Sharing – 3 Less-Known Reasons Why Men Don’t Talk about Mental Health
The first two reasons, awareness efforts aren’t properly targeted to men, and men will ask for help differently, are valid, and definitely worth looking at, but for me #3 is something I’ve talked about before.
3. Men can express mental health problems differently, leading to mis- or under-diagnosis.
I wrote about this in the context of diagnosis before, wondering if we look at the teenage and young adults gender ratio’s between depression (much higher percentage of girls) and ADHD (much higher percentage of boys) if it might just be possible that depression in boys looks different.
The article below goes into some of that, and it is definitely something to consider. Do we “excuse” men who self-medicate with drugs and alcohol, are irritable and lash out, etc. as just men acting out? Or do we consider that those are depression symptoms just as much as the ones we see in the media every day? (Which are almost always women looking very sad, and mostly white women at that.)
Frankly, if I considered being irritable, drinking and acting out as just part of being a man, I probably wouldn’t even know to talk about my mental health. We need to be sure and talk about all aspects of mental health, and what symptoms might look like, before we can expect people to know enough to talk.
For men, we may not be doing a good enough job.