Awareness of the importance of recognizing mental health issues has grown considerably in recent years. Prominent individuals from various industries have come forward to speak about their struggles, and that has done much to remove the stigma that was long associated with mental health.

Though recognition has increased in recent years, there’s still much to be done, particularly with regard to men and mental health. A 2019 study published in the American Journal of Men’s Health noted that men have historically been more hesitant than women to seek help for mental health difficulties. That hesitancy can have grave consequences, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that men are more likely to die by suicide than women.

Recognition of the symptoms that suggest someone is experiencing mental health troubles could compel men to seek treatment or lead to their family members encouraging them to get help. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) notes that men and women can experience the same mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety. However, that does not mean their experiences will be the same. In fact, experiences can differ widely among men as well. A 2017 study published in the Journal of Counseling Psychology found that men who exhibit stereotypically masculine personality traits often have worse mental health outcomes than men who do not exhibit such traits.

Despite the differences in responses to mental health issues, it’s still important for individuals to learn the symptoms of mental health issues. Such recognition may compel individuals to seek help for their own issues or serve as warning signs to concerned friends and family members, potentially prompting them to initiate discussions that can save a loved one’s life. According to the NIMH, the following are some symptoms of mental health problems.

  • 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 and/or drugs
  • Sadness or hopelessness
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Feeling flat or having trouble feeling positive emotions
  • Engaging in high-risk activities
  • Aches, headaches, and/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

The NIMH urges individuals in crisis or people who suspect someone is in crisis to call 911 or to call or text the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988. For more information about mental health providers, resources, programs, and more visit Mental Health Advocates of WNY at or call 716-886-1242.