It’s Time to Man Up for Your Mental Health!
June is Men’s Health Month
The numbers say it all... men need to take care of their mental health. According to Mental Health America (MHA), six million men are affected by depression each year, and suicide is the seventh leading cause of death in males. In addition, one in five men will also develop an alcohol dependency in their lifetime.
“Males at any age can develop mental health issues, but there is a correlation between lower levels of testosterone and depression, stress and mood swings, especially in older men,” explains Johnnie Taylor, III, MA, Outpatient Counselor, Acenda Counseling & Wellness Centers. “Mental illness can cause different symptoms in men than in women, so some disorders in men may be harder to recognize. Men who are depressed, for example, may seem angry rather than sad and withdrawn. It also may be harder for men with depression to get help. Some may see it as a sign of weakness rather than a treatable illness. Regardless of the reason, it is important for men to seek the help they need to feel better.”
There are a number of reasons why men tend to push their symptoms “under the rug” and are less likely to address their mental health. These include:
- Social norms.
- Reluctance to talk.
- Downplaying their symptoms.
Here are seven tips for men to help them address their mental health concerns:
- Talk to someone you trust, a close friend or family member, maybe even your family doctor.
- Consider why you find it uncomfortable asking for help and whether those reasons are actually stopping you from getting the support you need.
- Read more about mental health and the varied guidance and advice that is easily accessible.
- Find a support group that is for men only, as you will feel comfortable expressing yourself amongst similar individuals.
- Consider what are your weapons in this fight - it could be anything from regular exercise to spending time with friends, to taking up a hobby.
- Read stories and case studies that will help you understand what other men have been through.
- Get involved in campaigns and activities that raise awareness of men’s mental health.
“We need to be attuned to men’s needs. In general, treatment usually tends to emphasize medication or talk therapy,” adds Taylor. “Research shows that men prefer action over words in the face of stressful situations. So, finding the right counselor or doctor is extremely important to allow them to positively move forward with getting the help they require.”
If you need additional support, our clinicians are available to help during this uncertain time via our telehealth services. Call our main number at 844-4-ACENDA (844-422-3632) for more information.