The Stigma of Men’s Mental Health (Statistics and Support)

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Men have mental health struggles. And that’s okay.

Males are more likely than females to experience addiction, suicide attempts resulting in death, and stigma that discourages them from seeking treatment. “Man up,” someone might have told you. “Boys don’t cry.”

I have treated many men experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, thoughts of suicide, and low libido. It’s normal to have mental health problems, and it’s courageous for men to overcome societal stigma and seek effective mental health treatment.

In many cases, mental health concerns have a biological root cause that we can address to help patients heal. For instance, most patients we encounter with mental health issues get extensive blood work, nutrient testing, gut testing (in some cases), toxin panels, and genetic/methylation testing to discover the root cause of their concerns.

PrimeHealth is an integrative clinic in Denver, CO, where men and women are welcome to seek judgment-free treatment options. We listen to our patients, working with them to form an individualized treatment plan for their unique situation.

Disclaimer: We may receive a small commission from products you purchase via links in this article.

Men’s Mental Health Statistics

It’s important for men to know they’re not alone, and that there’s treatment for these mental health conditions. Check out these statistics on men’s mental health:

Read more: Ketamine for Depression & Suicidal Ideation

Men are much more likely than women to avoid mental health treatment due to social norms. Men often hesitate to open up about their symptoms, trying to downplay their situation or avoid discussing health altogether. Don’t succumb to society — take control of your mental health!

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Patient Story: Mike

Mike, a 40-year-old male, was a patient of mine struggling with insomnia and low libido. 

Our treatment plan for Mike involved:

  • Reducing alcohol from daily to just a few times per month
  • Removing gluten and dairy from his diet (this resolved his asthma as well)
  • Incorporating daily meditation
  • Reducing caffeine intake from several cups to just 1 per day in the AM
  • Incorporating cannabis in the form of CBD and/or THC at night as needed 

All of this resolved his insomnia. Additionally, after a divorce which happened several years ago, he entered a new relationship with someone he loves, and his libido came back.

Symptoms of Mental Health Conditions in Men

Mental health conditions may affect men and women differently. Here are the most common mental health symptoms in men:

  • Low libido
  • Feeling stressed
  • Aggression
  • Mood changes
  • Appetite changes
  • Sleep dysfunction
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Lack of motivation
  • Misuse of alcohol and drugs
  • Headaches
  • Hopelessness
  • Engaging in risky activities
  • Digestive problems
  • Obsessive or compulsive behavior
  • Suicidal thoughts

What is the most common mental illness in males? Anxiety is the most commonly diagnosed mental health disorder in men and women. Compared to women, men have much higher rates of substance use disorder (drugs and alcohol use).

Mental Illnesses Common in Males

Below are the most common mental illnesses found in males, particularly with higher prevalence than in females:

  • Depression (i.e., major depressive disorder)
  • Anxiety (i.e., generalized anxiety disorder)
  • Bipolar disorder (formerly known as manic depression)
  • Drug and alcohol consumption (i.e., substance use disorder)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Schizophrenia

Most male mental health issues stem from abnormal testosterone levels, stressful life situations, and misuse of drugs and alcohol.

When is Men’s Mental Health Month? November (referred to as “Movember”) is National Men’s Mental Health Awareness Month. June is Men’s Health Month, and we think this counts, too — mental health is health.

Patient Story: Tony

My patient, Tony, came in at the age of 60 to address chronic stress issues, elevated cortisol, and low testosterone levels. We worked with him to initiate TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) and counseling.

After adding daily exercise to his routine, Tony fully optimized his cortisol and T levels. He’s now living healthier than he can remember in over a decade!

Why Men Are Less Likely to Seek Treatment than Women

How does stigma affect men’s mental health help-seeking behaviors? There is a perceived stigma against men seeking mental health treatment, especially from older generations. Stigma discourages mental health help-seeking behaviors.

Many men have heard some dismissive phrases like, “Man up.” Societal norms have pushed many men towards suppressing their “feelings,” including mental health problems. Men living with mental health conditions typically don’t want to admit that they are struggling with anything, as it might be perceived as a sign of weakness by their peers and society.

But seeking treatment leads to a happier life.

Women are more likely to be diagnosed with a mental illness, but men are more likely to live with a mental illness without treatment. I applaud all the men who see me for mental health treatment, looking to actively work towards better mental health. It takes courage to seek the treatment that you need

Further Obstacles for Men of Color

Stigmas are even stronger when it comes to men of color, including Asian, Black, and Hispanic men.

Also, Black, Hispanic, and Native American men are more likely than white and Asian men to experience obesity, a condition that usually lowers testosterone levels and can increase the risk of mental health problems.

6 Ways Men Can Improve Mental Health

Men can seek treatment for mental illnesses from judgment-free mental health professionals, but they can also practice better mental health self-care in their daily lives.

What can men do to improve their mental health? Below are the 6 best ways men can improve their mental health:

  • Minimize perceived stress. Research and practice coping strategies that make sense for you. When stressful situations arise, practice these stress relief techniques: meditation or prayer, controlled breathing, laughing and finding humor in your daily life, spending time outside, and being with communities or friends that are a positive influence.
  • Exercise regularly. Regular exercise boosts testosterone, combats obesity, and releases endorphins which can lead to more happiness.
  • Eat healthy. Avoid ultra-processed foods, excess soy, alcohol, and caffeine after lunchtime. Include fatty fish, protein-rich meats, fruits, vegetables, and fiber in your diet to improve mental health. [For healthy sources of caffeine, check out Purity Coffee. Use code PRIMEHEALTH for 20% off of your first order and free shipping.]
  • Build social connections. A robust social life can prevent loneliness and other mental health concerns, especially if you are supporting the mental health of someone else. Humans are social beings. Find friends who you enjoy being around, and be around them. If you live in Denver, Archipelago is an inclusive community of health-minded individuals that puts on inspiring, community-building programming every week.
  • Use supplements. Natural remedies and dietary supplements like NAC can often bring relief without the side effects of pharmaceuticals. Microdosing offers significant mental health benefits.
  • Seek professional help. Schedule a visit with a trusted physician or therapist to help treat mental health conditions. These doctors can prescribe medications, recommend natural treatments, and empower you on your journey towards good mental health. Colorado residents: Consider scheduling a free consultation at PrimeHealth.

Some of my patients have benefitted from Braincode Centers, which uses qEEG brain mapping and neurofeedback therapy to overcome trauma, insomnia, depression, and anxiety. Mention “PrimeHealth” and you can get 50% off your brain map.

How Can Society Better Support Men’s Mental Health?

First of all, society cannot continue to stigmatize mental health for men if we want to solve the mental health epidemic spreading across the globe, particularly in America.

Secondly, you can be a part of positive change. You can consciously engage in more compassionate language, mental health-positive discourse, and open discussion of men’s health issues.

Here’s how anyone can better support men’s mental health:

  • Avoid stigmatizing language, such as “strong men,” “grow a pair,” or even the term “crazy.”
  • Engage in honest talks with loved ones about your own mental health.
  • Provide emotional support for men brave enough to speak about their mental well-being.
  • Applaud men who seek treatment with mental healthcare providers or support groups.
  • Spread awareness that obesity and insulin resistance are linked with low testosterone and mental illnesses.
  • Advocate for easier access to mental health resources, including clinics near underserved communities, such as Black, Hispanic, Asian, and American Indian neighborhoods.
  • Donate to or spread awareness for charities such as Movember or Men’s Health Network that specifically support men’s health, including mental health.
  • Memorize the phone number for the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: 988. This hotline provides free, confidential support for anyone in need, 24/7. Remember that helpline number: 988.
  • Normalize mental health-friendly diet habits, including eating healthy fats and avoiding highly processed foods.

Check out Wild Zora’s minimally-processed snacks with no artificial ingredients. Receive 15% off of your order by ordering through the link or entering code PRIMEHEALTH15 for 15% at checkout.

Holistic Health for Body and Mind

Holistic health is great for your whole-body health, including brain and mental health. Holistic and functional medicine utilizes natural treatments and lifestyle treatments (and pharmaceuticals as a last resort instead of first-line treatment) to improve your mental health and wellness.

PrimeHealth is a holistic health clinic in Denver, Colorado, where we respect patients. We listen to patients. We do not judge men or women for seeking treatment or being honest. Learn more about our success stories.


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