From ALLtech medical provider Regence BlueShield
According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA), when it comes to assessing one’s mental health, most men don’t consider admitting that they may be suffering as an option. Sure, men will admit to being burned out, or “needing something to take the edge off” to relieve stress. But when it comes to feelings of depression and anxiety, or considering their own use of substances, most men are mum on the topic.
The ADAA is a national organization of mental health professionals dedicated to improving patient care and developing new treatments to prevent anxiety, depression, OCD and PTSD. The organization’s research says the need to maintain one’s masculinity, along with cultural and economic factors, cause men to avoid acknowledging and sharing feelings about their mental health.
While Mayo Clinic research shows nearly twice as many women suffer clinical depression as men, more than 6 million men in the U.S. have depression each year and most go untreated. Not only are men less likely than women to seek treatment, the ADAA says greater exposure to guns makes them four times more likely than women to die by suicide.
ADAA research also says that men and women exhibit depression symptoms differently. Both can feel sad, hopeless or empty; extremely tired; have difficulty sleeping or oversleeping; loss of pleasure from activities they usually enjoy; and suicidal thoughts. But the ADAA says that for men more than women, an additional set of symptoms is far more prevalent:
- Escapist behavior, such as spending a lot of time at work or on sports
- Physical symptoms, such as headaches, digestive problems, and pain
- Misuse of alcohol and/or drugs
- Anger, irritability, or aggressiveness
- Risky behavior, such as reckless driving
- Noticeable changes in mood, energy level, or appetite
- Difficulty concentrating, feeling restless, or on edge
Effective treatments for depression and other mental health disorders
The National Institutes for Mental Health (NIMH) says there are many effective ways to treat depression and anxiety, including medication and psychotherapy. Each patient’s condition and circumstances are different, and while some can experience relief and improved quality of life after a few weeks of treatment, others may take longer. Knowing when you need help and seeking it is the most important step, so if you’re living with symptoms talk with your doctor or a mental health professional. Going without treatment may make your situation worse.
Convenient help for Regence members to get started
Most Regence health plan members, including those enrolled in ALLtech, have multiple ways to access in-network mental health care, whether they need occasional emotional support or treatment of a chronic condition. In-network virtual (telehealth-based) providers usually offer the fastest way for members to start receiving care, and no referral or prior authorization are required before scheduling an appointment. Members can visit our behavioral health resources page on regence.com to learn more about virtual mental health providers and support tools and different types of therapy available. When members create an account and sign in on regence.com they can use the provider search tool to locate in-network local providers and estimate their out-of-pocket costs for treatment.
June is national Men’s Health month. If you’re a man, consider paying extra attention to your mental health for the next 30 days. If you think you may need help, make June the time to get started.
If you or someone you know is in a crisis, get help immediately. You can call 911 or call or text the new 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988. When people call, text, or chat 988, they will be connected to trained counselors who will listen, understand how their problems are affecting them, provide support, and connect them to resources if needed.