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Men and Mental Health

Why is men’s mental health important?

Mental disorders affect men and women. The prevalence of several mental disorders is lower in men than in women. However, other disorders are diagnosed at comparable rates for men and women or at higher rates for men, like attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Men are also more likely to die by suicide than women, according to the  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .

Certain symptoms may also be more common in men than women, and the course of illness can be affected by a person’s sex. Researchers are only now beginning to tease apart the various biological and psychosocial factors that may impact mental health.

Men are less likely to have received mental health treatment than women in the past year. Recognizing the signs that you or someone you love may have a mental disorder is the first step toward getting treatment. The earlier that treatment begins, the more effective it can be.

Mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Learn more about taking care of your mental health.

What are the symptoms of mental disorders in men?

Men and women can develop most of the same mental disorders and conditions, but they may experience different symptoms. Some common symptoms include:

  • Anger, irritability, or aggressiveness
  • Noticeable changes in mood, energy level, or appetite
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Difficulty concentrating, feeling restless, or on edge
  • Increased worry or feeling stressed
  • Misuse of alcohol, drugs, or both
  • Persistent sadness or feelings of hopelessness
  • Feeling flat or having trouble feeling positive emotions
  • Engaging in high-risk activities
  • Aches, headaches, or digestive problems without a clear cause
  • Obsessive thinking or compulsive behavior
  • Thoughts or behaviors that interfere with work, family, or social life
  • Unusual thinking or behaviors that concern other people
  • Thoughts of death or suicide or suicide attempts

Mental disorders can be treated: If you are unsure where to go for help, ask a health care provider or visit NIMH’s Help for Mental Illnesses webpage. Communicating well with a health care provider can improve your care and help you both make good choices about your health. Read about tips to help prepare and get the most out of your visit. For additional resources, including questions to ask a health care provider, visit the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality .