How Are Male Anxiety Symptoms Different?
Anxiety symptoms in men can include anger, irritability, and other anxiety symptoms that occur in all genders.
Everyone has occasional anxiety – it’s a natural reaction to stress and uncertainty. Symptoms of anxiety are not that different between the sexes, although some men may display more anger and irritability, and their anxiety may be linked to testosterone levels as they age.
If you’re a man living with an anxiety disorder, treatment can help you cope with the symptoms and figure out what’s causing your condition.
Still, some small studies have noticed symptoms that more or less occur in men.
In social anxiety disorder, researchers from a
Other ways anxiety can look different based on gender identity include:
Most common anxiety disorders
Some of the most common anxiety disorders include:
Dr. Suzanne Allen is a psychologist and co-director of CBT Westport in Westport, Connecticut.
She says: “Men have the same struggles with anxiety as women do, but it’s socially acceptable for men to appear rather angry or use substances to cope. Revealing mental health issues in American culture can be [perceived as] a sign of weakness, which goes against the idea of masculinity that has been put into a man’s mind.
Possible physical symptoms of anxiety in men
Everyone is unique, but some physical symptoms of anxiety that often show up in men include:
- shortness of breath
- beating or beating heart
- feel like you’re suffocating
Possible mental symptoms of anxiety in men
Some common mental and emotional symptoms of anxiety in men include:
Many things can lead to anxiety. Generally speaking, life stress from difficult relationships, job uncertainty, financial difficulties, trauma, and health issues can all contribute to anxiety.
Your age, your hormones and the level of stress you feel can also contribute. As a man, hormone levels are more relevant the older you are, while the stresses of life can affect you regardless of your age.
Allen says that in her practice, she has observed that her male patients “have less emotional support relationships and less language around emotional expression than women.” If you have trouble dealing with complex emotions, it could be related to anxiety.
Special considerations for men
There are some male-specific causes:
- Low testosterone levels. A
research report 2020found that low testosterone levels can contribute to symptoms of depression and anxiety. In a 2011 study, low testosterone was associated with symptoms of anxiety. Anxiety appears to increase with age in men, while testosterone levels decline with age.
- Substance use. The men are more likely to use potentially addictive substances, especially when living with social anxiety. Substance use can be both a contributing factor to anxiety symptoms and a coping method. If you tend to use alcohol or other drugs to cope with emotional stress, it can contribute to feelings of anxiety.
A primary care physician or mental health professional may diagnose you with an anxiety disorder.
According to research 2014men suffer from social anxiety and specific phobias more often than other anxiety disorders, compared to women.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) states that a diagnosis of any of the above must include symptoms that:
- have been present for at least 6 months
- interfere with daily life
- involve disproportionate fear or anxiety
- cause immediate fear or anxiety when exposed to the particular fear or trigger
- cause avoidance of the object or situation
The main difference between the two anxiety disorders is that specific phobias can be caused by objects or non-situations, whereas social anxiety is exclusive to interpersonal situations.
If you are a man living with symptoms of anxiety, seeking treatment is important. According to American Foundation for Suicide Preventionsuicide rates for men are higher than for all other sexes.
Even if you think it’s a sign of weakness or decrease in masculinityContacting a mental health professional to talk about your feelings and treatment options is a necessary and important part of taking care of your mental health.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is often recommended for anxiety disorders. He was
A doctor can prescribe medications that can help you manage more severe feelings of anxiety. Some anti-anxiety medications include:
Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
As a man, you may be reluctant to seek help or prefer not to talk about your symptoms. If you’re overwhelmed and prefer not to talk about your anxiety, there are other ways to find relief, through lifestyle choices and medication.
Contacting a doctor can help you access treatment options and additional tests if needed.
If you are comfortable speaking with a professional, they may be able to help you determine the cause of your anxiety symptoms. We all need help and support from time to time.