Mental Health

Therapy for Men

Mental illness is a phenomenon that does not care about gender. Everyone is susceptible to torment and pain, but unlike women, men are less likely to seek therapy for this silent epidemic.

In the United States, 1 in 5 people suffer from mental illness, with 6 million US men dealing with them. Although these issues might be common, it is still difficult for men to face. Conditions such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar and eating disorders often go undiagnosed because men are more likely to be afraid to seek help than women. Two of the leading causes of male deaths worldwide are suicide and depression. Male mental health issues are serious and finding therapy for them is important.

Statistics about Men’s Issues:

According to data from 2010 to 2013 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 9% of American men deal with feelings of anxiety or depression.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United states, with rates being significantly higher for men. From 1999 to 2017, rates increased from 17.8% to 22.4% per 100,000 men.

Understanding Mental Illness in Men

Many men do not seek help because they feel they can’t or they have to hold up to their manliness and appear tough. Some men perceive asking for help as a sign of weakness to discuss their emotions, often feeling too vulnerable. Men are told to “man up” when they brush on their emotions, often repressing any feelings that may need to be addressed.

Men of color are also more likely to deal with mental health issues over white men. According to an article, men in the black community for example are more likely to experience different problems such as trauma or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Men who do choose to pursue therapy often come for different reasons. Because the role of men in society, relationships and the workplace has changed, some men feel they have lost their traditional roles in society, leading to frustration and stress while trying to find his place in a relationship or place of employment.

Conditions such as posttraumatic stress may bring about anger and aggression. Men with PTSD might be more likely to cope by means of substance use, such as drugs or alcohol. Men who experience depression may also be irritable or angry while suppressing feelings of sadness. Men are not as likely to discuss their feelings or emotions or express thoughts of suicide.

Some men also experience shame or fear related to the stereotypes associated with their roles in life. A father who has an income that is not sufficient to provide for the needs of those he cares for may experience frustration or what is considered emasculation due to the belief that he should be the one who provide for his family. This is often seen in families where his spouse or partner has a higher paying job than he does.

Men tend to avoid going to therapy for a number of reasons. According to research, they may delay until they reach the point of crisis. They may also be more concerned about their privacy and worry that getting help might have a negative effect on their image or standing.

Men are also less likely to show certain emotions due to societal norms. Showing signs of fear, emotional vulnerability or sensitivity are considered to be less masculine and many men do not want to be labeled in such a way. Unfortunately, holding these emotions back may lead to other emotional issues that affect their overall wellbeing.

Men’s Mental Health Conditions

The most common issues men seek therapy for include:

  • Stress
  • Anger
  • Substance dependency or addiction
  • Work adjustment issues, including anger, avoidance, procrastination or success sabotage
  • Body image issues
  • Bipolar
  • Relationship issues
  • Other additions or dependency struggles, including sex, gambling, internet or gaming
  • Depression

Therapy for Men

Although many men tend to perceive seeking help as a sign of weakness, there are many therapists and other mental health professionals ready to help and to address these misconceptions that they are not able to receive help. Therapists are available to help men understand that getting help can actually be good for them and their masculinity and the things they need help with are “normal,” while helping to address negative feelings, to meet individual patients’ goals and to get on the path to true wellness.

Despite the fact that men are less likely to seek help than women, counseling for men is growing in popularity. According to Men’s Health, 42% of men aged between 18 and 32 think seeing a counselor is important. More men are realizing that talking to someone is helpful and that their mental health is just as important as the rest of their health. Mental health is an investment that encourages a longer and more enjoyable life.

Who to See for Men’s Therapy

There are many different types of mental health professionals offering men’s therapy. Who you or your loved one should see depends on many factors, including who is available in your area, what your insurance covers or what you can afford and which services they offer.

  • Psychiatrists
  • Licensed Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurses
  • Licensed Professional Counselors

There are many different types of therapy options for men. Some men will benefit from multiple types of therapy while others may opt to pursue help from just one.

Individual therapy is beneficial for the treatment of nearly any mental health disorder. Some of the most common options for individual therapy include:

  • Motivational interviewing, which is purposed to help individuals move from a place of uncertainty into a space where he can make healthier decisions while gaining the ability to accomplish personal goals.
  • Psychiatry sessions are administered by a psychiatrist who is skilled in mental illness and addiction. This person listens to our problems and can help in numerous ways, including psychotherapy, brain stimulation treatment, medication and more.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy, which is often used with a number of mental disorders and addictions, including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), PTSD, schizophrenia, eating disorders and more. This is often used to help a person better understand their thoughts and behaviors so they can change them for the better.
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy looks at a person’s experiences and life and digs deep to help them learn how to best cope. DBT is often a good for men and be used with different disorders and addictions.

Support groups are another helpful option for women coping with mental health challenges as well. Support groups can be found at the National Alliance for Mental Health Find Support page or by reaching out to a mental health therapist.

If you or a loved one are suffering from mental illness, don’t hesitate to get help today. The start of the path to recovery is just a click or phone call away.

Mental Health

Therapy for Women

Many women face struggles in life. Isolation, sadness, worries and trauma are a few common burdens women are weighed down by. It can be difficult to find help for yourself as a woman when you have so much else to hold together. You may have a home to maintain, kids to care for and/or a career to manage, making it difficult to find time for yourself. But you do not have to fight this battle alone. Although it might feel overwhelming or even impossible, there is help.

Understanding Women’s Issues and Stereotypes

Women tend to worry how others view them. They perceive social pressures to feel normal but struggle to actually pursue help. Oftentimes their self-image is molded by how others perceive them rather than how they see themselves.

Many women feel stigma for pursuing help with mental health issues because they fear what others might think. Women tend to rely more on opinions of others, having a low level of self-esteem, which can prevent them from getting the treatment they need.

Cultural stigmas exist as well that keep women from seeking help. Some minority women tend to be hesitant to get treatment. They may perceive seeking treatment as a sign of weakness rather than strength as they are raised to not be weak. They may feel it is difficult to maintain an image of strength if diagnosed with a mental illness, which is why they might avoid getting mental health treatment.

Some mental and physical health issues can be related to gender. Researchers have continued to look into various factors that contribute to the differences between mental health issues in women vs. men, including various environmental, psychosocial and biological factors.

Some certain mental and physical health concerned might be more impacted by gender, but women can also experience issues unrelated to gender. Domestic violence, lower socioeconomic status, gender socialization and other forms of violence (such as rape) may also contribute to problems with a woman’s overall health, including her mental health. For example, a single mother who works a full-time job but struggles to pay her bills every month might be at heightened risk for anxiety, depression and stress.

Some of the challenges women face to their mental health may be more related to gender-based assumptions or stereotypes. It was previously believed that the hippocampus, or part of the brain responsible in part for regulating memory and emotion, was larger in women than men. This belief was somewhat linked to stereotypes that women have better memory and are more emotional than men. However, this theory has been recently debunked. A 2015 study conducted by the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science found that the human hippocampus is not sexually-dimorphic according to a meta-analysis of structural MRI volumes.

Women’s Mental Health Facts and Statistics

Millions of U.S. adults are treated for mental illness annually. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 46.6 million people got help in 2017, with the percentage of women treated being 50% more than men.  

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over half of the patients who meet the criteria for mental illness are left undiagnosed. Family members and friends of a woman with an illness may not be aware of her need for therapy.

Severe mental illness is exhibited in women (5.7%) more than men (3.3%).

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is more likely to affect women than men. Unfortunately, only about 40% of people in the U.S. that suffer with the condition receive treatment. Another disorder, Panic Disorder (PD), is diagnosed two times more in woman than men. Furthermore, research from the World Health Organization states that depression is diagnosed at a higher rate in women who have been exposed to sexual abuse as a child or violence as an adult, with the severity of the illness being in correlation with the severity and duration of exposure.

Comorbid mental illness, which is defined as two or more disorders affecting one person, is more likely to affect women. The presence of multiple mental illnesses can make it more difficult to manage.

Women are also more likely to experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than men. Unfortunately, women tend to postpone seeking a diagnosis longer than men. According to the Office of Women’s Health, women wait an average of four years after the onset of symptoms of the condition rather than one year for men.

Women are also more prone to eating disorders, which affect nearly ten times more women than men. 1.9% of women will experience anorexia each year compared to 0.2% in men. Between .05% and 1% of women will be impacted by bulimia annually.

Women are also more likely to experience serious mental health issues that interfere with daily function, which is why it is so important that women get help.

Women’s Mental Health Conditions

Women may experience mental health issues at any point during their lives. Some mof the most common mental health conditions experienced by women include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Posttraumatic stress
  • Eating disorders
  • Postpartum depression
  • Borderline personality
  • Mood-related struggles
  • Postpartum psychosis
  • Self-harming behaviors
  • Body dysmorphic disorder

Therapy for Women

Despite the range of mental health challenges women face and their complexities, treatment is available. The first step to getting therapy for women is not being afraid to get help. There are many mental health professionals available to help women overcome struggles associated with their mental health, setting them on the path to recovery so they can be healthier overall.

From health centers to clinics, there are many professionals ready to offer therapy for women while diagnosing and treating mental health disorders. Many hold master’s degrees in the field as well as advanced degrees in addition to specific state licensing credentials and training. According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common types of practitioners and providers offering mental health services include:

  • Psychiatrists: Psychiatrists are medical doctors (MDs) or doctors of osteopathy (Dos) who have a specialty in mental health. They can diagnose and treat mental health conditions as well as write prescriptions and offer counseling.
  • Psychologists: These doctors typically hold a doctoral degree such as Psy.D., Ph.D. or Ed.D. and offer counseling in one-on-one sessions and in groups. Most are not able to write prescriptions themselves but those who cannot do work with other providers who can.
  • Licensed clinical social workers: These types of workers have doctorates or master’s degrees in social work. Licensed professional counselors also have relevant clinical training and hold masters degrees. Both offer counseling and other services but cannot prescribe medication.
  • Psychiatric mental health nurses: These nurses are registered nurses (RNs) with mental health training. Some are able to prescribe medications in certain states.

Individual therapy is ideal for treating most every type of mental health disorder. It is helpful for increasing one’s self-awareness, identifying boundaries, enhancing communication and encouraging self-exploration while encouraging healthy coping skills. From dialectical behavioral therapy, trauma sessions and cognitive behavioral therapy to motivational interviewing and psychiatry sessions, there are many options available to those facing issues.

Support groups are a helpful option for women coping with mental health challenges as well. Support groups can be found at the National Alliance for Mental Health Find Support page or by reaching out to a mental health therapist.

If you or a loved one are dealing with a mental health condition, it may feel scary or overwhelming but know that you are not alone. There is help available to help you get on the track to recovery so you can live a more enjoyable, fulfilling and purposeful life without being weighed down by mental health struggles.