6 Common Barriers Men Face When Seeking Mental Health Support


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The outward effects of mental illness can often be dismissed as a sign of weakness or personal failure. For men, this type of social stereotyping can be especially hard to escape — being told to “man up” is a common refrain that can be reductive and stigmatizing.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, men are nearly four times more likely to die by suicide than women. This is true across all races, with middle-aged white men in the lead. These alarming statistics point to a larger mental health crisis for men struggling with depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicidal thoughts.

According to the American Psychological Association, the National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 6 million men in the U.S. struggle with depression — but the actual figure may be much larger than that. A true picture of mental health in America is hard to determine as men are significantly less likely than women to ask for help or seek treatment. Moreover, in addition to a recent dearth of mental health counselors, depression in men can often be overlooked or misdiagnosed by medical professionals since symptoms can differ from women’s — notably more angry and aggressive tendencies.

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