The month of June is Men’s Mental Health Month, and it is an important time to reflect on an all-too-often neglected topic. Mental health issues affect both men and women, yet men are often hesitant to discuss their mental health struggles and seek treatment. Due to the stigma associated with male mental health, many men forgo needed treatment and support.
In this article, we hope to contribute to Men’s Mental Health Month, our goal is to normalize conversations regarding topics in men’s mental health. Below, we discuss common men’s mental health issues, diagnosis methods, and treatment options.
What are common men’s issues in mental health?
One common mental health condition among men is mood and behavioral changes from low testosterone, which people commonly call "low T." Problems with low testosterone can come from the natural aging process or other medical issues,such as an injury to the testes, metabolic disorders, inflammatory conditions, and more. When men deal with low testosterone levels, they may exhibit sudden mood swings. Also, they may experience feelings of increased irritability and anxiety.
Men also suffer from depression, and unfortunately, men often do not seek treatment during cases of depression. Depression includes ongoing feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and dissatisfaction. When a man is depressed, he may no longer take an interest in his work, hobbies, or relationships. Men who are depressed may also experience physical symptoms such as changing sleep patterns, headaches, and digestive problems.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is another common mental health issue among men. When a man struggles with OCD, he feels compelled to take part in ritualistic-like behaviors to calm often irrational fears or behavioral urges. For example, a man with OCD may check that he turned off his air conditioning multiple times before leaving the house. At his job, the man may become overwhelmed by the need to check and re-check his work obsessively. Men who suffer
from OCD often deal with extreme anxiety, as they feel that their time-consuming behaviors are necessary to keep themselves out of harm’s way.
A common occurrence among men is that mental health issues often lead to substance abuse issues. When a man suffers from a mental health issue and substance abuse, he has a “dual
"diagnosis"or "co-occurring disorders." Often, men turn to drugs or alcohol to self-treat their mental health issues and numb the pain of their struggle. Unfortunately, this behavior does not address the underlying mental health issues, which often worsen if left untreated. Additionally, substance abuse brings its own set of additional health issues, including cognitive impairment, organ damage, and in cases of overdose, even death.
Diagnosis and treatment for men’s mental health issues
Diagnosing mental health issues should be left to mental health professionals. However, there are several signs and symptoms of mental health issuesthat men and their loved ones should know. Warning signs of mental health issues can include sudden mood swings and episodes of irritability, anger, anxiety, and sadness. Sometimes men exhibit physical symptoms, such as digestive problems, sleeping problems, and persistent headaches. Also, some men may engage in escapist behaviors, such as increased risk-taking, substance abuse, or obsessively focusing on work tasks.
If you or a loved one suffers from mental health issues, know that mental health support for men is available. Mental health issues can be managed, and mental health treatment programscan be both effective and lasting. For some men, treatment for mental health issues can occur in an outpatient setting. Intensive outpatient treatment programs are often helpful, and many outpatient programs feature ongoing group therapy sessions to help maintain mental health overall. In other situations, an inpatient stay for mental health is the best choice, especially in cases of dual diagnosis. When a man suffers from substance abuse in addition to mental health issues, inpatient programs allow the individual to access the clinical attention they need 24/7.
How San Antonio Behavioral Healthcare Hospital can help
San Antonio Behavioral Healthcare Hospital proudly serves the mental health needs of the greater San Antonio, TX community. We offer intensive outpatient programs(day, evening and virtually)for men at our San Antonio facility. For mental health treatment for men, we offer psychiatric inpatient programsand partial hospitalization programsto help men transition back into their normal lives.
Getting started at San Antonio Behavioral Healthcare Hospital is easy. Call our staff at (210) 541-5300 at any time, and we can answer your questions about men’s health and help you determine if our programs are right for you or a loved one. If appropriate, we can schedule a
free on-site or virtually mental health assessment. For more information, you can access our mental health resources for men pagefor additional articles on men’s mental health.