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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.

Warning Signs

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:

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Featured Videos

Men and Depression video series

Men and Depression

Personal stories of men who overcame depression, from the NIMH Men and Depression awareness campaign.

National Center for PTSD video series

What is PTSD? 

Short educational videos on PTSD and effective treatments the from National Center for PTSD.

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury video series

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury 

Series of instructional videos on symptoms, severity and treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI).

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Last Revised: May 2016

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