ABH Maryland

Big Reasons Why Men’s Mental Health Is Often Overlooked


Big Reasons Why Men’s Mental Health Is Often Overlooked

  • Mental Health

Mental health is as essential to overall well-being as physical health, and a person must maintain both through care and exercise. However, many are conditioned during youth to believe that tending to men’s mental health—by examining emotions, sharing feelings, and admitting where they have problems—is a sign of weakness and an indication that men lack the masculinity necessary to prove themselves as powerful.

Consequently, men do not treat their mental health with the respect that it deserves. Society at large also downplays the importance of men’s mental health. 

Let’s have a look at the causes of the stigma surrounding men’s mental health care and try to break it. Let’s look at the causes of the stigma surrounding men’s mental health care and try to break through some of the barriers with the hopes that we can prevent men from suffering needlessly from treatable conditions.

Reasons We Don’t Take Men’s Mental Health Seriously

There is a great deal of stigma surrounding men discussing their mental health issues. Unfortunately, this stigma persists from generations of men who did not understand mental health topics and treatment as we do today.

Advances in psychology have identified ways to treat everyday emotional problems facing men. Yet, the nagging stigma and societal disapproval keep men from seeking the help readily available to them.

Why Men Don’t Seek Treatment

Boys learn at a young age that sharing too many feelings makes them vulnerable. Young males internalize a belief that they must withhold their inner thoughts and emotions to project confidence, a defining trait of powerful masculinity.

Traditionally, strong male stereotypes depend on powerful silence to convey authority. Many men get so used to denying their emotional needs that they may not even realize they have them.

Thankfully, these traditional masculinity norms are changing, and more and more male athletes, actors, and other public figures are speaking out about their challenges with depression and anxiety. But the feelings of guilt and despair men experience when dealing with their mental health concerns are real.

Risk Factors for Men

Mental health issues do not discriminate based on gender identification. Anyone who suffers from emotional or mental complications may experience the following symptoms:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Fatigue, difficulty thinking clearly or making decisions
  • Disruptions in sleeping and eating patterns
  • Thoughts of worthlessness

However, due to the social conditioning that encourages men to suffer in silence and keep their feelings hidden, additional symptoms are more prevalent in men. These include:

  • Risky behavior
  • “Workaholic” tendencies
  • Self-medication through alcohol or other substances
  • Suicidal thoughts

Suicide is a ranking cause of death among men but not women. And while every life lost to suicide is a tragedy, the stark fact that males, roughly half the population, make up 80% of suicide deaths in the United States shows the challenge facing men’s health care today.

Contact Us

Advanced Behavioral Health understands the conditioning boys face when they are young, discouraging them from seeking help as adults. Our counselors know the unspoken stigma that men feel when sharing their feelings, and they have helped many men find peace.

If you or someone you love is struggling with mental health needs, don’t hesitate to contact our team of qualified mental health specialists.

You can call us at 301-345-1022 or send us a message online here. One of our team members will stand by to help you find the confidential consultation you need.

Watch our latest ABH Podcast episode, Discussing Men’s Mental Health, here. Francisco Silva, a new behavioral health therapist from the Frederick office, shares his mental health journey.

When you think of the well-being of a child, you first think of basic needs: food, water, and shelter. Once these needs are met, however, it’s crucial for a child to have emotional and social wellness as well. In this article, we will explore the impact social wellness has on the overall health of a child and great ways for children to garner social support in their lives.

It comes as no surprise that as human beings, we all need connection with others, no matter what stage of life we are in. In fact, having social support is a social determinant of health (SDOH) that significantly impacts the health of an individual. After spending the last few years in and out of isolation due to the Covid-19 outbreak, social support is more important now than ever before. Having social support means having family members and friends you can talk to and seek advice from when life feels challenging and overwhelming. Knowing you’re not alone in your life journey, especially as a child, creates a sense of belonging and empowerment throughout one’s life.

4 Types of Social Support

Emotional Support. This type of support lets you know that people care about you and have empathy for your experiences. Emotional support often looks like people checking in on you to let you know they’re thinking of you, and that they are there if you need anything. As a parent, make sure your child knows you can be a sounding board for them. If you have family members who can also show up for your children in this way, even better!

Practical Help. This type of support is when people give you something tangible or offer a service to help you out. This could be in the form of money, making food when you are sick, or helping to pack when moving. Having family and friends show up in this way shows your child what it looks like to be present for people you love.

Sharing Points of View. This type of support can often come in the form of affirmations and encouragement. For example, pointing out your child’s strengths to them and reminding them they can do anything they put their mind to. It can also look like sharing another perspective if they are being hard on themselves. For example, if they are angry with themselves after receiving a bad grade on a test, you can help them see it as a learning experience and a way for them to grow.

Sharing Information. This type of support is when someone shares what they’ve learned from their own life experiences. For example, if another parent has a child who struggles with socializing, they can share some tips and tricks they’ve learned to help their child find and create social support.

The Importance of Social Groups and Extended Support

Children who are connected to their family, friends, and people in their community have opportunities to learn how to speak, share, and get along with others. When your child feels connected to people in your neighborhood, it often allows them to feel physically safe which can alleviate stress and worry. Simply riding bikes, going on walks, and saying hello to neighbors with your kids can create this sense of security for them.

In addition to engaging with your neighbors, getting involved in local organizations can also create social support for your child. Signing up for a sports team, musical theater, art class or summer camp are all great ways to help your child meet new friends and learn important social skills that can carry them through their lives.

Tips for Helping Kids Make Community Connections:

Spend time outside in your neighborhood playing on the playground, going to a local farmer’s market, or scheduling a playdate with neighborhood kids.

Show your kids that connection is a two-way street. If your neighbors or friends go out of town, offer to get their mail, or water their plants and take your child with you when you go. This will show your child how you show up for people you care about.

Make sure you make time for socializing with friends as well. Your child looks to you first and foremost for how they should act and live their own life.

Encourage your child to step out of their comfort zone and do something they may be scared to do. As a parent, it’s your job to push them into something social for their own well-being at times.