Everyone experiences mental health differently, but men can face unique challenges that go unnoticed by much of society. Mental health stigma, society’s idea of gender roles, and other factors lead many men to believe that they can’t experience mental health issues or shouldn’t ask for help when facing a mental health disorder.
These ideas are both false and dangerous. Men need to understand what mental health is and how it affects them so that they can seek help—both professional and informal—when they need it. Learn more about what men should know about their mental health with this brief overview.
Men Can Experience Different Symptoms
Mental health symptoms vary depending on what kind of disorder you’re facing, your unique life circumstances, and who you are as a person. Biological sex and gender socialization also influence the types of symptoms you experience.
Generally speaking, men’s mental health symptoms tend to lean toward more aggressive behaviors like anger, irritability, and recklessness. Men are likelier to turn to substance abuse as a maladaptive coping mechanism.
Some Disorders Are More Common Than Others
It’s important to note that anyone can develop a mental health disorder. One important thing men should know about their mental health is that some disorders are more common in men than women—and vice versa. For example, men are more likely than women to develop drug or alcohol addictions. Understanding which disorders are more common in men helps you identify symptoms and know when to seek help.
It’s Okay To Seek Help
Finding help for your mental health isn’t always easy. Both men and women struggle to show vulnerability and put their faith in others when times are hard. This is especially true for men who feel like they need to be the leaders of their households. But even fathers who strive to be protectors or breadwinners still benefit from asking for help. Finding support through therapy and a network of loved ones allows you to overcome mental health challenges and create a healthier, happier, more rewarding life for you and your family.