Perhaps as a result of the increased loneliness and isolation over the last two years, anxiety and anxiety disorders have become a hot topic. June is Men’s Health Month, a time when men are encouraged to take care of their physical and mental health.
Men are substantially less likely than women to seek help from their families or the health-care system. This could be due to a variety of factors. Members of a men’s focus group in a 2022 study published in PLoS One identified a variety of factors, including anxiety that companies recognising mental health may be merely lip service. ¹ If left untreated, this anxiety might grow and potentially contribute to future psychiatric illnesses.
What is required to help give more adequate men’s anxiety care?
While the stigma associated with discussing emotional and mental health in males can be a barrier, understanding how it arises can allow health care practitioners to assist patients in working through it. Members of the aforementioned focus group discussed the difficulty of caring for their own mental health when their natural impulse in times of stress was to prioritise job and family. They were afraid about how others might regard them if they were more upfront about their vulnerabilities.
The researchers noticed that masculine stigma may make some men more resistant to mental health programmes. They propose linking mental health awareness to current active communities as well as physical health initiatives.
A March 2022 study published in Discover Psychology looked at how to prevent male suicide, and the researchers proposed focusing on anxiety especially.
2 According to the researchers, targeted techniques can provide a better knowledge of individual anxiety triggers and how they affect suicide risk in distinct groups of males. Substance abuse, unemployment, and social isolation are examples of risk factors and triggers.
The researchers stated that understanding how these diverse elements affect different men’s anxiety can help us evaluate their roles in various psychiatric comorbidities. Anxiety can be considered as both a cause and an effect of these risk factors in these circumstances.
The researchers also point out that many efforts aimed at men’s mental health emphasise depression because of its link to suicide risk. Increasing access to these programmes and broadening their scope to include anxiety care may assist raise awareness of anxiety as a risk factor and mainstream it in a context that males in the programmes are more inclined to embrace.
Informal support resources, such as friends and family, were also viewed as a crucial intervention. Men may prefer interventions with their loved ones to interventions in a more formal and unfamiliar setting. Extending not simply access to anxiety care resources, but also the extent of what they cover and who they are aimed at, has the potential to improve men’s mental health outcomes.