Men are less likely than women to disclose mental health issues to friends and family and also far less likely to seek help for such problems. This reluctance is despite the fact that the prevalence rates for many psychological disorders are the same between genders or greater for men.
From a young age, boys are taught traditional, rigid, or toxic masculinity – that is to be “strong” and to ignore and minimize emotion. This avoidance can develop into an atrophying of the skills needed to recognize and effectively and healthily navigate emotional situations. In place of regulating their emotions and behaviors, these men can feel marginalized, isolated, irritated, anxious, and depressed. Further, they tend to behave more irrationally and impulsively and experience physical disease and illness such as high blood pressure and heart disease at higher frequencies. These emotional, behavioral, and physiological consequences often feel preferable to opening themselves up to the stigma of seeking therapy as a man.
If this information speaks to your experience or someone you care about, please contact me. I hope that together we can not only improve your overall health and wellbeing but also work toward exercising an openness to receive help and support as a man in the modern world.