Surveys have shown that men from all around the world find it difficult to open up about mental health issues they face from the pressures of having to live up to society's expectations of preconceived notions on who they should be. It is also said that, women are more likely to be diagnosed with depression and to attempt suicide but suicide rate amoungst men is still several times higher than female.
1 in 5 men will experience anxiety at some point in their lives and 1 in 8 men will experience depression at some time in their lives.
Causes of mental health issues in men
There's numerous causes of mental health issues that can be complicated and at-times, carry underlining factors that cause the complications. What could be the root of on-going distress for some men may not cause distress in others. Generations and societies have taught and encouraged men to be “strong” and not admit they’re struggling. In childhood young boys are told “boys don't cry',” conditioning them from a very young age to not express emotion, because to express emotions is deemed to be 'weak'”, in return they grow up to be men who are less likely to admit when they feel vulnerable.
Below are some common causes of mental health issues in men:
Traumatic life events
Physical health problems
Significant life changes
Drug and alcohol use
Blow are some common signs and symptoms that something is not quite right:Feeling sad or down often
Mood swings (highs and lows)
Lack of interest in things you used to enjoy
Feeling overwhelmed with stress
Feeling nervous or worried for a prolonged period
Major changes in eating habits
Sleeping too much or too little
Changes in sex drive
Withdrawal from loved ones
Thinking about suicide.
It's not that men don't have the same problems as women it's that men seek help for mental health less often, they're a little less likely to know they have whatever stresses or mental health conditions that are putting them at greater risk for suicide.
A lot of people think suicide is rare but it’s not. Suicide is a hugely sensitive situation that a person suffering with mental health problems can find themseleves in leaving family and friends never fully knowing the reasons behind it. It is estimated in 2019 there were over 793,000 suicide deaths worldwide, with most were accounted for by men.
In the UK, the male suicide rate is the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 per 100,000. It has also been said that male suicide methods are often more violent, making them more likely to be completed before anyone can intervene.
Everyone’s mental health goes through ups and downs, as emotions or feelings change often — this is normal. But if your mental health is poor, you may feel negative emotions on an on-going basis. Because men are known to bottle up their emotions, there is a higher likelihood of their mental health issue becoming worse. This can have devastating consequences. So, let’s try to be aware of how our expectations can make a man feel by opening up and continuously encouraging conversations about these expectations.
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the signs and symptoms mentioned above, communication should be made with a trusted person or confidential helpline as soon as possible. Do not assume that these feelings will go away on their own.
The International Association for Suicide Prevention has a list of global agencies that may also be able to provide immediate support.
In the UK and Ireland:
Listen To Podcast Ep:22 Menpact - Impact on Mens Mental Health