Anxiety is a common, treatable mental health condition. It's a normal reaction to stressful situations and can be helpful in certain situations. But if your anxiety isn't helping you cope with life's challenges but instead interfering with your daily activities, you may have an anxiety disorder.
What is male anxiety?
While both men and women can suffer from anxiety, and many of the symptoms and causes of anxiety are the same, men suffer from different pressures which means that male anxiety is less diagnosed and men are less likely to reach out for support.
Many men, due to the pressure to conform to the male stereotype, may feel that seeking support and showing vulnerability shows weakness or compromises their masculinity. They are socialised to not show their feelings or to express their feelings that seem more masculine. This can result in men displaying their anxiety in different ways and choosing to self-medicate rather than seek support.
Causes of male anxiety
Stressful life events such as work problems, financial problems or relationship issues can trigger feelings of stress or worry that may lead to anxiety in some men. Men also suffer more with anxiety around sexual performance.
Other possible causes include past experiences with trauma (such as abuse), genetics and brain chemistry imbalances due to a medical condition such as depression or bipolar disorder.
How is male anxiety different?
Male anxiety is different from female anxiety in many ways, especially in the coping methods they use. Men are more likely to drink alcohol or use drugs to cope with their feelings, which can lead to depression and addiction. They're also more likely to be irritable, angry and aggressive - and they tend not to seek help as often because of the stigma around mental health issues in general (and specifically for men). They may also suffer from headaches, problems sleeping and mood swings as a result of their anxiety.
Men are also less likely than women to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder; many men have a harder time admitting that they need help or acknowledging that they have a problem at all. However, the suicide rate in men is much higher than in women which points to the link between anxiety and suicidal thoughts, so treatment is essential.
If you or someone in your family is suffering with anxiety, please get in contact with Three Oaks Therapy for more information or to arrange an appointment.