Faq on Men’s Mental Health

Frequently Asked Questions on Men’s Mental  Health

(from bbrfoundation.org)

 

Is there a connection between sports injuries and mental illness?

Research has shown us that mental illness is often a combination of environment and genetic predisposition. Some Boston University studies on retired athletes found that those who had had three or more concussions had a three-fold higher incidence of depression compared to players with fewer brain injuries.1  While these studies find so much in the physical, there is an important aspect that few are willing to expose: the devastating social stigma that comes with mental illness. This can be even crueler for men than for women, as our society idolizes professional athletes,  as well as men in general some argue, for being tough, resilient and infallible.


Why are men less likely to seek treatment for mental illness than women?

Men may not recognize the primary symptoms of depression and may be reluctant to discuss these symptoms due to stigma, concerns for job security and the societal views associated with emotional self-control in men. There is a growing body of research in the United States that suggests that men are less likely than women to seek help from health professionals for problems  as diverse as depression, substance abuse, physical disabilities and stressful life events.

Is there a connection between depression and testosterone levels in men?

Research has indicated that low testosterone levels have been linked with higher risk for depression in men.2 Approximately 2.5 million men in the U.S. have low testosterone levels, with about half a million new cases each year. Some of the symptoms of low testosterone, such as fatigue, irritability, decreased concentration and decreased libido, overlap with symptoms of major depression.

Do men experience depression differently than women?

Men can experience depression differently than women and have different ways of coping. Men may be more willing to report fatigue, irritability, loss of interest in work or hobbies, and sleep disturbances rather than feelings of sadness, worthlessness, and excessive guilt, which are commonly associated with depression in women.

Do Men Experience Postpartum Depression?

In the past year, research has shown that men are also prone to depression after the birth of a child. The analysis of more than 28,000 fathers determined that up to 14% of dads in the U.S. experience depression after the birth of their child, and that figure escalates to 25% in the period 3 to 6 months after birth.3  Approximately10 percent of new fathers experience post- partum depression, called paternal postnatal depression, or PPND. The strong correlation of paternal postpartum depression with maternal postpartum depression has important implications for family health and well-being. Consideration of postpartum depression in fathers as well as mothers,  and consideration of co-occurrence of depression in couples, is an important next step in research and practice involving childbearing families.4

Is there a substantial difference in the occurrence of suicide for men and women?

Women with depression are more likely to attempt suicide but men are more likely to die by suicide. Four times as many men as women die by suicide, even though women make more suicide attempts during their lives. Those at highest risk for suicide in the U.S. are the elderly, and particularly elderly white men who commit suicide at a rate of approximately 31.1 suicides per 100,000 each year. Among white males 65 and older, risk goes up with age. White men 85 and older have a suicide rate that is six times that of the overall national rate.5

How do body image issues and eating disorders play out in men?

Some men feel a lot of pressure to have a strong, muscular physique and may focus excessively on exercise and dieting. These preoccupations can turn to an obsessive nature, causing harm physically, profession- ally, and personally. People with body image issues may feel unhappy with how they look and feel self-conscious about their bodies.Men and women are affected equally, but may focus on different parts of the body. Men tend to worry more about their skin, hair, nose, muscles and genitals.6 An estimated 10-15% of people with anorexia or bulimia are male. Men are less likely to seek treatment for eating disorders because of the perception that they are “women’s diseases.”7

 

Citations

1       American Association of Neuropathologists, Inc., Volume 68, Number 7

2       NARSAD Young Investigator  Grantee Josee Savard, PhD: The Role of Hormone Therapy and Testoster- one Deficiency in the Development of Depression

in Men with Prostate Cancer

3       Journal of the American Medical Association, 2010

4       Medline.(PMID:14675298 [PubMed – indexed for

MEDLINE]

5       National Center for Injury Prevention and Control

6       Carlat, D.J., Camargo. Review of Bulimia Nervosa in Males. American Journal of Psychiatry

7       National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, Eating Disorder Statistics, (American Psyc

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Welcome Back

The new changeispossible.org website is up and running.  You will enjoy all of the old features–the content, old blogs, but this version has better navigation, an easy to find podcast menu, and  a great look.

 

Please send feedback about the website via the contact link or to jeff@changeispossible.org

Enjoy www.changeispossible.org version 2.

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New for the New year

Happy New Year to all, ok I’m 13 days late, but in the poorly named “A Week in the Life”, what would you expect?

A blog by my definition is a long featured piece that makes a point. Readers of this blog know that sometimes the point is accented by music or lyrics. However on a regular basis, sometimes an idea doesn’t lend itself to a lengthy piece. These have been sitting in the “backstage” area of my brain (look that one up in a medical dictionary!) collecting dust. So new for the new year will be a new concept, the blogette. A blogette is going to be a smaller entry that just starts, ends, and hopefully is thought provoking and useful.

New Blogettes are coming!

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It Doesn’t Matter What You Call It

Welcome to the first of our new blogettes!

Everyday we get to hear from someone about some disorder that some “crazy” person has. Or one of our friends talks about their friend who has.

We have become an alphabet soup of disorders–ADD, PTSD, BPD, NPD. Everyone seems to have one. It becomes the person’s carrying card, “yeah my friend he’s got bad ADD” (see blog on the no need for the adjective before it). The friend apparently doesn’t have any other characteristics other than his bad ADD. Can you imagine a conversation that goes like this “My friend—he’s got really bad hair”, or really bad clothes, or really bad skin. The other descriptors would be part of the anecdote—My friend Bill, you remember him, he’s got the skin condition, that make him type in pink.

The funny part about these diagnostic labels is that they really don’t matter. It’s what we do about them, and it’s how we feel about them. If my spouse has bpd, it doesn’t define her or our relationship. It’s really what I think and feel and how I’m going to handle it!!

Please give me feedback on the new blogette format :)

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