Anxiety in men manifests itself differently than anxiety in women. For starters, it can often be difficult to diagnose a man as having an anxiety disorder, as men are known to repress their symptoms and therefore aren’t prone to discussing them.
Men will often try to soothe their symptoms of anxiety with drugs and alcohol, rather than consult a doctor, like women are more inclined to do. This is most likely why women are statistically “more likely” to suffer from anxiety than men are, as men will continuously strive to figure out ways to cope with their symptoms and suffer in silence.
Anxiety in men is also difficult to identify for reasons other than a man’s inherent aversion to discussing his mental and emotional state. American culture reinforces the idea that men are supposed to be tough and strong, not to mention capable of handling any situation that life throws at them.
These cultural expectations can prompt a fear-based aversion to admitting that something is wrong and they need help to fix it. Many men fear that by admitting that something is amiss, they will appear weak which will shatter the image of unwavering strength so many men aspire to exhibit.
Hidden Symptoms That Can Help Identify Anxiety in Men
Mental health experts have compiled a list of symptoms that can help identify anxiety in men who are otherwise not inclined to share:
- Insomnia – Insomnia is an extremely common complaint of individuals who suffer from anxiety. Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep is often reported as well as waking up in a panicked state.
- Fatigue – This is partly due to sleep complications people with anxiety experience but also is worsened by their hyperactive state of mind that ultimately exhausts the body.
- Digestive Disorders – While the severity of this symptom of anxiety in men can vary, many are reported to experience stomach upsets, nausea, loss of appetite and other bowel issues.
- Irritability – A constant state of being on edge is another classic sign of anxiety in men. They can be quick to get upset and lose their cool over trivial things.
- Headaches – Men who suffer from anxiety often complain of headaches.
- Frequent Urination – This is a less well-known physical symptom of anxiety in men. The body of the anxiety sufferer is often in a tense state, which includes the bladder muscles, causing the individual to need to urinate more frequently.
Anxiety in Men and Its Influence on Substance Abuse
Anxiety in men is a very serious but treatable mental condition. Anxiety will often worsen if left untreated, and for men, this means an increased likelihood of developing substance abuse issues. Men are already much more likely than women to abuse drugs and alcohol in an effort to combat the physical and mental symptoms of an anxiety disorder. This is often referred to as “The Tension Reduction Hypothesis.”
It basically states the intention of drugs and alcohol to operate as something with the ability to eliminate a negative experience, in this case, stress and anxiety. Once an individual feels what they perceive to be a reduction in stress and anxiety, after engaging in substance abuse one time, they are increasingly likely to continue the behavior. This is a very common beginning of addiction.
Destination Hope is a leading drug, alcohol and dual diagnosis treatment center in Florida. The staff at Destination Hope is highly trained in treating the co-occurring disorders of substance abuse and anxiety and can help you like they’ve helped hundreds before you. At Destination Hope, you’ll learn a much healthier and safer way to alleviate your anxiety symptoms. Call their counselors anytime.