There has been a great deal of focus on mental health in recent years as more people have come to realize its importance in the overall health of the individual. This is especially true for mental illness in men, which has often been underrepresented because of social stigma. The global pandemic that has been going on for more than a year now has served to further emphasize the need to address mental health.
With millions of jobs and revenues adversely affected by the pandemic, this has contributed to a significant increase of stress and depression experienced especially among men.
Why Mental Illness in Men is a Cause for Concern
Mental illness does not recognize gender. However, the effects of mental illness tend to be somewhat more devastating for men. This is due, in part, to societal and traditional gender roles they tend to play.
Traditionally, men have been told by society and traditional gender norms to be emotionally and mentally strong. This was underscored by being told not to show any kind of weakness. They are also seen as the main provider of the family. This role see men expected to bear the responsibility in ensuring the family’s day-to-day survival. Thus they are expected to be invincible for the sake of the family.
Ironically, these expectations and perceptions can bring about so much pressure on men, both emotionally and mentally. Thus, some men tend to either dismiss possible signs of mental issues as nothing for them to worry about or, if they are aware they may be suffering from mental illness, tend to keep these signs to themselves.
The Dangers of Ignoring Mental Illness
Sadly, ignoring or hiding these signs of mental illness in men can lead to more serious consequences. In some cases, this can lead to substance abuse such as a heavy intake of alcohol and drugs. And such abuses can lead to long-term effects such as the deterioration of physical health, alongside mental and psychological breakdown.
In worse cases, mental illness can lead to suicide. Suicide is four times more common for men and is highest among middle-aged white men. In fact, men accounted for almost 70% of suicide deaths in 2019.
In such cases, it is the responsibility of the loved ones to be on guard of these warning signs and, once they become apparent, should act with utmost immediacy to avoid the more serious complications.
Identifying the Warning Signs of Mental Health Issues
If you are someone who is mindful of his mental health or if you are worried about a loved one, it is important to be on the lookout for signs of mental illness in men, which may involve several of the following:
- Change in sleep patterns like having little to no sleep or sleeping much longer than usual.
- Change in appetite, especially leading to loss of appetite
- Rapid or dramatic change in emotions such as feeling extreme sadness then feeling unusually happy at a moment’s notice. Uncontrolled anger is a worrying sign as well.
- Decline in personal care such as lack of grooming and not being concerned about it.
- Recent withdrawal from social or personal relationships and enforcing self-isolation from others without reason
- Significant in performance at work, school, sports, or other activities
- Struggling with concentration, memory, or logical thought
- Speech may be becoming incoherent or hard to explain
- Increased sensitivity to sights, sounds, smells or touch, as well as avoiding over-stimulating situations
- Loss of energy or desire in doing any activity
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness as a person
- Experiencing fear or nervousness towards others without reason
- Experiencing aches, headaches, or digestive problems with no clear cause
- Exhibiting unusual behavior
- Intake of too much alcohol or drugs
- Suicidal thoughts
Take Early Action
If there are early signs of possible mental illness, it is important to address those signs beforehand, whether or not these signs would lead to mental illness or not.
It’s important to recognize the social and gender barriers among men that hinder them from seeking help for mental illness. Moreso, it is important to show empathy and assurance that it is not wrong to seek help if they feel burdened or alone and that there are people who are more than willing to provide such help.
Education also plays a big part in addressing mental illness. It reduces stigma and helps you identify the signs of mental illness, so treatment can be accessed quickly.
Treating the Signs of Mental Illness
The moment the signs of mental illness are beginning to appear, it is important to seek treatment immediately. Mental health professionals can advise the best treatment or mental health program to take that will effectively deal with the condition. It is also important that those dealing with mental health and/or their loved ones should do their due diligence in following the prescribed treatment and programs to ensure their recovery.
At Casa Colina, we offer a comprehensive treatment plan that not only effectively addresses alcoholism and drug abuse but also the root causes that bring about these problems, including mental illness. Our team believes in ensuring not only one’s physical health but also his mental health. Get in touch with us today so we can help start the journey towards a mentally-healthy individual.