Men and Mental Health
Many mental illnesses affect both men and women however men may be less likely to talk about their feelings and seek help. Recognizing the signs that someone may have a mood or mental disorder is the first step toward getting treatment and living a better life.
Men and women experience many of the same mental disorders but their willingness to talk about their feelings may be very different. This is one of the reasons that their symptoms may be very different as well. For example, some men with depression or an anxiety disorder hide their emotions and may appear to be angry or aggressive while many women will express sadness. Some men may turn to drugs or alcohol to try to cope with their emotional issues. Sometimes mental health symptoms appear to be physical issues. For example, a racing heart, tightening chest, ongoing headaches, and digestive issues can be a sign of an emotional problem.
Warning signs include
- Anger, irritability or aggressiveness
- Noticeable changes in mood, energy level, or appetite
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
- Difficulty concentrating, feeling restless, or on edge
- Increased worry or feeling stressed
- A need for alcohol or drugs
- Sadness or hopelessness
- Suicidal thoughts
- Feeling flat or having trouble feeling positive emotions
- Engaging in high-risk activities
- Ongoing headaches, digestive issues, or pain
- Obsessive thinking or compulsive behavior
- Thoughts or behaviors that interfere with work, family, or social life
- Unusual thinking or behaviors that concern other people
Featured Health Topics and Resources
Featured Health Topics
Some of the mental disorders affecting men include:
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD, ADD)
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Suicidal thoughts
- Complications related to a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Featured Brochures and Factsheets
- Behavioral Health Treatment Locator (from SAMHSA)
- Brother, You’re on my Mind (National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities)
- The National Center for PTSD, part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA)
- Substance Use in Women and Men : an infographic from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
- Traumatic Brain Injury : learn how TBI could affect mental health (en Español )
- For Health Care Professionals: Addressing the Specific Behavioral Health Needs of Men , a brochure from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
- PTSD Coach This free app was developed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Center for PTSD .
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. English and en Español, 1(800)-273-TALK (8255)
- Veterans Crisis Line , 1(800) 273-8255, press “1”
Live Chats with Experts
Personal stories of men who overcame depression, from the NIMH Men and Depression awareness campaign.
Short educational videos on PTSD and effective treatments the from National Center for PTSD.
Series of instructional videos on symptoms, severity and treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI).
- Soldiers at Increased Suicide Risk after Leaving Hospital
• Press Release
Soldiers hospitalized with a psychiatric disorder have a higher suicide risk in the year following discharge from the hospital.
- NIMH Twitter Chat on Men and Depression
• Science Update
NIMH Twitter Chat on Men and Depression
- NIH-funded Study Finds Community-based Efforts Increase HIV Testing, Prompt Behavior Change
• Press Release
An international study supported by NIMH reported today that community efforts, in comparison to standard clinical testing and counseling, yielded greater testing and lower HIV incidence in high-risk individuals.
Join a Study
Clinical trials are part of clinical research and at the heart of all medical advances. Clinical trials look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat diseases and conditions. Treatments might be new therapies, technology, drugs or combinations of drugs, or new ways to use existing treatments. Although individual participants may benefit from being part of a clinical trial, participants should be aware that the primary purpose of a clinical trial is to gain new scientific knowledge so that others may be better helped in the future.
How Do I Find a Clinical Trial Near Me?
For a list of trials currently recruiting participants, visit ClinicalTrials.gov .
Last Revised: May 2016
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