Start the Admissions Process Online

Fill out your information to receive a free, confidential call from the team at All Points North.

OR CALL US at
0207 193 1128


10 Facts About Men’s Mental Health

Just like you wouldn’t shrug off that nagging pain in your knee during a morning jog or ignore a persistent cough, it’s time we stop ignoring our mental health.

While mental health conditions affect millions of people worldwide, there’s still a stigma surrounding men’s mental health that prevents some men from seeking the help they need. In this article, we’ll explore 10 mental health facts that every man should know.

1. Men are less likely to seek help for mental health conditions.

Despite experiencing mental health issues at similar rates to women, men are less likely to seek professional help.¹

Societal expectations of masculinity, which discourage emotional vulnerability, play a significant role in this disparity. Encouraging open conversations and destigmatising seeking help can lead to better outcomes for men’s mental health.

2. Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent mental health conditions in men.

Anxiety is usually the first mental health disorder young men experience.² While some level of anxiety is normal, excessive worrying or fear can interfere with daily life and require treatment to manage.

If left untreated, it can increase the risk of:

Early intervention and support can prevent these consequences and help you manage symptoms more effectively.

3. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is more prevalent among men.

Studies have shown that more males are diagnosed with ADHD than females.³ Some experts believe this may be due to underdiagnosis in females or differences in how symptoms present between genders. Regardless, seeking proper diagnosis and treatment can significantly improve the quality of life for those with ADHD.

4. Suicide rates among men are higher.

Suicide rates are higher among men than women. In 2020, 75.1% of all suicides in the United Kingdom involved men, continuing a trend that has persisted since the mid-1990s. Additionally, men aged 45-59 had the highest suicide rate of any age group. There are many reasons for this disparity, including societal expectations and stigma around men expressing their emotions or seeking help.

5. Disordered eating is rising among men.

While eating disorders are typically associated with women, there’s been a rise in disordered eating among men. A 2018 study found that men exhibiting disordered eating behaviours were concerned about body image, including a desire to be more muscular.⁴ To achieve this, some men may engage in extreme dieting, excessive exercise, or even use steroids.

6. Dads can get postpartum depression (PPD) too.

PPD affects new moms after giving birth, but research has shown that dads can also experience it. A 2019 report found that up to 10% of men experience symptoms of PPD. The highest prevalence occurred in the first three to six months after a child’s birth.⁵

Common symptoms of PPD in men include:

  • Indecisiveness
  • Irritability
  • Restricted range of emotion

7. Men often turn to alcohol to deal with mental health problems.

According to a 2018 report, alcohol has the greatest impact on men’s mental health compared to other substances.⁶ In fact, men are two to three times more likely than women to struggle with alcohol use. Among men diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), symptoms are more likely to include increased alcohol or substance use.⁷

It’s common for men to use alcohol to cope with PTSD symptoms. However, excessive alcohol use can worsen symptoms and lead to negative effects on mental health in the long term. Men struggling with mental health should seek professional help and find healthier coping mechanisms.

8. Social support and self-care is crucial for men’s mental health.

Men often face societal pressure to be self-sufficient and not show vulnerability, making seeking support difficult. But, studies have shown that social support is crucial for men’s mental health. There’s an increased focus on the correlation between social isolation and mental health.

Establishing social connections can help improve emotional well-being, increase longevity, and decrease the risk of mental health disorders. A support network of family and friends can provide emotional validation and help men feel less alone. Men should prioritise their mental and emotional well-being, too.

This can involve activities like:

  • Exercise: Exercise can boost mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  • Engaging in hobbies or interests: Having a creative outlet or participating in activities that bring joy helps alleviate stress and improve mental health.
  • Getting enough sleep: Not getting enough sleep can contribute to mood swings and irritability. Make a goal to log seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night.
  • Practising deep breathing or meditation: These techniques can help reduce stress and promote relaxation.
  • Spending time outdoors: Being in nature has been shown to have a positive impact on mental health.
  • Taking breaks and setting boundaries: Don’t feel guilty for prioritising your mental well-being. Both of these can help prevent burnout and improve overall mental health.

9. Men can benefit from taking medications and talking about their feelings.

There are various mental health treatment options available for men struggling with mental health issues, including medication and psychotherapy (talk therapy).

Medications

Medications are effective in managing symptoms of mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. These medications include:

  • Antipsychotics: These medications treat conditions like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. They affect neurotransmitters in the brain that impact thoughts, emotions, and behaviours.
  • Benzodiazepines: This type of medication is commonly prescribed for anxiety disorders and can provide short-term relief. However, they can be habit-forming and may have side effects.
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs): antidepressants that specifically target serotonin, which is a chemical in the brain that affects mood and emotions.
  • Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs): antidepressants that target serotonin and norepinephrine, another chemical in the brain that impacts mood and emotions.
  • Stimulants: These medications are often prescribed for ADHD and can help improve focus and concentration.

Discuss with your mental health provider whether medication is right for you. Medication is a helpful tool in managing symptoms, but it’s not a cure-all solution. Combining medication with therapy can often produce the best results.

Psychotherapy

Some men may feel hesitant or uncomfortable talking about their feelings and emotions. However, therapy — individual and group — can be a valuable tool. A therapist can provide a non-judgmental, safe space to process their thoughts and emotions, as well as develop coping strategies.

This benefits clients who may not feel comfortable talking about their feelings with friends or family. Therapy can also help clients:

  • Gain a better understanding of themselves
  • Improve relationships
  • Learn healthy communication skills
  • Provide support during difficult life transitions or major changes

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

CBT identifies and changes negative thought patterns that may contribute to mental health issues.

It can help you develop more positive and constructive ways of thinking, as well as coping mechanisms to manage difficult emotions. CBT is an effective intervention for bipolar and depressive disorders.

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy

DBT helps develop skills to improve relationships and manage intense emotions.

It can be especially beneficial for men who struggle with impulsive or self-destructive behaviours.

Trauma-Focused Therapy

When with traditional treatment options, alternative therapies offer additional support. This type of therapy addresses past traumas and their impact on mental health.

It can be helpful for men who have experienced physical or emotional abuse and struggle with symptoms like PTSD.

10. Alternative therapies can also be effective.

When used with traditional treatment options, alternative therapies offer additional support to provide a more comprehensive approach to mental health.

These include:

  • Lifestyle psychiatry: This approach focuses on the connection between lifestyle and mental health. It uses nutrition, exercise, sleep, and stress management interventions to improve overall well-being.
  • Nutritional therapy: Certain foods and nutrients help prevent or manage symptoms of mental health disorders. Nutritional therapy involves working with a nutritionist and registered dietitian to create a personalised plan.
  • Massage therapy: Massage can help boost your mood, as well as reduce stress and anxiety. It also promotes relaxation and improves overall well-being.

Whatever type of therapy you choose, it’s important to keep an open mind and be willing to do the work. Therapy provides valuable tools and techniques for managing mental health, but it requires active participation and commitment from the individual seeking help.

It’s also important to remember that therapy is not a quick fix, and results may take time. Patience and perseverance are key in the journey towards improved mental health.

We’re Here To Help

If you or a loved one is struggling with mental health issues, know that help and support are available. We offer comprehensive programmes and therapies tailored to each client’s needs because everyone has a unique story. Through the power of community and shared experiences, our team at All Points North London can help you on your journey towards healing.

Contact us at 0203 984 7699 or complete the online contact form for more information about our programmes and how we can support you.

Getting help is a sign of strength and not weakness. You don’t have to go through this alone.

References

  • Sagar-Ouriaghli I, Godfrey E, Bridge L, Meade L, Brown JSL. Improving Mental Health Service Utilization Among Men: A Systematic Review and Synthesis of Behavior Change Techniques Within Interventions Targeting Help-Seeking. Am J Mens Health. 2019 May-Jun;13(3):1557988319857009.doi: 10.1177/1557988319857009. PMID: 31184251; PMCID: PMC6560805, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6560805.
  • Fisher K, Seidler ZE, King K, Oliffe JL, Robertson S, Rice SM. Men’s anxiety, why it matters, and what is needed to limit its risk for male suicide. Discov Psychol. 2022;2(1):18. doi: 10.1007/s44202-022-00035-5. Epub 2022 Mar 4. PMCID: PMC8895358, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8895358.
  • Mowlem FD, Rosenqvist MA, Martin J, Lichtenstein P, Asherson P, Larsson H. Sex differences in predicting ADHD clinical diagnosis and pharmacological treatment. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2019 Apr;28(4):481-489. doi: 10.1007/s00787-018-1211-3. Epub 2018 Aug 10. PMID: 30097723; PMCID: PMC6445815, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6445815.
  • Lavender JM, Brown TA, Murray SB. Men, Muscles, and Eating Disorders: an Overview of Traditional and Muscularity-Oriented Disordered Eating. Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2017 Jun;19(6):32. Doi: 10.1007/s11920-017-0787-5. PMID: 28470486; PMCID: PMC5731454, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5731454.
  • Scarff JR. Postpartum Depression in Men. Innov Clin Neurosci. 2019 May 1;16(5-6):11-14. PMID: 31440396; PMCID: PMC6659987, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6659987.
  • Bilsker D, Fogarty AS, Wakefield MA. Critical Issues in Men’s Mental Health. Can J Psychiatry. 2018 Sep;63(9):590-596. doi:10.1177/0706743718766052. Epub 2018 Apr 19. PMID: 29673272; PMCID: PMC6109879, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6109879.
  • Guina, J., Nahhas, R. W., Kawalec, K., & Farnsworth, S. (2019). Are Gender Differences in DSM-5 PTSD Symptomatology Explained by Sexual Trauma? Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 34(21-22), 4713-4740. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260516677290.
  • Mansour, K., Greenwood, C. J., Francis, L. M., Smith, I., Olsson, C. A., & Macdonald, J. A. (2023). Social network investment of men: Cross-sectional and longitudinal associations with mental health problems. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, 1–20. https://doi.org/10.1111/aphw.12475.