While mental illness affects both men and women, mental illness prevalence in men is often lower than in females. People with mental illness are also less likely than women to have received mental health care in the past year.
According to the reports, men died by suicide at a rate of 3.54 percent higher than women in 2017. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men are still more likely to die from suicide than women. We ignore the stigma surrounding mental health which prevents many men from seeking help when they need it most — and literally kill them.
Yet men are also two or three times more likely than women or abuse drugs.Depression and depression are ranked by men as a leading cause of death, but they are much less likely than women to seek care for mental wellbeing.
STIGMA MEN FACE
For men, societal expectations of how men “should” act and what masculinity is include the expectation that men will be their family’s breadwinners, and that they will show what has historically been viewed as male qualities such as power, stoicism, dominance and control.
Dr. Raymond Hobbs, a physician consultant at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, said “A lot of guys don’t want to admit they have this problem. They still see depression as a sign of weakness.” “We know so much more now, and we recognize the chemical changes that take place. In many ways, mental illness is just like diabetes, or any other physical condition,” he said.But Hobbs points out a lot of people don’t look at it that way. Instead they still see mental health struggles as a personal issue and a lack of personal fortitude.
Because of that, and the stigma that still exists surrounding mental illness (not to mention, the pressure on men to always be strong), a lot of men struggle with admitting they may need help
CURBING THE STIGMA
A lot of men fall prey to the misconception that they should be “tough enough” to solve all their problems alone. They worry they may lose their authority with others by showing vulnerability, even in the case of physical illness. Addressing that, and helping men work past it, requires first ending the stigma of asking for help.
Nobody’s immune from the heat. Talking to others about how this affects you can promote empathy, camaraderie and help — all of which counter the feelings of isolation on which addiction and mental health problems can flourish. We need people to realize that these are medical issues that good treatments are available and that hope is involved.People with untreated mental health problems can develop into physical ailments very quickly, especially when people are self-treating with alcohol and other substances.
WHEN TO SEEK HELP
If you’re worried that someone you care about may be struggling, or you think that you yourself need help, look for these signs that indicate a need for outside assistance:
- change in mood
- difference in work performance
- weight changes
- sadness, hopelessness, or anhedonia (a loss of pleasure and pulling away from things that used to provide enjoyment)
- physical symptoms, such as headaches and stomach issues
If you recognize any of these symptoms in a loved one, remind them that asking for help can be a sign of strength rather than weakness. Speak to a psychologist today about your mental health. Call Healthboxes xxx