June is National Men’s Health Awareness month. This also includes bringing awareness to mental health.
Statistics show more than 6 million men suffer from depression each year. Men are less likely than women to seek help for mental health conditions putting them at a greater risk.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, men are four times more likely to commit suicide than women. This means many men are suffering in silence.
Dr. Alice Neuman, of Canfield Counseling Clinic says often times men are taught at a young age to somewhat ignore their feelings.
“Men have been raised to act as though they’re very tough. You know, men don’t cry, all of those fallacies that little boys have been brought up with. But, in reality, men are people just like everybody else, and there’s times in everybody’s life where you need somebody unbiased to talk to,” she said.
Statistics also show that black and hispanic men are 40% less likely than white men to have used mental health treatments.
Removing the stigma that surrounds mental health issues can help people feel more comfortable to seek treatment.
“Mental health is equally as important as physical health,” Dr. Neuman said.
There are many types of mental health conditions men could suffer from. Some include:
- Bipolar Disorder
- Psychosis and Schizophrenia
- Eating Disorders
Dr. Neuman says hyper-sexuality is becoming more common in treatment.
“As therapists we’re seeing more and more male sex addicts. Where that’s what they think about all day long… Often through therapy and the addition of some medication, we can get that situation to calm down because it is not normal,” Dr. Neuman said.
Neuman says everyday activities such as exercise, diet and regular sleep can have a positive or negative affect on a person’s mental health. But, one should never feel ashamed or embarrassed to seek treatment.
“It’s been my experience that when men come to therapy they really seem to benefit from the process. They seem to relax, they’re grateful that they can tell a person who is unbiased everything that they’re thinking and feeling,” she said.
If you feel you could benefit from seeking mental health care, there are several places in the Valley you could go.