“Real men don’t cry.”

“Man up.”

“Stop acting like a girl.”

“Get over it.”

Mental health is an often overlooked topic, and this is especially true for men. From a young age we are led to believe that men should be strong, independent and not display their emotions, leading to stigma and barriers around men’s mental health issues.

However, the truth is that men deal with difficult mental health challenges too. And when these challenges go unaddressed, there can be devastating consequences.

By shedding light on men’s mental health challenges, we hope to break down barriers, destigmatize this pressing issue and pave a path where men can feel comfortable seeking help for their mental health.

Signs of Mental Illness In Men

As with any other condition, recognizing the warning signs of mental illness early on is important for intervention, treatment and support. However, mental health symptoms and screenings may differ between men and women, making it difficult to recognize the signs of mental illness in men.

A study published in the National Library of Medicine, for example, shows that while women present more internalizing disorders (such as depression and anxiety), men tend to exhibit more externalizing symptoms (such as violence and substance abuse). However, it is possible that these externalizing symptoms are a sign of those same internalizing disorders.

For example, signs of anxiety in men may include restlessness, agitation and a need for control while in women it may include excessive worrying and difficulty concentrating.

Similarly, signs of depression in men may include irritability, anger or substance abuse instead of more traditionally feminine symptoms such as sadness.

Furthermore, even when men do display similar signs as women, mental health professionals may still ignore or misdiagnose their symptoms as they may be less attuned to noticing traditionally feminine symptoms in male patients.

Men's Mental Health Statistics At A Glance

To understand why this is such a critical issue, we’ve compiled a list of recent men’s mental health statistics.

This information, combined with the general lack of awareness surrounding men’s mental health, is alarming. It shows that while mental health conversations are happening, there are still barriers that prevent men from getting the help they need.

How Can We Improve Male Mental Health?

Now that we realize how important it is to address men’s mental health problems, you may be wondering what can be done to improve the situation. Fortunately, there are steps we can take to tackle this social issue and help create a future where all men feel comfortable seeking mental health support.

Raise awareness

If you were unaware or surprised by the previous statistics about men’s mental health, you are probably not alone.

Raising men’s mental health awareness is a critical step in creating a world where men no longer feel as though they need to hide their emotions. There are many ways to raise awareness about men’s mental health issues. They may include:

  • Having conversations about men’s mental health
  • Using social media to launch educational campaigns
  • Organizing community events and workshops
  • Cooperating with local mental health organizations
  • Hosting a guest speaker or expert that can talk about men’s mental health

Break the stigma

Mental health stigma is still a prevalent barrier to those seeking mental health support, and that is especially true for men.

To break the stigma, we must challenge our societal perceptions of “masculinity” and redefine them to include emotional vulnerability and self-care. We must work to create an environment where men feel safe expressing their emotions without fear of judgement or social isolation.

Some ways to break the stigma against men’s mental health include:

  • Dispelling inaccurate myths and stereotypes about men
  • Encouraging open and honest conversations about men’s mental health
  • Sharing stories of men who have sought mental health support
  • Creating dedicated communities and support networks for men dealing with mental health issues

Encourage your loved one to seek help

It can be difficult to see your loved one struggle with mental health challenges on their own.

As we have shown, one of the biggest barriers for men seeking mental health help is the stigma surrounding it. However, there are ways that you can help:

  • Create a safe and non-judgmental environment for your loved one to share their mental health struggles.
  • Show empathy and actively listen as they share their problems – opening up can be difficult, and it is important to let them know that their feelings and emotions are valid and heard.
  • Educate them on the benefits of seeking professional help and make sure they know that needing additional support is not a weakness.
  • Be an active player in their mental health journey (attend therapy sessions where possible or assist in finding a mental health professional).
  • Show solidarity and be patient. Seeking mental health support is not always an easy journey. Recognize that healing may take time.

Help Is Available at Sierra Vista Hospital

Mental health challenges are difficult for everyone, but you do not need to deal with them alone.

Sierra Vista Hospital, located in Sacramento, California, is here for your mental and behavioral health needs. We provide inpatient and outpatient psychiatric services to adults and adolescents seeking improved mental well-being. Our individualized treatment plans ensure that each person’s needs and challenges are met.

Learn more about how we can help by giving us a call at 916-288-0300 or get in contact with us by using this form.

If you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis, call 988 or get to the nearest emergency room.