A Guide to Men's Mental Health
Most people know about the hormonal fluctuations women experience, especially during menstruation and menopause. This is because women's health problems are more visible and talked about than men's.
However, this doesn't mean men don't go through hormonal changes in their lives. This blog discusses the health problems men are likely to face but not express. It also suggests what men can do to keep their health in check, highlighting the role of vitamins for prostate health.
Why Men Discover Health Problems at a Later Stage than Women
While men may not experience the same hormonal fluctuations as women, they still undergo significant hormonal changes throughout their lives. These changes can significantly impact their physical and mental health and may require treatment or other interventions.
Societal Norms & Stigma around Mental Health
Men feel more hesitant to seek help for mental health issues than women. This may be due to the societal expectations and stigma surrounding men's mental health that often portrays seeking help as a sign of weakness.
Since society has always expected men to tough up and be strong all the time, it is not surprising that many of them don't ask for help when needed. Most think talking about their problems makes them seem less manly and weak. They are made to believe they should be able to handle their problems on their own and not complain. Research says 15% of women in the UK get treatment for depression, compared to only 9% of men.
Reluctance toward Preventative Healthcare: Men are less likely to seek preventative healthcare, such as regular check-ups, screening tests, and immunizations. It can lead to undiagnosed health problems progressing to a more advanced stage before detection.
More Working Hours: Men are likely to work more hours, which can affect their physical and mental health. As a result, they may also be less likely to take a break from work to address health concerns.
Lack of Awareness: Since men don't discuss their health problems much, they may be less aware of the signs and certain health conditions. This may lead to delayed diagnosis and treatment.
How Is Men's Health Different from Women's?
Men have different anatomy than women, including differences in reproductive organs, musculoskeletal structure, and other physical attributes. These differences can impact the types of health issues that men experience.
For example, women are at a higher risk for breast and ovarian cancer, while men are at a higher risk for prostate and testicular cancer. Men can maintain their prostate health with the help of a good diet, exercise, and prostate care vitamins. A saw palmetto or a pygeum supplement may be quite beneficial in maintaining prostate health.
Most importantly, men and women have different hormone profiles. Both have the same hormones in their body, but they are produced at different levels by different parts, causing their effects to vary.
Testosterone is the fundamental male sex hormone and is responsible for the development of male secondary sexual characteristics, like muscle mass and body hair. It plays a vital role in various physiological functions in men, including developing bone density, regulating mood, and maintaining sexual function.
Testosterone levels decrease with age, but vitamins for prostate care (i.e., a saw palmetto supplement) can help men keep their testosterone levels balanced if combined with a healthy lifestyle.
Estrogen and progesterone are the primary female sex hormones. Estrogen is crucial to developing female secondary sexual characteristics, like breast tissue and body shape, while progesterone plays a key role in the menstrual cycle and pregnancy.
Besides these primary hormones, both males and females produce many other hormones that facilitate various physiological processes, including the regulation of metabolism, immune function, and stress response. These hormones include cortisol, thyroid hormones, and insulin.
Hormone levels impact the body in different ways, such as body fat distribution, muscle and bone mass, enzyme synthesis, and metabolism. Men typically have more muscle mass and less body fat, which can impact the risk of certain health issues, such as heart disease.
Social, Cultural, & Lifestyle Differences
Men often feel more reluctant or busy to seek medical attention. They either ignore their symptoms or just delay seeking care until a health issue becomes serious, mainly due to societal pressure on them to not seem weak and act as the primary provider for the family.
Men and women may engage in different health behaviours. Men are likely to smoke, drink alcohol excessively, and engage in risky behaviours. These behaviours can increase the risk of certain health issues.
Psychological Symptoms of Hormonal Changes in Men
Men may experience hormonal changes as they age, leading to various physical and psychological symptoms, including decreased muscle mass, reduced libido, and depression.
Men may also experience hormonal changes in response to various medical conditions, such as thyroid disorders, pituitary gland disorders, and testicular cancer. Certain medications, such as steroids and anti-androgens, can also cause hormonal changes in men. Other influential factors include diet, stress, sleep, and how active their lifestyle is.
Here are some of the common psychological effects of hormonal imbalances in men:
Anxiety, Depression, & Mood Disorders
Low testosterone levels in men have been associated with low morale, mood swings, irritability, anxiety, and an increased risk of depression. Depression can stimulate feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and declining interest in activities that were once enjoyable. Such mood changes are also caused by thyroid disorders and imbalances in other hormones.
Low testosterone levels also result in reduced libido (sex drive). While this sexual dysfunction can emerge from many other problems, hormonal imbalance can be one of the factors. Low libido often takes a toll on your relationship with your partner, potentially leading to further mental issues.
In such circumstances, men should consult a doctor and discuss different strategies to improve their hormonal health. One such strategy may be taking a prostate supplement containing natural ingredients like pygeum and saw palmetto. These ingredients have been known to help enhance sexual drive and prostate health.
Fatigue & Sleep problems
Hormonal changes may also contribute to sleep problems, including insomnia and sleep apnea. Sleep problems can affect a man's mood, contributing to mental health concerns like depression and anxiety. It can also lead to lower energy levels and feelings of fatigue, impacting men's overall quality of life.
The Link between Cortisol and Anxiety
Besides testosterone, a very important hormone called cortisol is often responsible for mental health problems in men.
Cortisol is a hormone generated by the adrenal gland in response to stress. It is often called the "stress hormone" because its levels rise during times of stress. Cortisol has numerous important bodily functions, including regulating blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and the immune system. Primarily, it helps the body cope with stress by raising alertness and energy levels.
However, when cortisol levels stay increased for prolonged periods, they negatively affect men's health. One of the main ways high cortisol levels can influence men's health is by contributing to the development of anxiety. Anxiety is a common mental health condition involving feelings of worry and fear. Research has shown that high levels of cortisol can contribute to the development of anxiety by altering the brain's functioning.
In addition to anxiety, chronic stress, and elevated cortisol levels have been linked to several health issues, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.
Raising Awareness about Men's Health
Hormonal changes and imbalances profoundly impact a man's emotional and mental health as they age, causing symptoms like anxiety, depression, and mood swings. Although these changes are a natural part of ageing, men must understand that they don't have to suffer in silence.
By talking openly about these issues, we can reduce the stigma associated with them and encourage men to seek help when needed. In addition, we can promote strategies for maintaining mental health, such as mindfulness practices, regular exercise, a healthy diet, or a prostate supplement.
ProstPlus by The Good Vitamin Company combines the benefits of Saw Palmetto, Pygeum, and other natural ingredients to help men optimise their prostate health, urinary tract function, and virility. There are 60 capsules in a bottle; two capsules is the daily recommended dosage.