Overall, women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety as men are. However, this is not necessarily because men are not as anxious as women. Due to toxic masculinity, many men struggle with their mental health in silence.
Men are likely to downplay their feelings and push down their emotions. Stigmas around anxiety and other mental health concerns force men to act “manly” and ignore how they truly feel. This disregard leads to fewer men seeking professional help. Therefore, this leads to fewer diagnoses of anxiety among men.
We are here to help you acknowledge your anxiety and cope with it in a healthy manner.
What Anxiety Looks Like in Men
Anxiety typically appears differently in men than it does in women. While the general feelings of anxiety might be similar, men have unique ways that their anxiety shows. Let’s look at some of the distinct ways anxiety appears in men versus women.
Increase in substance use
In order to deal with their anxiety, men are more likely to turn to illicit substances, like alcohol or drugs. This coping mechanism provides a barrier to distance themselves from their anxiety.
While a casual drink every once in a while can be a fine way to unwind, using substances to avoid your problems usually indicates a bigger concern.
At certain times, men have a difficult time showing their emotions. Instead of expressing sadness or worrying, your emotions may come off as anger.
Feeling irritable may be a normal symptom of anxiety, but intense anger is less common. If you’re becoming angry more easily, it might be a way your anxiety is coming out.
Feelings of failure
Men might feel the outside need to act and look a certain way, maybe even have a specific job. Not fulfilling this stereotype created by society might make you feel anxious.
This anxiety might make you feel like a failure. Being secure in who you are and having confidence in your own abilities will help negate these negative feelings.
Lack of focus
Developing a new lack of focus is a common way that anxiety appears in men. Racing or intrusive thought and the inability to concentrate on one idea could be caused by anxiety. Worrying caused by your anxiety can have your brain running in circles.
Generally, men are more likely to experience physical symptoms of anxiety than women do. This is your body’s natural way of alerting you to something that needs addressing. Common physical symptoms of anxiety in men are:
- Muscle aches or cramping
- Loss of appetite or gastrointestinal issues
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
- Decreased libido
Asking for Help
Sometimes, men have a hard time asking for help from others. If you are struggling with adverse mental health, it is so important to remind yourself that you are not alone. Finding outlets to lessen your anxiety is a great way to manage your feelings of anxiety. Here are a couple of ways that might help you cope with your anxiety:
- Meditation or deep breathing
- Regular exercise, such as walking, biking, or swimming
- Developing a routine
- Doing things you enjoy, like cooking or reading
Of course, sometimes you might need outside help. Prescription medication and talk therapy are always viable options to treat your anxiety.
Struggling by yourself does not make you any more of a man, the same way that having anxiety does not make you any less of a man. Anyone can have anxiety. When you are ready to make strides on your mental health journey, reach out to me for anxiety therapy. I am are here to help.