Anxiety in men is real and common. In fact, 20% of adult men aged 18 and older men experience anxiety. Though anxiety is highly treatable, only 36% receive treatment. Since men are less likely to experience anxiety and also less likely to talk about it, untreated anxiety may lead to depression and other psychiatric disorders.
In statistics for 2018, the United States of America has the highest number of cases of anxiety disorders among adults. That is why in the USA, anxiety disorders are considered a disability. If a man can prove that it is so debilitating, he may qualify for Social security disability benefits.
Suppose you are suffering from excessive worry about various events or activities that are constantly occurring for more days for at least six months. In that case, you might have a generalized anxiety disorder. Usually, you may find it difficult to control your worry, which may cause impairment in social, occupational, or other areas of functioning.
What does anxiety look like in men?
Anxiety in men is often associated with sweaty palms, rapid heartbeat, and butterflies in your stomach.
Other signs of anxiety may include:
- Excessive sweating
- Muscle tension
- restlessness or agitation
- Dizziness and vertigo
- Panic attacks
- catastrophic thinking
- being overly vigilant towards danger
- fear of losing control.
4 Best Coping Skills
1. Deep breathing
According to Kristoffer Rhoads, a clinical neuropsychologist at the UW Medicine Memory & Brain Wellness Center, “When you’re stressed or anxious, your breathing tends to be irregular and shallow. Your chest cavity can only expand and contract so much, which makes it hard to get more air in.”
The deep breathing pattern helps lessen stress when experiencing anxiety. Do it by breathing slower and more deeply. Deep breathing signals the nervous system to calm down, helping you manage anxiety.
2. Progressive muscle relaxation
PMR is a strategy to manage anxiety, especially during the fight/flight/freeze symptoms. PMR works by slowly tensing and then relaxing each muscle. When you practice the PMR, you can quickly identify anxiety attacks and how to manage the symptoms.
Mental imagery is an important factor in managing stress and anxiety. In people with anxiety, the mental imagery are less vivid and usually negative.
Mental imagery is a method that uses visualization techniques to encourage the body and mind to enter a relaxed state. An example includes visualizing being on a warm tropical beach, laying in a hammock while the sea laps up at the shore.
4. Challenging irrational thoughts
In cognitive behavioural therapy, challenging irrational thoughts helps you manage stress and anxiety attacks by getting to the core of the symptoms and providing tools to help you let them go.
When irrational thoughts come in and they become overwhelming, they will make you feel anxious. To challenge irrational thoughts, it is essential to remind yourself that those are merely thoughts and not based on reality.
Treatment for anxiety in men
Anxiety in men is treatable. But, since most are not getting the proper support and treatment, anxiety becomes depression which can take lives. Lifestyle changes and psychological therapies, when needed, help fight anxiety.
Taking a quick beach vacation or camping in a mountain also helps you be refreshed and rejuvenated. Visiting other places also gives you a better perspective on life.
Get professional help
As a man, asking for help is challenging because of the impression that man must be tough. But, if anxiety worsens, it is crucial to seek professional help. See a psychologist or other counsellor for cognitive behaviour therapy.