As Father’s Day approaches, think about the men you value in your life. Fathers, partners, brothers, sons, husbands, uncles. Do any of them need help? Are you worried about them?
Maybe it’s time to take action and help that person who is important to you. Maybe it’s long overdue or perhaps something bad just happened. These men may be minimizing their mood issues, but it is important to remember that depression and anxiety are common and powerful motivators of male behavior.
Counseling is often not thought of by men in our society when things aren’t going well. This is a traditional belief that men should be strong and “just take it” without complaining when the chips are down. Often it was their father, brother or a coach in sports who put this message in their head. It is a very male attitude to believe you should be tough and rise above something difficult, that you are lesser or weak if you can’t. There are infinite self-help books that also pronounce this “be strong” advice. The same beliefs stop some men from even calling counselors. Women are more likely to call for the initial therapy appointment.
It is certainly not bad to try to rise above things or deal with problems, but if someone is badly depressed or severely stressed out, they are usually not able to make good decisions about their health or even where to get help. There is a fine line between tough times and unsurmountable problems, and men may react in unpredictable and dangerous ways.
Suicide is often seen as a viable option for severely unhappy men. Recent news about notable celebrity suicides (Anthony Bourdain, Verne Troyer, Avicii, Robin Williams) underscore the need for more education and readily available mental health treatment. Suicide attempts and completions are all dramatically higher year to year amongst adult men, per the CDC. Men are over 3 times more likely to kill themselves than women, mainly white men in middle age, who were 70 percent of recorded suicides in 2016. But the rate of suicide has also risen 30% since 1999 in all ages and genders. Amazingly, 54 percent of victims had not even been evaluated or diagnosed with a mental health problem, per the CDC. So, women taking action is increasingly more important.
Putting suicide risk aside, there are many other reasons that men need counseling, such as unrealistic societal messaging, unseen mental disorders, substance abuse and unlearned coping skills. Poor work performance, family unhappiness, increased health issues, legal problems, etc., all can result if a badly depressed or anxious man is not treated by a mental health professional.
So, the message here is to get help for the man in your life! Call Becker Counseling at 732.406.4422 today!