Key Factors In Mental Health In Men
Men are not immune to mental illness. Unfortunately, that is not the picture that the media and society play about men. Men are supposed to be tough and resilient. The fact of the matter is that they are nearly as likely to face a mental illness, as are women.
With women, the problem is talked about more. Women are more likely to band together and talk about their emotions. They seek the services of a mental health professional at a higher degree than men do and it would seem that they are the only ones affected by mental illness.
While men tend to stay away from the mental health system, they often turn to things like alcohol and drugs to cope with uncomfortable feelings and rarely talk with their male friend about what is going on. If a man sees a woman physician, they are less likely to reveal their mental health weaknesses so that their problems become undiagnosed.
Suicide And Depression In Men
It is estimated that about 6 million men in the US suffer from depression each year. While more women suffer from depression than men do, men are about four times as likely to commit suicide. This is because men use more lethal means to commit suicide and are more successful in completing a suicide.
Depression in men differs from women in several ways. Men often turn to alcohol and drugs to treat their depression. They are more likely to have irritability than depressed women are. They are more likely to complain of physical problems such as headaches, fatigue, low sex drive, insomnia, hypersomnia, and a decrease in interest in work.
They are less likely to say that they have feelings of worthlessness, sadness, guilt, and hopelessness. This means that doctors need to pay attention to other things when thinking about men and depression.
If you are one of the millions of men, who have the above symptoms, treatment is available and you can access them through the internet, your doctor, or a health care professional. The cause of the depression may not be obvious. It is the goal of the healthcare professional to help you figure out why you are depressed and to help with medications or therapy as needed.
Stress And Fertility
Men have an important role to play in the family but they have to become fathers first. Men face a lot of stress when it comes to performing in bed and with conceiving a child. Some of the stress is made worse by things like alcohol consumption that affects fertility and can cause erectile dysfunction.
Infertility in men and women can be concerning. Infertility can cause stress in both men and women and the stress can actually make the infertility even worse. Younger couples under the age of 30-35 years of age should attempt to have a child for at least a year before seeking help and undergoing fertility testing.
Infertility can be an added source of stress for the couple and the treatment of infertility can be expensive and time consuming. The entire process can be traumatic for both the man and woman in the relationship.
The trick to staying sane around fertility is to become educated on infertility and do what can be done to prevent infertility without seeing a doctor right away. Men should avoid tobacco and alcohol and should do what they can to prevent STDs. Both members of the couple should try to maintain an appropriate body weight so that the hormones are as balanced as possible. If a man has cancer, he should save some sperm for later use before going ahead with things like chemotherapy and radiation.
If the couple is able to conceive, the stress is not over. Men can be affected by postpartum depression that is unrelated to hormones but instead related to the significant responsibility and changes in the household. It is not unusual for a man to need antidepressant therapy after the birth of a child and to suffer from postpartum stress. Men with new babies tend to isolate from friends and family, which can impact the next generation and cause stress in the child.
Sexual Abuse And Men
Sexual abuse is not just a problem of women. Men have a history of sexual abuse that can negatively effect their relationships and mental health. Men have a greater degree of isolation around sexual abuse because it is considered by some to be a taboo subject to talk about and the shame men feel is too great to allow them to do so.
Studies indicate that 1 in 6 males has suffered from sexual abuse prior to the age of 16. Sexual abuse in men can lead to dire mental health complications.
Issues like gender identity and masculine inadequacy are common problems among men who are sexually abused. Some men experience hypermasculinity.
Others worry about their sexual orientation. Depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder are just some of the devastating mental effects of sexual abuse in men. They often have a difficult time correlating how they are currently feeling with the sexual abuse that happened to them.
It is important to recognize that most sexual abuse victims do not go on to become sexual offenders. Many can overcome the emotional issues that resulted from sexual abuse and can establish normal sexual relationships.
Fortunately, men are becoming more aware of the issue of mental health and masculinity. They are battling the dark issues that have invaded their mind and health and are seeking the appropriate kind of health. Men are becoming less and less silent about the emotional issues they are dealing with and are seeking help with professionals who can help them.