The stigma surrounding mental health is getting better, yet many men are still reluctant to talk about their mental health issues – and this is despite rising rates of suicide. Women are 63 percent more likely than men to seek help for mental health issues and, in the U.S., 78 percent of suicide attempts involve men.
Much of this reluctance has to do with the fact that many men still view mental illness as a sign of weakness. “I am the rock. I am the stable one. Weakness is bad. Men are strong,” a 30-year-old male told Cnet.com, in a recent article regarding mental health and mobile apps. He also admitted being okay telling his wife that he was sexually abused as a child (although he never reported it) but not okay admitting that he was suffering from depression.
Researchers have found that working-class men, men approaching middle age and men in rural areas are even more likely to view mental health as a sign of weakness and more likely to self-medicate with alcohol and drugs. And, as we in the addiction community know all-too well, self-medication doesn’t solve anything. It even worsens symptoms of depression.
To address this problem and circumvent the stigma men feel, researchers have been studying the use of mobile phones or online services. In fact, there are more and more apps that deliver mental health treatment to those who may be resistant to seeking face-to-face help.
“In many ways it’s easier to be open on a screen, than with someone looking you in the eye,” Dr. Grant Blashki, told Cnet.com.
Treating a Co-Occurring Disorder
At Spearhead, we know that mental illness is not a sign of weakness, nor is seeking help. If you or someone you love is struggling with mental illness and/or addiction, Spearhead Lodge can help. Our program is structured to address the underlying factors that led to mental health issues and addiction. To learn more, call today: 866-905-4550.