Understanding Men and Mental Health

June 3, 2020

June is recognized as Men's Health Month, offering an opportunity to look at the ways men experience mental health differently in our culture.  There are five major mental health problems affecting men today: depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, psychosis and schizophrenia and eating disorders. Let's take a look at some statistics for each of these diagnoses. 


Depression.

Over 6 million men suffer from depression each year, yet male depression is often undiagnosed. Men are also more likely to report fatigue, irritability, loss of interest in work/hobbies, rather than feelings of sadness or worthlessness.


Anxiety.

There are 3,020,000 men who have a panic disorder, agoraphobia, or another kind of phobia. 


Bipolar Disorder. 

2.3 million Americans are affected by bipolar disorder. The age of onset for men is between 16 to 25 years of age.


Psychosis and Schizophrenia.

Ninety percent of people who are diagnosed with schizophrenia by age 30 are men. 


Eating Disorders.

Males account for an estimated 10% of patients with anorexia or bulimia and an estimated 35% of binge-eating disorder. Men are also less likely to seek professional care for an eating disorder than women. 


Unfortunately, when these concerns go undiagnosed, the risk of suicide increases. In fact, suicide is the 7th leading cause of death among males. More than four times as many men as women die by suicide in the U.S. Additionally, gay and bisexual men are more likely to develop mental health disorders than heterosexual men. Factors that put individuals at a higher risk for suicide include social isolation, substance abuse, unemployment, military-related trauma, genetic predisposition, as well as other mood disorders.


The science behind male mental health is that low levels of testosterone are correlated with depression, stress and mood swings, especially among older men. With that being said, men are less likely than women to seek help for depression, substance abuse and stressful life events. This is likely due to social norms, reluctance to talk and the downplaying of symptoms. These stats further signify the importance of promoting mental health awareness for ALL. All people can be impacted by mental health problems.  Check on the men (and women) in your life, and don't be afraid to talk about mental health.  It's the only way to truly #EndTheStigma.


You are not alone. If you or someone you know is in need of mental health services, please contact us at (308) 210-8487 or email [email protected]

 

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