Recognizing Mental Illness in Men

Recognizing Mental Illness in Men

  • Suzanne Vickers, LISW-S, Psychiatric Counselor, Employee Assistance Program
  • June, 2019
  • Emotional Well-Being
Learn what factors can impact the mental health of African Americans.

In general, African Americans have lower incidences of depression than white Americans; however, when they do experience it, it's more long lasting and disabling. In 2003, the National Institute of Mental Health launched a campaign called Real Men Real Depression to raise awareness about depression among men. Despite this, African American men are less likely to seek support, and the reasons, according to numerous studies, are connected to racial discrimination, stigma and lack of trust in healthcare professionals. Racism can lead to limited socioeconomic status and poverty, which impacts the mental health of African Americans. Another impediment is misdiagnosis. Depression shows up in African American men more frequently as physical challenges such as sleep disturbance or pain. Other symptoms of depression in men in general as compared to women are irritability and anger, substance abuse and overworking. Recently, famous African American men such as Kanye West, Dwayne Johnson and Jay-Z have talked about their mental illness which has started more open conversation on social media. Click here for more information on this topic.

Sources: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4406484/  

Mental Health Disparities: Diverse Populations American Psychiatric Association

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