We’re currently living in a time where it’s much easier for people to open up about their mental health problems, and this especially applies to men. If you’re a man, your issues are valid, and there is help out there for your problems. Let’s dive into the world of men’s therapy and explain why it’s so important.
Many Men Need to Seek Therapy
While there has been much progress towards the concept of men seeking help from a therapist, many will avoid a trip to the therapist. Despite this, men should. Here are a few reasons why.
- The male suicide rate is much higher. Although women are thought to be more depressed, men are more likely to commit suicide, and many feel like they don’t have anyone to talk to about their problems.
- LGBTQ men are even more at risk, with more mental health they have to deal with.
- Men often bottle up their feelings, not having an outlet to express them, and may express their feelings in a self-destructive way that can end up damaging their lives.
- Most men are less likely to seek mental health treatment, be it therapy or prescription medication. Older men are likely to seek help, but younger men may be avoidant towards it.
This can be due to the stigma towards seeking help. Some people may feel like therapy isn’t masculine, or they may have trouble opening up due to how they are. Some men may travel a lot and feel like they have no way for them to talk to a therapist.
Let’s take a closer look at some issues men may have.
- Substance Abuse
Of course, women are likely to abuse substances, but men are much more likely. They may drink more, take hard drugs more, and feel like there’s no way for them to talk about their problems. Because of their addictions, it may lead to anger issues, problems sleeping, and deep depression.
Also, many men may not seek help if they are taking an illegal substance due to the stigma surrounding it.
As we mentioned before, the male suicide rate is much higher. According to Good Therapy, over 70 percent of suicides are from white men, usually middle-aged. There are many reasons this could be. For one thing, mental health treatment is less likely to be sought after. Men who are middle-aged may more likely to be in a divorce or get laid off, which can contribute to their suicide. Men’s partners tend to the be their emotional outlets, too.
For younger men, such as teen boys, bullying may be a reason they commit suicide. Being the victim of a bully may make a boy depressed, and due to his circumstances, less likely to seek help or guidance from a professional.
Another man’s issue is being a father. There are many support outlets for mothers, but few for fathers. A man is less likely to get paternity leave if they want to spend time with their family. The stresses of finances and lack of sleep can contribute to problems with fatherhood, too. Also, many men may get their own form of postpartum depression.
Then, there are fathers who are in a divorce. The courts may favor the mother as the parent who has custody, leaving the man to feel like he is unable to see his kids. Some men may even stay in a marriage that is toxic for them due to the fear of losing their kids.
Another challenge men face is holding onto toxic beliefs as to what makes a man. We all have our own definition of masculinity, but some men may have a hard time letting go of some antiquated beliefs.
For example, a young man may be insecure over still being a virgin or not having much sex due to the idea that it’s needed to be a man. A man may feel like expressing their emotions is a sign of weakness. Some men may have body issues due to the idea that a man must be tough.
A man also may feel uneasy being into things that are considered feminine.
While these beliefs about masculinity are fading, they are still upheld in many circles, and it’s important for men to realize that they don’t need to be a macho stereotype to be a real man.
Then, there is anger. Everyone gets angry, and it’s important for people to express their anger and not keep it bottled up. However, men may bottle up their anger until they explode, which can lead to relationship problems and trouble with the law. If a man is a hothead, there is no shame in seeking help to learn how to regulate their emotions.
Which Therapist Works Best?
Every man will have their own preference when choosing their therapist. Some may like a man their own age. To them, the therapist could feel like a pal, and someone they could open up to. Other men may prefer an older male therapist. The therapist in this age range may feel like a father figure. This is especially beneficial if a man has not had a father figure in his life.
Other men may want a female therapist. Having a woman’s perspective may help them learn to tackle their own emotions better.
It all depends on what a man’s preference is. For many, their best bet is to try a few therapists out and see which one works best.
Online Therapy Can Help
If a man is concerned about being seen in the therapist’s office, or is too busy to make it, one choice they can try is online therapy. Online therapy resources such as BetterHelp can benefit men, as they get therapy on their own schedule and their own terms. If you want to seek help from a licensed therapist, try online therapy. As a man, seeking help for any of your problems is a noble cause.