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Men’s mental health struggles often go undiagnosed, experts say

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- Mental health struggles affect everyone. For American men, experts say many suffer in silence -- afraid of how people will view them, asking for help or understanding their condition.

As a result, medical researchers are concerned that men's mental health is not a topic of conversation -- leaving many men to fight their mental battles alone.

Under-diagnosis of male depression symptoms is a common occurrence, according to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA). Under actually noted cases, roughly 6 million men suffer depression each year in the U.S.

In physical terms, that means that roughly 1 in 10 men have depression or anxiety. Less than half seek any treatment, according to ADAA.

Advocates and experts in the mental health area tell ABC-7 that men often face a tough level of scrutiny for mental concerns. Historic beliefs about masculinity, macho behavior and the duties of a man can create barriers for a guy to seek out treatment.

Professionals working with the ManKind Project tell ABC-7 that many American men hesitate about going to the doctor if they have a physically visible medical issue. Now, imagine if it is something happening without any outward signs.

Mental Health America's records show that more than 3 million American guys have symptoms of panic disorders and phobias -- and those who experience disorders like anorexia or bulimia rarely get help.

A major cause of disability in the United States is schizophrenia, according to ADAA. More than 3 million people live with the condition, and roughly 90% of diagnosed cases by the age of 30 are males.

The ManKind Project is a global nonprofit working to start conversations between men about mental topics -- whether that's health, stress or concern. By talking in groups, and including all types of men from all backgrounds, they hope these men can support each other -- and other guys -- in all aspects of life.

There are a number of male-focused mental health support organizations, including:

  • The National Institutes of Mental Health Men's Page: Offering resources for men to try and understand their challenges, and find the right kind of support for them.
  • Men's Mental Health Network: A nonprofit group focused on teaching men and boys about health of all types -- including mental health support.
  • Other support options readily available include 988, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
  • EHN Crisis Hotline: (915-779-1800) - Staffed by locals, and a constant resource in El Paso, Emergence Health Network's hotline has specialists ready to hear you out.
  • NAMI El Paso - As part of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, there are some options listed on their website for support and connection. NAMI is focused on providing support to anyone with any sort of mental illness.

Avery Martinez covers mental health in the Borderland as part of ABC-7’s Be Mindful initiative. He is also a Report for America corps member. RFA places talented, emerging journalists in newsrooms like ABC-7’s to report on under-covered issues and communities. Report for America is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, an award-winning nonprofit journalism organization dedicated to rebuilding journalism from the ground up.

Article Topic Follows: Be Mindful

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Avery Martinez


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