Why Men’s Mental Health Issues Often Stay Silent (and How to Get Them to Open Up)

Researchers have found that men are typically hit hardest with mental health issues because they stay silent for too long. Men have a high rate of mental health issues, and substance abuse is one way they cope. They also cope by keeping it to themselves and becoming isolated from family and friends. Find out why men find it challenging to open up about addiction and how to navigate this with a loved one who may be struggling.

Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is a male problem that occurs at a rate of 3 to 1 in comparison to women. Substance abuse is something that progresses over time unless it is stopped by treatment from professionals who can intervene on their behalf. Most of the time, it is difficult to quit without help. Many men engage in substance abuse in response to life transitions that are stressful. They report negative experiences in family courts where custody is an issue, as well. The separation and loss can destroy a person when it comes to marital discord, divorce, and separation from kids. Substance abuse may be used to deal with this in the meantime.

Mental Health Services

Men are less likely to use mental health services in response to mental health issues compared with women. For men of color, this is especially true, as they tend to seek mental health treatment less than men who are white. Substance abuse problems add more layers of shame and stigma on top of that, so they are even less likely at that point to do something about it. They typically suffer in silence, especially minority men. There is an assumption that men need to stay grounded in a certain ‘manliness’ where they don’t need other people, they can do things alone and without help. This is a perceived view of masculinity. Research suggests that men prefer action over words in the face of stressful situations.

Finding Support

To improve men’s mental health and ability to ask for help, it first has to be recognized as the larger social issue that it is. With attention paid to issues like unemployment and family issues, men need to have their mental health issues addressed. Health departments should create strategies to improve their issues. Health departments should create strategies to improve men’s mental health. Overall, the best fix for men who are struggling is to reach out and let someone know. Talk to someone, ask for help, go on social media and find support. It is healthy to seek help when men struggle. It is hard to make that first step, but family and friends often have a lot to do with supporting a man. If they feel supported, they feel like they are able to do so much more than if they feel they are alone or not able to share their stories with their loved ones. The key is to be non-judgmental or shaming and leave space for them to feel supported without fear of these things happening. It will be tough for them, but it is necessary to stand behind them so they feel supported.

The Last Resort provides a safe, supportive environment for men in a retreat-like setting. Nature is an important component of recovery and healing. We strive to provide a place of enrichment that cultivates the inner as well as the outer journey of recovery. However you find your way to the Last Resort, we endeavor to provide a haven where you can journey through recovery feeling like your life and story have meaning and a purpose. Call us to find out more: 512-750-6750.