Men’s mental health awareness: What you need to know
While mental health issues affect both men and women, research has shown that certain mental conditions affect the sexes differently. Similarly, fewer men are diagnosed with common mental health problems than women yet male suicide rates are significantly higher. This suggests that men may not be seeking or receiving help even though they’re dealing with mental distress. In this Pacific Prime China article, we take a closer look at what you need to know about men’s mental health awareness.
Why men don’t discuss mental health
When it comes to men’s mental health, gender stereotypes and society’s expectations are reasons why men are less likely to talk about or seek help for their mental distress. Just like the gender stereotype towards women and how they should act or appear a certain way can be damaging to women, so can stereotypes and expectations towards men.
Society typically sees men as the breadwinners. They are expected to be the ones in control, strong, and dominant. While these characteristics aren’t necessarily bad, they can make it difficult for men to express themselves honestly and reach out for support.
Additionally, research suggests that men who aren’t able to openly discuss their emotions may find it harder to recognize signs and symptoms of mental health issues in themselves. They are also less likely to ask for help when they need it. On top of that, men may be more likely to turn to coping methods like alcohol or drugs and less likely to open up to their loved ones about their mental health.
With that said, research suggests that men will seek help when it is easy to access and matches their preferences, such as in-person and online support groups.
Does depression affect men differently?
Signs and symptoms of depression differ in men and women. Male depression symptoms include:
- Sudden anger
- Increased loss of control
- Risk-taking behavior
In addition, men are more likely to engage in unhealthy coping behavior like drugs and alcohol to mask depression. Escapist behavior, such as overworking, is also common. Male depression often goes undiagnosed for many reasons, and can have a detrimental impact when it goes untreated. The good news is that male depression often improves with treatment.
Ways to look after your mental health
It’s important to put yourself first and prioritize your mental health to make the most out of life. There are simple changes you can make that don’t require a lot of money or time. The following are some ideas for how to improve men’s mental health.
Express your feelings
One of the best ways to maintain good mental health and deal with your troubles is to talk about your feelings.
Regular exercise has many benefits like better sleep and concentration, as well as boosting your overall mood. It also keeps your body healthy and improves your self-esteem – all of which are great for your mental health.
Eat nutritious food
Nutrients are essential for keeping your brain healthy and functioning well. A balanced diet that is good for your body is good for your mind too.
Men often turn to alcohol to alter their mood, such as feelings of loneliness or fear. Drinking alcohol affects your brain and body, and is an unhealthy way to deal with difficult feelings.
Take a break
Whether it’s a lunch break out of the office, a short rest during tasks, or a weekend away, changing what you’re doing or your environment can do wonders for your mental health.
Make time for activities you can easily lose yourself in and that make you forget about the time. Activities you enjoy are usually ones you’re good at, which is great for your self-esteem.
Instead of wasting your time wishing you were like someone else, use that energy to remind yourself that there’s no one else like you. Accepting yourself exactly as you are increases your confidence, which will help you face whatever life throws at you.
Ask for help
We are all human, and that means there’ll be times when you feel overwhelmed, stressed out, and tired. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if it feels like things are becoming too much, whether it’s by talking to your loved ones or a professional.
What to do if you’re worried about another person’s mental health
Are you concerned about the mental state of your family member or friend? The first thing you can do is let them know you’re there if they need someone to listen without judgment. Remember that a person who is dealing with mental health issues may be reluctant to reach out for help so make an effort to stay in touch. A simple phone call or text can turn someone’s day, or even life, around.
Remind them that it’s okay to ask for help and that support is available. To go a step further, you could also help them set an appointment with their GP or a counselor and accompany them if they don’t want to go alone. Taking care of another person can be hard, so be sure to think about your own wellbeing too.
How Pacific Prime China can help
Whether psychiatric care is covered by your insurance plan depends on your exact policy. Travel insurance usually doesn’t cover mental health issues and international health insurance may require co-payment for these services. Additionally, waiting periods mean you’ll probably have to wait before you can use your insurance to visit a psychiatrist.
Your best option is to secure a comprehensive health insurance plan that covers the entirety of your costs. But narrowing down your options can be overwhelming, which is why Pacific Prime China is here to help. Whether you’re looking for individual health insurance in China or globally, we can compare health insurance to ensure you choose a suitable plan for your needs and budget.
Disclaimer: Pacific Prime China solely represents, operates and manages locally regulated insurance products and services in the territory of PR China. Any references to Pacific Prime Global Company or Group, the international services, insurance products or otherwise stated written or verbally, is for introduction purposes about our overseas network only as each entity is fully independent.
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