Men and Mental Health, Mental Health Issues Most Common to Men

According to the World Health Organization, the rates of psychiatric disorders are nearly identical in men and women. However, the types of mental health issues each gender is most prone to suffer from differ markedly. Some experts suggest the differences are a result of the way men handle emotions.

Women internalize emotions, and this leads to higher rates of anxiety and depression in women. Men tend to externalize their emotions, acting out on them. They also avoid professional help in higher numbers than women, and this has an effect on their long-term mental health.

This Mental Health Guide takes a look at men and mental health, mental health issues most common in men.

Common Mental Health Issues for Men

Depression: While women suffer in higher numbers, it is estimated that more than 5 million men suffer from depression. Suicide rates among men are much higher than in women. Currently, the highest rates of suicide in the U.S. are among elderly men.

Alcoholism: Men are twice as likely over the course of their life to develop alcoholism than woman. It affects millions of men. While a genetic link has been proven, the higher rates in men than women are accounted for by the way men handle stress as well as their reluctance to seek professional help. They try to “self-medicate” using alcohol. Alcohol dependency occurs in about 17% of men at some point in their life.

Anxiety: This mental health issue is believed to occur in about 15% of men is one form or another. It may be generalized anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder or an anxiety related to work.

Antisocial Disorder: Some men are loners, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Others suffer from antisocial disorder in which they are strongly averse to other people in general.

Psychosis: The rates are low for men and women, though men have psychotic issues at a rate that is twice as high as women.

Treatment for Common Mental Health Issues in Men

The biggest hurdle appears to be the reluctance on the part of many men to seek support and treatment for their mental health problems. For those who do look for answers, treatment involving counseling and/or medication is often very successful. If you, your husband, partner or friend are struggling with mental health issues, awareness of treatment options is a very good first step. Talking with a doctor can produce answers about the disorder and what can be done to treat it. Talk with a doctor, or encourage the man in your life look for solutions to what’s been troubling him.