Who can benefit and how to find care
If you follow the conversations about mental health, you’ve probably heard that men are much less likely to seek therapy than women. Unfortunately, this is not a myth.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 20% of American adults suffered from mental illness in 2019. Of these adults, nearly 50% of women with mental illness received mental health care, but only about 37 % of men received it.
There’s a stigma around men’s mental health, but the conversations are changing. We’re working to close that gap and help men access therapy when they need it. If you’re a man considering therapy, you’re not alone.
Remember that talking with a therapist is not a sign of weakness. It takes strength and determination to face your mental health head-on.
Therapy can be used to manage a wide range of mental health issues and conditions. For example, therapy helps people cope with work stress and relationship issues, overcome past trauma, and manage anxiety and mood disorders like depression. These fundamental questions and concerns are gender neutral and can affect anyone.
But men are
This is an important conversation to have. Barriers between men and therapy can have significant consequences. Studies have shown that men are more likely than women to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol.
Moreover, suicide is the
There are many reasons why it is often difficult for men to seek mental health help. Societal messages still tell many men that talking about their feelings and asking for help is a sign of weakness and makes them less of a man.
From an early age, some boys are told that only girls cry and that they should do things “like a man”. Men are often taught that they should stay strong at all times and deal with their problems calmly and independently.
This permanent messaging is a lot to overcome. This creates a serious stigma around men’s mental health. It’s hard for men to admit they’ve had mental health issues, even to their partners, family members, or closest friends. This can make men feel guilty about asking for help or going to therapy.
Fortunately, this stigma is slowly starting to fade. Education on the importance of mental health is growing. Multiple initiatives aimed at reducing the shame of asking for help have been launched in recent years.
On social media, men are increasingly talking about their mental health and encouraging other men to do the same. Additionally, studies show that millennials and Gen Zers of any gender are more likely than members of previous generations to seek therapy.
Men often have different symptoms of depression, anxiety, PTSD and other mental health issues than women. These signs can be missed by men who experience them, their loved ones, and even some doctors and therapists. These symptoms are equally valid and it is important to be aware of them in order to know when to seek therapy.
Signs that it’s a good idea to seek therapy include if you have:
- felt more irritable than normal
- had outbursts of anger or aggression
- felt low or low
- felt overwhelmed or like you were under a lot of pressure
- losing or gaining weight unexpectedly
- drank or used drugs more often than you normally would
- depended on alcohol or drugs to get through a rough time
- loss of interest in things you normally enjoy
- having trouble concentrating at work, school, or home
- had more headaches or generally unwell days
- slept too much or too little
- feeling drained or exhausted even after a good night’s sleep
Remember that you are not alone and there is nothing to be ashamed of with these symptoms. It’s common to feel like talking about your problems won’t help, but that’s not the case.
Talking with a therapist is one of the most effective ways to take action and start feeling better. They can help you process the feelings you are having and find solutions that work for you.
Although it is not necessary to work with a male therapist, it can be helpful to connect with a therapist who understands the stigmas and challenges that men face when it comes to accessing health care. .
This can be especially important for men who belong to historically marginalized groups or who are part of an underresourced community. Feeling safe, comfortable and accepted by your therapist is a key factor for therapy to be an effective treatment.
To connect you with therapists near you, you can call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Helpline who can help you at 800-662-4357.
If you’re looking for more specific advice, you can start by checking out some of the directories below:
Research has consistently shown that therapy is an effective way to treat mental health. Therapy can help men overcome mental health issues, improve relationships, and make positive changes in their lives. The therapy is widely considered to have a positive impact on the men who participate in it.
It can be hard for men to ask for help and talk about their feelings. Societal stigma around men’s mental health has made it difficult for many men to even consider therapy as an option. But seeking therapy can be very helpful for men.
It’s not a sign of weakness that you need to talk to someone, it’s a sign that you’re taking charge of your sanity and your life.