Mental Health: Men VS Women
Mental health is a major health concern that affects both men and women all around the world. While there may be a considerable number of people, both men and women, who experience mental health issues at one point in their lives, quite an insignificant percentage actually get treatment.
Even though mental health problems affect both men and women, the way the problem affects each gender is quite different. In order to diagnose and treat the various mental health issues that affect both genders, therapists need to identify the differences that exist in how mental health issues affects each of the genders.
A quick look at how mental health issues may manifest in each of the genders:
In most men, depression may come in violent forms such as anger, aggression, or irritation. The problem is that in most instances, men who have exhibited these signs of mental issues are often overlooked. This usually leads to the problem growing and then becoming even worse. There are instances where affected men resort to drugs like taking alcohol to help them cope with the symptoms they are experiencing. In men with mental health issues, the rate of alcohol use is usually higher when compared to women.
According to research, women struggling with mental health problems usually experience depression. This makes the diagnosis of depression and especially of certain symptoms to be more prevalent in women than in men. Research shows that women are more inclined to suffer from seasonal affective disorder when winter sets in. Some of the atypical depression symptoms that have been observed in women include; weight gain, eating more food, excessive sleeping, as well as feelings of guilt. While men have often been observed to direct their inner problems outward, there is a tendency in women to accept blame. This is something that causes them to have feelings of worthlessness and sadness.
Why do Men and Woman Seem to Struggle with Varied Mental Health Issues?
Research suggests that due to the differences in experiences in men and women, gender plays a big role in mental health issues. Most mental health conditions are usually linked to a combination of environmental, social and even biological factors.
Here below are some factors that usually affect men’s and women’s mental health differently:
Common Mental Health Issues Experienced by Women
According to research, women are usually more likely than men to develop a condition known as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD) arising from traumatic experiences. Even though the exact cause of this scenario remains unknown, it could be linked to the experiences that some women undergo such as domestic violence or sexual harassment.
Women are also usually more likely to suffer from sexual assault than men let alone having painful experiences stemming from domestic abuse. There are also certain types of depression disorders that are just unique to women which are occasioned by the hormonal imbalances they experience. The hormonal imbalances that women experience usually stem from biological factors such as pregnancy, menopause, PMS and postpartum period.
It is unfortunate that women who experience higher rates of depression and anxiety are also likely to suffer pain, instability, and even in worse cases death.
Common Mental Health Issues Experienced by Men
The mental health issues that most men usually experience in most instances stem from self-destructive behaviors. Such behaviors usually result from stressful events they experience such as economic struggles or divorce.
Statistics have it that men make up the largest percentage of suicide victims and are also more likely than women to abuse substances.
Experts argue that pressures that stem from traditional roles coded in a society which expects men to be the sole breadwinners may have an effect on their mental health. It has been established that most men often keep their inner struggles to themselves, refusing to open up. This, in one way or another, often leads to isolation and feelings of worthlessness in men.
With these feelings, affected men usually end up finding themselves engaging in self-destructive behaviors including suicide and substance abuse.
How to Cope with the Various Mental Health Issues
There is good news that the various mental health issues experienced by both men and women have treatment. It is therefore important for anyone suffering from mental health problems to seek help from professionals. After successful treatment, one is usually able to lead a fulfilling and productive life as it should be lived.
The various treatment methods available for people experiencing mental health problems include; counselling, medication, and therapy.
As a mental health patient, the first thing you should do is to accept that you have a problem that needs to be addressed. You should never be ashamed of yourself, accept your condition and that you need help.
It has been noted that many men usually find it difficult expressing the problems that they are experiencing. To help you get started, we have outlined for you some important steps that you can follow to get help:
- Got Out and Seek Medical Attention – please bear in mind that any healthcare provider that you visit is trained and experienced in this. Trust your physician to help get the treatment that you need. There are times that you will just have to undergo therapy to help resolve the problem that you may be experiencing without the need to use medicine, or you may also need to have dual treatment.
- Share Your Feelings in Healthy Ways – while you may find it tempting to resort to drugs or violence when facing mental health problems, there are usually more positive ways that you can vent your anger. You can go about this by walking outside the house into the park or going to engage in workouts until you get to calm down.
- You can Manage Your Stress – when you are stressed your mental health symptoms can really heighten. For this, it best to find time to do positive things that will work to relieve your stress in a healthy manner. You can try doing things like meditating, deep breathing or even performing workouts to get yourself relaxed.
- Perform Exercises Regularly – Experts have established that regular exercising can actually help to relieve the common symptoms of depression. This is enough reason for you to always find some spare time of your busy schedule to exercise and keep depression at bay.
- Take Good Care of Yourself – Aside from performing regular exercises, it makes more sense to take good care of yourself. You should always get sufficient sleep, eat a balanced diet, never skip meals and ensure you take enough fluids that will work to nourish your body.
Things to note
If you feel that you are experiencing any mental health problem it is best to seek help from a professional rather than trying to keep it to yourself. Mental health problems could be anything like mood swings that are unpredictable, continual anxiety, depression, and irritability. Mental health issues that are reported early in the onset are usually dealt with perfectly well and patients re-instated back to their once fruitful lives that they enjoyed before. Remember that when you are experiencing mental health problems, it is not your fault but rather a medical condition that needs to be diagnosed and treated for your wellbeing.