders.

Anxiety Disorder is the most common mental health disorder among men (Fisher et al., 2022). When left untreated, it can lead to depression, potentially a risk of suicide, bipolar disorder, and psychosis at the same time the anxiety is occurring. Anxiety is mostly overlooked when it comes to men’s mental health. Research indicates that men traditionally have lower rates of anxiety disorders when compared to women. This notion can be misleading given how anxiety manifests in men and may go undetected with traditional diagnostic categories. Traditional male norms can include behaviors such as stoicism or toughness that are important to the male experience and expression of anxiety. This mindset also impacts men’s desire to seek help and select healthy coping behaviors.


A black teenager struggling with anxiety

Depression is common among men; it impacts approximately 1 in 8 men at some point in their lives (Healthdirect Australia, n.d.). Similar to untreated anxiety, depression can place men at risk of suicide. Depression can affect each of us in different ways. It can manifest in ways that negatively impact how men feel (i.e., irritable, angry, sad, helpless, hopeless, etc.), think (low self-esteem, thoughts of failure, not valuable), and behave (not being social, not managing their daily life, loss of interest in fun activities, relying on drugs or alcohol, behaving recklessly). It can manifest in the body to include but is not limited to, sleeping issues, fatigue, loss of appetite, loss of sexual desire, or performance.


How do you treat anxiety and depression among men? The best answer is mental health counseling and therapy. Seeking assistance with mental health can help men process their emotions and thoughts in a healthy space where they can learn techniques to help them navigate intense emotions. Therapy can help men become familiar with identifying, labeling, and regulating their emotions. Other options include regular exercise, mindfulness meditations, breathing techniques, and a healthier lifestyle of less alcohol and drug consumption.

A man meditating

References


Fisher, K., Seidler, Z. E., King, K., Oliffe, J. L., Robertson, S., & Rice, S. M. (2022). Men’s anxiety, why it matters, and what is needed to limit its risk for male suicide. Discover Psychology, 2(1), 18. https://doi.org/10.1007/s44202-022-00035-5


Healthdirect Australia. (n.d.). Depression in men. Signs, Causes, How to Help | Healthdirect. Retrieved from https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/depression-in-men#:~:text=Key%20facts,common%20is%20depression%20in%20men?


World Health Organization: WHO. (2022). Mental disorders. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/mental-disorders#:~:text=In%202019%2C%201%20in%20every%208%20people%2C,rose%20significantly%20because%20of%20the%20COVID%2D19%20pandemic.

0 comments

Comments


bottom of page