It’s no secret that mental health is just as important as physical health. With so many campaigns designed to spread awareness and defeat the stigma surrounding mental illness, why are men still encouraged to ‘suck it up’ and keep quiet?
In this article, we’ll discuss the statistics around male mental health, why men struggle to talk about their mental health, and the worrying link between substance abuse and mental health.
Men’s mental health statistics
Sadly, suicide is the largest cause of death for men under 50. The latest report from the Office for National Statistics shows the number of young men dying from self-harm has risen by more than a fifth in England since 2007. This is largely due to better reporting, but again it shows how poorly mental health is managed by society.
- In 2020, 4,639 men took their own life
- Three times as many men as women die by suicide.4
- Men aged 40 to 49 have the highest suicide rates in the UK5
- 191,000 men a year report stress, depression or anxiety caused or made worse by work4
- 191,000 men a year report that work contributed to or caused them mental issues such as depression, stress or anxiety4
Reasons men don’t discuss mental health
While talking about our mental health seems easy in theory, the reality is the stigma surrounding men’s mental health means that many of them don’t feel comfortable speaking out and admit they’re struggling. As well as feeling embarrassed or too proud to seek help, some other reasons may include:
- Feeling as though they are burdening others
- Not wanting to be considered ‘weak’.
- Feeling better after drinking or substance abuse
- Not wanting to discuss past traumas
- Feeling as though their peers will judge/laugh at them
Substance abuse and mental illness
Unfortunately, many men turn to drugs or alcohol as a way of coping with certain feelings and emotions. However, substances are only a temporary ‘solution’. While they might numb your physical and emotional pain for a short while, once their effects wear off, you may find yourself dealing with withdrawal symptoms on top of mental illness. Consistent drugs use and alcohol consumption can have damaging effects on the brain’s chemistry, negatively affecting mental illness, which can lead to symptoms like hallucinations, paranoia, depression, and anxiety.
Mental illness and substance abuse are serious problems that affect many men. If you’re living with a mental illness and drug or alcohol dependence, the correct support from experienced professionals can help you find your way to recovery. At drug and alcohol rehab you will be treated with compassion, kindness, and respect—allowing you to focus on getting well.
Helping a loved one into treatment
Getting help in the early stages of drug or alcohol addiction can help you avoid some of the worst effects of addiction. It can also help you stay on track as you work to quit.
As the statistics above show, men are less likely to seek help for their mental health issues than women. Therefore, taking the first step for them may be exactly what they need.
Addiction interventions can be a powerful tool to motivate a loved one who needs treatment, but they can also be an effective way to help yourself. Interventions are an amazing opportunity for the person suffering from addiction, as well as their loved ones. Through what is commonly referred to as an addiction counselling intervention, family members or friends will come together and share how the addiction has affected them. They discuss how it may affect them moving forward and create a plan to help their loved one overcome this overpowering disease.
Signs and symptoms of mental health issues in men
It can be difficult to recognise whether someone is struggling with mental illness, as these issues manifest differently in each person. However, if you’re concerned about yourself or a loved one, we recommend you keep an eye out for any of the symptoms below.
- Becoming withdrawn
- Angry and irritable
- Loss of appetite
- Insomnia or sleeping long hours
- No longer enjoying activities
- Suicidal tendencies
Treatment for dual diagnosis
There are various treatment paths available for any man wishing to overcome mental illness and addiction.
For those with serious mental health issues, an inpatient, or residential, programme may be just what you need. A residential facility will provide you with around-the-clock care where necessary. This type of treatment centre allows you to detach from the stressors of everyday life and focus on improving your mental and physical well-being.
Most residential rehabs offer men’s dual-diagnosis programs an intensive treatment program for men with co-occurring substance abuse problems and mental health issues. Here you will receive evidence-based therapy, including CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) to address your fears and anxieties.
Residential rehab isn’t suitable for everyone. Some men may feel more comfortable speaking one-to-one with a trained addiction specialist. In addition to being a good option for those who don’t like group settings, private therapy can also help with specific mental illnesses such as PTSD and eating disorders after trauma or abuse.
Get addiction and mental health support today
At Which Rehab we take the time to understand your needs so we can find a treatment path that suits you. The rehabs we work with offer proven methodologies, therapies and interventions that address both the addictive behaviours and the underlying psychiatric condition. This type of treatment model can help you or a loved one regain control so that you can look forward to a healthier future.
Call us today to begin your journey to recovery.