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Men's Health Month: Mental Health and Addiction Among Men

When we focus on men's health, we can't just focus on the physical. The numbers are clear: Nearly 1 in 10 men suffers from depression. Men die by suicide at a rate more than three times that of women.  Men suffer from substance abuse disorder at a much greater rate than women as well. (Learn more from the American Psychological Association and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.)

Indeed, depression and other mental illnesses can push a man toward addiction, and substance abuse disorder can make mental illnesses more devastating and harmful, leading to greater risk of suicide, overdose deaths, and injuries requiring emergency room visits. This combination is called a "co-occurring disorder" and requires special treatment – but it IS treatable!

Many men are reluctant to reach out for help, held back by cultural expectations of manhood and myths about therapy and treatment. The fact is that help is available. A treatment center can help a man understand that depression and addiction are not weaknesses, and that ignoring them will not make them go away. Competent professionals can help men and their families choose the treatment options best for each situation.

Admitting to struggling with depression, anxiety, or substance abuse is difficult. Many men struggle with that first step. Yet many men find that a team of supportive professionals can help them become healthier, happier and more stable.

Addiction and mental illness look different in each person. Three important things to know:

  • You're not alone.
  • Your feelings matter.
  • You can take the next step toward health.

Just like a broken arm or other physical condition, mental illness and addiction are not the patient's fault. Seeing a therapist, taking medication, or starting a course of rehabilitation are reasonable actions toward taking care of what's wrong. A Niznik Behavioral Health center can help with an evaluation or individual course of care.