This original article was first published here: Why do men have a hard time seeking mental health treatment
The rate of depression diagnosis is two times higher in the female gender. On the other hand, the suicide rate in men is higher than in women. A statistical study in 2009 shows that from an overall suicide rate, the self-murder rate in men is 77%.
Do you ever think why the mortality rate of men due to suicide or mental illnesses is higher? As a result of depression, men show externalized symptoms in the form of aggression. It reduces men’s capacity to seek help for their mental health.
Another reason for the decreased record of men’s depression is the use of diagnostic instruments. These tools determine internal depression symptoms that are not common among men.
In this article, we will discuss why men face hardship to seek mental health treatment:
Is there any effect of masculinity on mental health?
Man up is the biggest reason for men’s mental issues, and it’s also the reason men have a hard time seeking help for mental health. Men are less likely to note their depression and ignore it, possibly due to masculinity.
When men suffer from anxiety or feel depressed, they start misusing a substance (drug abuse), and they express anger. This acting out behaviour does not remove depression but suppresses it for some time.
Researchers suggest that masking depression in the form of aggression harms your mental health and leads to male depression syndrome. Not all mental health issues can be linked to the environment around us, some have a more biological cause, this resource from BetterHelp can give you more insight.
What are the risk factors of mental health issues in men?
According to research, the major risk factor of mental problems in men is the lack of employment and occupational issues.
Unemployment causes twice more severe effects on the mental health of men than women. Employment is the symbol of self-esteem and self-worth for men, and they also have to support their families so, it is a mandatory requirement.
Excessive workload and distressing work environment is another major factor of depression in man. They avoid expressing their issues or seeking help from others for their mental health or state because of traditional masculinity.
Other risk factors of mental issues in man include:
- Family issues
- Sexual or physical abuse during childhood
Signs and symptoms of mental illness helpful in assessing mental health:
Common sign and symptom may face when you are suffering from mental illness include
- You will not find anything pleasing.
- Your anger will increase, and you will feel irritated.
- You might sleep more (hypersomnia), or sometimes it may cause insomnia (trouble sleeping).
- Trouble concentrating work.
- You may feel restless and physical pain like headache and body ache which is also associated with mental health issues.
- In cases of extreme depression, a person may engage in high-risk activities due to suicidal thoughts.
- Another common clinical manifestation of depression is a compulsive behaviour in response to an obsession.
- You may go through sadness, loneliness, and hopelessness.
If you find these symptoms in yourself or your loved ones, show them how important it is to seek mental health treatment.
The disgrace men face in society
Men always think that they are strong enough to bear all burdens alone or else they have to face disgrace.
The possible reason for the low rate of depression and a high percentage of suicide among men is that they don’t admit that they have a problem. Most men take depression or mental illness as a weakness.
Lack of mental health service utilization by men
In underdeveloped and developed countries, it is a common observation that men are less likely to utilize health care services, especially mental health.
In our society seeking psychiatric help for discussing mental health is a sign of weakness, and it is considered unmanly.
Many countries are attempting to change men’s negative behaviour toward seeking mental health treatment. For this purpose, they are running projects whose task is to develop awareness in men about depression and its long term and worst effects on the brain.
In health care service, there is a lack of sympathy for men suffering from mental health problems. It is another reason for less psychiatric service utilization by men.
Some health care providers may show gender biases in treating men. As a result, men feel reluctance in seeking medical advice.
What should I do to improve my mental health?
If you are suffering from mental health or depression and want to seek help, then consult with your family doctor or psychiatrist.
If suicidal thoughts are haunting you, immediately consult a health care professional. Sharing your depressive thoughts leads to a positive effect on psychology. It is good to take help from others if you are suffering from a mental problem.
Here are some tips that will help to keep you mentally fit;
- Share your feelings
- Eat healthy food to stay healthy
- Exercise daily
- If you’re in a mental problem, ask for help
- Build self-worth
- Take a break from the task that is disturbing you
Impact of long term depression on mental health
Depression causes unwanted and adverse effects on the brain, whether it is short-term or long-term. Depression leads to self-murder or some serious mental problems. The complications of depression include:
- Shrinkage of hippocampus and loss of memory.
- Enlargement of the amygdala due to the excess production of cortisol resulting in sleep disturbance.
- The ability to form new memories is lost due to the shrinkage of the prefrontal cortex.
- Increased risk of a heart attack.
- Weakened immune system.
- The only way to protect you from these worst mental and physical issues is to seek help.
The rate of suicide in men is higher than in women because they fall into depressing conditions more often than women. Due to social masculinity, they suppress their depression by aggression, which leads to suicidal thoughts.
It is not hard for men to seek mental health treatment because men are so strong and so wise they can take the right attempt for their health.
Strength doesn’t mean ignoring your health and life. Courage and strength are taking the right decision and convincing others to select those paths.
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