Male anxiety, is there such a thing? You bet there is but most men attempt to hide it from the world. I always tried to hide it and did a pretty good job except from my wife. She can read me like a book and no matter what I might say, she always knows when I am suffering an anxiety attack.
Men are brought up to be tough, strong, and not afraid. Frowned upon in society if he shows any sign of weakness, he tends to hold his feelings in and “tough it out” at all costs. Due to this wrongdoing on society’s part, men hesitate to seek treatment for their anxieties for fear of being looked down upon as less than a man.
The Really Big Problem is that Male anxiety often has the same symptoms as those involved at the onset of a heart attack. The symptoms of chest pain, shortness of breath, and/or a pounding heart often are pushed aside. Even worse, because men are more apt to suffer a heart attack as are women, this could prove to be not only an under-diagnosed case of anxiety, but a heart attack with the possibility of it being a fatal heart attack.
Accounts of anxiety in a women are much higher in number than in a men. However, is this really an accurate count? Women will often seek help much sooner than a man will for anxiety, if a man will do so at all. I know when my wife is having an anxiety attack because she will let me know at once. Often times a man will just suffer in silence, or rely on self-medication in the forms of drugs and alcohol to hide his fears and calm his nerves. Could this be why there are twice as many male alcoholics as there are females?
Some of the more common male anxiety ailments are generalized anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, panic disorder, and social phobias. Recognizing the symptoms and seeking treatment for them is nothing to be ashamed of. With proper treatment a man has a better success rate than a woman from preventing recurrent symptoms.
The key here would be for society to stop making men feel inadequate if they do not measure up to every other man. Just as women are different from each other, so are men.
It is only because society has made men feel wrong for expressing the more sensitive side of themselves that men feel they have to hide it and suffer in silence. Therefore, in the long run, letting society influence them is hurting men and preventing them from expressing their thoughts and emotions. This also increases their stress level and prevents them from taking care of their anxieties and fears. They are made to feel that they have to hold it all in.
If you have a man in your life, young or old, that has symptoms of anxiety that they are clearly trying to hold back, you must encourage them to consult their doctor. Let them know that there is help available and that they do not have to suffer with their problem.
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