How Therapy Can Assist Men

Seeking help is something that can be challenging for men at all ages. From the time they are young children, they are told that they need to be “masculine” and are encouraged to not show their emotions. This can build up over time, and can continue to affect men at all points of their lives. Oftentimes, men will have issues opening up and disclosing their emotions to partners, family, and close friends. Although they may be close, being vulnerable remains a difficult task for many men. Something that has greatly helped this has been education surrounding mental health and conversations specifically about how mental health affects men. There are also many programs that aim to help mental health in men specifically, such as blogs like ManTherapy.com and goodrx.com.

All around America, many individuals work through mental illness everyday. The National Institute of Mental Health stated that in 2019, around 20% of Americans dealt with mental illness. This equates to roughly 1 in 5 Americans, or 69.5 million people. Furthermore, there was shown to be a gender gap between seeking treatment. 50% of women with mental illnesses reported receiving treatment, but only 37% of men with mental illnesses said that they were receiving treatment.

Stigma Around It

There has always been a stigma around mental health and treatment in general, and part of that stigma has directly impacted men. Because of societal standards and beliefs, many men feel that they have to portray a certain ideal of “manliness”. This has led to difficulty in men asking for help as well and may explain why more women are getting treatment for mental illnesses.

The Power of Vulnerability

It is important for everyone, especially men, to keep in mind that asking for help and seeking a therapist does not mean that an individual is weak and cannot handle something. In fact, asking for help shows strength and takes a lot of courage to do. Researchers and therapists believe that some current therapy tools may be detrimental for men and provide feelings of aggravation. With this, they are committed to finding practices that are beneficial to men. This is especially important to create healthy coping mechanisms for men instead of the utilization of drugs or alcohol for self medication, which is more apparent in men than women. Additionally, self-harm and suicidal practices are more common in men, and over 75% of suicide deaths are men. Mental health professionals remain dedicated to helping and forming better outlets and tools for men to work through mental health struggles.

Why Seeking Help is Important

Seeking help is something that can be challenging for men at all ages. From the time they are young children, they are told that they need to be “masculine” and are encouraged to not show their emotions. This can build up over time, and can continue to affect men at all points of their lives. Oftentimes, men will have issues opening up and disclosing their emotions to partners, family, and close friends. Although they may be close, being vulnerable remains a difficult task for many men. Something that has greatly helped this has been education surrounding mental health and conversations specifically about how mental health affects men. There are also many programs that aim to help mental health in men specifically, such as blogs like ManTherapy.com and goodrx.com.

Signs Men Need Help

While challenging, meeting with a therapist or licensed mental health professional is one of the most successful forms of treatment. There are varying signs that an individual may need to seek professional help, but symptoms such as feeling very irritable or more irritable than normal, large alcohol and drug intake, a loss of interest in activities normally enjoyed, and having trouble focusing and sleeping can point to treatment being the next step. Men can also find therapists who have prior experience and specialty in treating male patients. Resources such as the American Psychological Association, Therapy in Color and Inclusive Therapists can also help men connect to a professional and pursue low-cost treatment and mental health care plans. 

Conclusion

Overall, there is still a stigma around men’s mental health and care. Creating open conversations and discussions that allow men to have a safe space and understand that it is okay to seek help is the first step to destigmatize society’s view on mental health. Supporting men and creating resources for them to use is key to improving mental health among society. 

Source:

Behring, S. (2022, February 28). Therapy for men: Who can benefit and how to find care. Healthline. Retrieved June 15, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/therapy-for-men

Jenna Doran

Jenna Doran is a rising Senior at Temple University studying English and Psychology. She is very excited to be joining the HappyNeuron Pro team as the Content Marketing Intern this summer. Jenna has completed past internships and held leadership positions in extracurriculars dedicated to mental health and wellness programming and development. She is looking forward to utilizing these skills and working with the team!

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