The Truth About Male Stress and Depression
We often see stories in the media about how self-image and confidence issues affect a female’s mental health and the suicide rates in young women. But, what we don’t regularly acknowledge is the number of men who face mental health issues, too. Stereotypes and pressure can help men feel like they can’t talk about their mental health or seek out professional help. As a result, suicide rates soar, and male depression and stress have become a silent killer – unacknowledged by the general public.
Read on to learn more about male depression and stress, and why we need to talk about this issue more. If you’re a man, here’s why you shouldn’t be afraid of expressing your emotions or seeking out help.
Male Depression – a Killer
When we talk about suicide, we tend to talk about it in a broader sense or focus on young women and children being the victims. However, male suicides have consistently accounted for around three-quarters of all suicides in the UK since the mid-1990s. And, suicide has been labelled the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the country. With shocking statistics like this, we can’t ignore the impact of a man’s mental health issues.
Depression can occur for many reasons, but with stereotypes pressuring males to always be in control of their emotions, it can be hard to overcome these issues in their gender. Male depression can change how they think and feel in their daily life, but what they need to remember is that it isn’t a sign of emotional weakness or that they are failing masculinity. As it can impact your work and home life, interfere with relationships, physical health and your overall happiness, it always needs to be addressed.
Male Stress – the Symptoms
There is evidence to suggest that women manage their stress better than men, making them less likely to suffer from major depression as a result of work-related stress, for example. Men are also more likely to withdraw socially when stressed and isolate themselves from others. So, why aren’t we talking about this more? We need to acknowledge this issue rather than brush it under the carpet and pretend like it doesn’t exist.
Stress can make men more irritable, angry and restless, all of which impact the way that they present themselves to others and behave at work or home. It can even lead to more serious behavioural issues like overeating or undereating, which can significantly affect their physical health. Many men who face stress also turn to drug or alcohol abuse, as well as smoking and gambling as these are ways that they feel help them to forget about their stress temporarily. But, long-term, these ‘solutions’ are only taking an even worse toll on them.
How Therapy Can Help
Most men won’t speak about their mental health to others because they are afraid of the repercussions; as mentioned, men are faced with stereotypes that paint them to be ‘macho men’ who are in control of their emotions. If a man admits that he needs help for his delicate mental health, he might be afraid he will be told to ‘man up’ and get over it. But this needs to stop. With more news stories emerging on male suicide rates and depression, we need to promote the support that males can attain for their mental health issues.
A significant example of a support solution is therapy; therapy can be the perfect place for men to seek help for their mental health. In a safe environment with someone willing to listen and support them, they can receive the right advice and somebody to confide in. By understanding why they feel, think or behave in a certain way, they can get to the root of the issue and work through it from there.
No one needs to know that you attend therapy, and counsellors themselves are bound by law to keep their client names secret. By speaking with your therapist, you can even decide when the right time is to talk to others about what you are facing so that you can seek extra support from them.
Don’t suffer in silence and become another statistic for male stress and depression. Contact me today to learn more about my services as a therapist and how I can help you overcome and understand your mental health issues.