Men’s Mental Health

Even though mental health has men in the word, that doesn’t mean they are willing to talk about it.

Mental health has a stigma around it for men and women, but especially men. They are raised to bottle up their feelings and not seek help when it is needed. Between 2008 and 2012 only 11.3 percent of white men, 6.6 percent of black men, 16.3 percent of American Indian/ Alaska Native men, 4.4 percent of Asian men, and 5.5 percent of Hispanic men used mental health services. (Source)

Because men are less likely than women to express their feelings in a healthy manner and to seek treatment, their symptoms vary from women. Some men coping with depression or anxiety disorders mask their emotions with anger and aggression or abuse drugs and alcohol. Because of this, mental health symptoms for men may include:

• Racing heart
• Tightening chest
• Ongoing headaches
• Digestive issues

Of the 151,781,326 million men in the United States, 6 million men are affected by depression each year. (Source)

What are the signs and symptoms of depression in men? (Source)

Some symptoms include:
• Feeling sad or “empty”
• Feeling hopeless, irritable, anxious, or angry
• Loss of interest in work, family, or once pleasurable activities, including sex
• Extreme tiredness
• Loss of concentration and memory
• Not being able to sleep or sleeping too much
• Change in appetite
• Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts
• Aches, headaches, and digestive problems
• Inability to meet the requirements of work and family

What causes depression in men? (Source)

Causes vary case to case but some include:
• Genes- men who have depression in their family history are more likely than those who don’t to develop the illness.
• Brain chemistry and hormones- brain scans of people with depression look different than those who don’t have the illness. Also, emotions that control emotions and mood can affect brain chemistry.
• Stress- the loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship, a difficulty at work, or any stressful situation may trigger depression in men.

Mental health issues can affect people at any age. 1 in every 5 adults in America experience a mental illness, and one half of all chronic mental illness occurs by the age of 14 and three-quarters by the age of 24. (Source)

We, as daughters, have an obligation to encourage our fathers and other men in our lives to get the mental health support that they need. Tell your dad and the men in your life the symptoms above and help them get educated on the mental health facts in men.

Armune BioScience thanks contributing writer Emily Garber for her insights on the importance of supporting men’s health.