Read on to learn why “manning up” should mean being strong enough to ask for help with mental health issues, to seek treatment, and learn new ways to cope with stress, anxiety, past traumas and general pressures of life.
A Silent Crisis in Men’s Health
In higher-income cultures, or western civilizations like the United States and Europe, there has long been a stigma that men aren’t allowed to talk about their feelings. It’s more manly to suffer in silence. The age-old sitcom joke of a couple getting lost because the man refuses to stop and ask for help gets a lot of use because we’ve all known someone like that. This belief, whether grown or innate, leads to men’s negative attitudes toward using mental health services like counseling and treatment programs.
The cultural stigmas surrounding men’s behavior leads to many men not seeking mental health treatment and learning skills to cope with the stress. But, you could argue the other side of the coin easily – a man who seeks mental health help when needed, against the pressures of the media and society, is showing more strength than pulling a truck down a football field.
Let’s look at a cost-benefit analysis of seeking mental health and addiction help.
The Cost of Not Seeking Mental Health and Addiction Help
Before understanding how something might be of benefit, it’s important to understand the costs associated with it, or with not seeking mental health help. While the monetary cost is one aspect to consider, also consider the physical and emotional costs to avoiding mental health problems.
Benefits of Asking for Help with Mental Health Problems and Addiction
The cost of mental health problems and addiction is both emotional and physical, and the benefits can be both as well. When you seek treatment with a licensed therapist or counselor, you’re taking the first step to regaining control of your life and saying, “I’m strong enough to get through this and get back to the person I want to be.”
Working individually with a therapist and participating in group therapy will provide you with the tools you need to cope with stress, anxiety, addiction and depression, as well as guide you in working to repair relationships that have been damaged or broken while you were suffering from symptoms. In addition, stress, anxiety, depression and addiction can have a physical effect on the health of your body. By learning better techniques to properly deal with stress, depression, anxiety, and addiction, you could be lessening the physical impact on the health of your internal organs.
Treatment Options for Men’s Mental Health
Now, let’s explore what individual therapy and group support can look like. Therapy is not all guessing and talking around your mental health concerns – but it is a lot about what work you put into it. You work hard to improve your golf game or increase the weight you can lift at the gym, the same drive and mentality will help with strengthening your mental health game.
CBT, or cognitive-behavioral therapy, is a goal-based practice that helps patients identify how they are feeling about their triggers and change that mindset or learn techniques to better cope with triggers. Usually with this type of therapy, there’s an end-goal that’s discussed between the patient and therapist, and that sets the direction for each therapy session. Studies back the success of CBT as a therapy technique.
The therapy practice that can work best for your men’s mental health struggle depends on you, your situation, and other factors. After speaking with a therapist, they can recommend the best course of treatment for you.