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Men’s Issues Counseling and Treatment

Men's Issues Counseling and Treatment

When it comes to men’s issues, there are a number of concerns, both physical and psychological. However, due to existing beliefs and stigmas, men often do not feel comfortable talking openly about their specific issues. Often these issues impact their lives negatively and affect their mental and physical well-being as well as relationships with family, friends, partners, or peers.

In this article, we will explain the common struggles of men, mental health statistics, physical symptoms, toxic masculinity, and how to deal with one’s emotions and seek help.

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Common Struggles Faced by Males

Mostly, men do not seek help or support for their concerns or issues. When they do, they usually report the same type of issues like anxiety, stress, depression, relationship problems, work problems, etc.

The biggest challenge men face is the stigma of sharing or talking about their emotions considered to be girly. But they are men and they are supposed to be strong all the time. That is why men are usually not comfortable talking about their challenges as they don’t want to be seen as weak people. That is why males have lesser incidences of being diagnosed with mental health challenges like anxiety, depression, eating disorder, PTSD, etc. Often, these mental illnesses are swept under the rug because they have to act like a tough man. If anyone ever tries to talk about it, they get judged, ignored, or mocked which discourages them from talking about it with anyone else.

And if they have this challenge, it also affects their relationships on all fronts. They often have dysfunctional relationships with their family, friends, colleagues, partner, or peers. Due to that, they are often reported to be struggling with alcoholism, suicidal ideation, substance abuse, fatherhood challenges.


Studies show that men are often affected by alcoholism. Men are far more likely to indulge in drinking and get addicted to it. Whenever they have a frustrating situation, they try to cope up with it by excessive drinking. As an impact of it, it affects their physical, mental, and emotional well-being and negatively affects their lives and relationships.


Research suggests that 8 out of 10 suicidal cases are of men. Roughly 78%. Due to peer pressure and ever-growing challenges and struggles that they face every day, at times they feel helpless and hopeless. It impacts their cognitive well-being and they may start having suicidal ideation. The common causes of suicidal ideation are lack of mental health support, economic factors, bullying, relationship issues, isolation and loneliness, and depression.

Drug Abuse

Studies show that men and women, both are affected by substance abuse but in different ways. It is reported that men are often involved in drug abuse, alcohol abuse, and at times overdose too. Many factors contribute to drug abuse in men ranging from age, education level, employment status, daily life challenges in family and relationships, financial level, etc. Depression is one of the key causes of substance abuse among men.


As much as fatherhood can be a bliss for men, it can also be a source of stress and challenges. Parenting has its own set of challenges while raising a kid or with a newborn. So as much as it is a challenge for a mother, it is also a challenge for a father too, which usually not many talk about. The common causes of stress can be financial situations and difficulties, sleepless nights or sleep deprivation, limited leave from work, new priorities, parenting depression, etc. Studies show that fathers can impact a child’s development as much as their mother. Stress and mental health concerns can have a negative impact on the child’s development.

Men’s Mental Health Statistics

As per MHA (Mental Health America , here are a few men’s mental health statistics

  • Roughly 6 million males are affected by depression every year.
  • 1 in 5 adult males experience a mental health illness every year
  • Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety, Psychosis and Schizophrenia, Eating Disorder, are the 5 major mental illnesses that affect men.
  • Since 2000, suicides have been on rising and the 7th leading cause among male death.
  • Factors including social isolation, substance abuse, unemployment, military-related trauma, genetic predisposition, mood disorders put males at a higher risk for suicide.
  • Roughly 1 in 5 males depend on alcoholism.
  • Homosexual men are more likely to have a higher rate of substance abuse.
  • Men are less likely to talk than women to seek help for their mental illnesses.

The statistics for men’s mental health in other countries and regions are more or less similar.

The Physical Symptoms

As much as men’s issues affect them mentally, it also affects physical as well. The most common physical symptoms are severe headaches, digestive issues, sleep troubles, unusual eating habits, body aches, weaker immune systems, concentration problems, a need for alcohol or drugs, unusual thinking or behavior that seem off to others, sadness or hopelessness, etc.

Overcoming Toxic Masculinity

Toxic masculinity is often defined as stereotypes and stigmas associated with masculinity. These beliefs may negatively feed men’s thoughts to seek help and support and know their emotions and experiences are valid. It discourages them to open up about their challenges and ongoing issues.

To overcome toxic masculinity, you can get started with:

  1. Speaking Out. Acknowledge and embrace your emotions and experiences. It is your life and you have control over your choices and decisions. Only because there are misconceptions about masculinity, you do not need to hide your feelings. Speak out. It is your health and it matters like anyone else.

  2. Practice Kindness, Compassion, and Self-Care Challenges can be hard and especially when you are facing difficulty talking about them. That’s why it is important to take your small steps and practice kindness, compassion, and self-care. Recognize and accept the fact that your feelings and emotions are valid and matter as much as anyone else.

  3. Encourage Everyone to Express Their Emotions Do not humiliate or make anyone uncomfortable. If you are a father or a friend, do not discourage your children or friend to talk about their feelings or toughen up. Encourage them to express their feelings and remind them that it is alright to do. It is okay to feel what you feel and embrace it.

  4. Reach Out and Seek Support If you are experiencing challenges, do not give up. Instead, reach out and seek help. There are various support groups available online or offline that offer support and space to talk about your feelings openly without any judgment or bias. They encourage the sharing culture and you can ask questions related to mental health issues.

Dealing with Emotions and How to Seek Help

If you are having a hard time dealing with your emotions, it is not possible to deal with it all by yourself all the time. Sometimes you need help to navigate those emotions or experiences.

A trained mental health professional (therapists, counselors, or psychologists) can help and support you by offering more detailed insight and information on the mental health challenges or other men issues you may be experiencing. They can help you identify your challenges and what you could do to manage or improve them, help you learn coping strategies, social skills, and mindfulness and relaxation techniques as well. Also, they can offer you support and encouragement in the tough times and guide you to replace your challenging thoughts with well-balanced ones. An online therapist would help you provide the right framework or treatment plan to deal with it. Some forms of therapy like cognitive behavioral therapy or group therapy help, anger management skills, mental health treatment help you cope up with specific situations and encourage you to talk about your emotions and experiences.

Men’s issues are valid and matter. You deserve all your support and help. However, it is all about small steps and knowing every single step counts. You are not alone in this journey.

Featured Contributors

Rory Boutilier, RPC

Rory is a Registered Professional Counsellor and registered with the Canadian Professional Counsellors Association.