Many Males with Mental Health Issues are Reluctant to Get Help

By Ed Yourdon from New York City, USA [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

According to the results of a new study, about one in ten American men suffer from depression or anxiety, and less than half will seek treatment for it.

During a national poll of more than 21,000 men, it was found that younger men, particularly those of Hispanic and African American descent, avoid seeking mental health services.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report stated that when these individuals do admit to having psychiatric issues, they are not as likely as Caucasians to seek professional treatment.

The Study

The lead study author, Stephen Blumberg, an associate director for science at the Centers for Disease Controls National Center for Health Statistics said, “We suspect that there are several social and cultural pressures that lead black and Hispanic men to be less likely than white men to seek mental health treatments.”

He also went on to say, “These pressures, which include ideas about masculinity and the stigma of mental illness, may be more pronounced for men of color. And these same forces may lead men of color to be more likely to deny or hide feelings of anxiety or depression.”

If these facts are true, he states, “then the (racial) disparities we observed could be even greater.”

he Results of the Study

This survey was facilitated between the years 2010 and 2013, and the results were published in the June 11, 2015 of the NCHS Data Brief.

The study was held across all age groups and the survey indicated almost 9 percent of men in the United States suffer from depression or anxiety each day, although around 41 percent of males actually receive treatment.

More than 39 percent of the men in the study under the age of 45 reported they had either taken medication or visited a mental health professional for daily anxiety or depression issues during the previous year. This placed these younger males on par with older men ages 45 and up who said they had done the same thing.

However, racial differences in terms of mental health care patterns became obvious when the researchers focused on males between the ages 18 to 44 years of age.

Around 6 percent of younger African American and Hispanic males who dealt with daily anxiety or depression were less likely to have access to mental health treatment in the previous year than white males. The racial division was not seen among males aged 45 and older.

Health insurance played a major role, while no significant racial differences in the use of mental health treatments across the races. While the survey did not explain the differences in the discrepancy, the authors did say in the study group those who had medical coverage, seemed to reduce the stigma associated with seeking treatment for mental illness.

 
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