When it comes to health, most men only focus on their physical well-being, like passing a prostrate exam. What American men fail to realize is that they are 28 times more likely to have a mental health condition like depression than prostrate cancer in any given year.
With the number of American men with mental health conditions rising at an alarming rate, industry experts have called the situation a “silent crisis.” Research studies estimate that about six million men suffer depression every year in the United States.
Although men only suffer from depression at half the rate compared to women, men patients are four times more likely to commit suicide than women. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), suicide ranks as one of the leading causes of death among men.
In this article we will focus on explaining how this problem arose and highlighting the solutions in place to tackle it.
Men’s Suicide Rate in the United States
About 75% of suicide victims in the United States are men, with a man killing himself every 20 minutes. The most vulnerable groups of men are veterans, gay men, minority men, and those living in rural areas and small towns.
This crisis has been attributed to many factors among them being the massive decline in traditionally male-dominated industries such as manufacturing, which left many men in some regions unemployed or underemployed.
Men in most regions are finding it challenging to fulfill their “breadwinner” roles. This is a situation that leaves most men without a powerful sense of purpose, pride, and meaning in life.
High Rates of Substance Misuse
Another predominantly male problem in the US is substance misuse. The ratio of substance misuse between men and women in the United States is 3:1. Considering that substance misuse can often lead to premature death, it is at times referred to as “Slow-Motion Suicide.”
Research studies have shown that most men engage in alcoholism and substance misuse in response to stressful life transitions such as divorce and unemployment. Considering that about 50% of marriages end up in divorce in the US, it is no surprise that men are succumbing to substance misuse.
Men report having a negative experience in family courts, with statistics showing that only one in six men divorcees have custody of their children.
Avoidance of Mental Health Services
One study published on the American Journal of Men’s Health shows that men battling mental health problems are less likely to seek help in mental health facilities in comparison to women. Avoidance of professional intervention is higher among Black, Asian, and Latino men. White men are more receptive when it comes to mental health services.
Often, most men will not even accept that they suffer mental health problems in the first place. That makes it harder for family members and friends to convince suffering male loved ones to seek help.
Suicidal men or men with substance misuse problems are more likely to suffer in silence, especially young and minority men. This problem is attributed to the stubbornness in men, which is often rooted in traditional American notions of masculinity. Another arguable explanation is that most mental health services are not customized enough to meet men’s needs.
How To Seek Help
If you or a loved one is struggling with mental health issues, please seek help today and get the help and support needed. It is okay to ask for help as a man. Keeping your problems to yourself will only hurt you more.
At My Psychiatrist, we understand that it can be difficult to open up and discuss mental health issues. That is why we are proud to offer a variety of therapy groups specifically tailored to the needs of men in our community.
We also offer virtual mental health services to patients across Florida, as well as in-person services in our four South Florida locations. We are conveniently located in Boca Raton, Miami, Hollywood, and Oakland Park.
We are here to help!