Mental Health Stigma in Males

Legacy Healing Center Blog

While our understanding of mental illness has improved over the years, for many, there is still a wide amount of misinformation surrounding it. This is especially true in the case of men’s mental wellness. These conditions do not see gender, but that sadly does little to detract from the fact that many males experience roadblocks like societal norms, toxic masculinity, and unrealistic expectations. That is why Legacy Healing Center Fort Lauderdale looks at mental health stigma in males and how these mindsets do little to serve those suffering.

Men’s Mental Health Statistics

While some are better at hiding it than others, the number of men struggling with some kind of psychological disorder is staggering. According to Mental Health America, each year, roughly 6 million men grapple with depression. Over 3 million men suffer from panic disorders and related phobias. About 90% of people diagnosed with schizophrenia are men and typically receive this diagnosis by age 30. It is also reported that over 4 times as many men die by suicide than women, while the highest rates are found among elderly Caucasian men.1

Though eating disorders are less statistically prevalent in males than females, men are less likely to seek treatment for one. It is also worth noting that gay and bisexual men are more likely to suffer from a mental health disorder than their straight counterparts. Gay men are also at a higher risk of suicide, typically before reaching the age of 25.1

Certain addiction rates are also more intense. Approximately 1 in 5 men will develop alcoholism, while male military veterans experience alcohol or drug abuse at twice the rate of their female peers.1 While these numbers may seem shocking, it is even more troubling to consider the significant role that mental health stigma in males plays in these statistics. 

Types of Stigma

Male mental health stigma can affect each person differently, and they can also differ depending on various aspects of their life.

Common stigma types can include:

  • Self: Also referred to as perceived stigma, this internalized experience involves imposing unrealistic beliefs and expectations onto oneself. Sufferers often diminish their own experiences and shame themselves for feelings that are out of their control.
  • Professional: This occurs when a medical professional perpetuates unhealthy or negative attitudes toward patients due to their internalized beliefs. This can occur because the healthcare worker themselves experienced or experiences stigma in their own life, or they just misunderstand the conditions altogether.
  • Cultural: This refers to how a person views their culture and approaches mental health. Culture is responsible for molding our values, beliefs, and ways of functioning with the world around us. When these beliefs impact a person’s desire to get the treatment they need, it is an issue.
  • Social: Finally, social stigmas are the judgmental stereotypes placed on someone struggling with mental illness. It is often rooted in misinterpreting these conditions. An example could be, “anyone with anxiety is insane.” This often results in unnecessary rejection and mistreatment of those suffering from a condition they cannot control.

The Importance of Men’s Mental Health Awareness

For males currently struggling with coming to terms with or managing a mental illness, we want them to understand that resources are available to help them recover. In cases of addiction, our Fort Lauderdale rehab offers a men’s detox program that provides withdrawal treatment specialized with the knowledge of gender-specific experiences.  

There are also various treatment methods effective in helping patients learn more about their unique condition and how to live with it. For instance, our option for cognitive behavioral therapy in Fort Lauderdale is an excellent choice for people looking to gain a clearer understanding of the root causes of what they struggle with.

To learn more about the levels of care we offer, call Legacy Healing Fort Lauderdale at 754-203-4541 today.


  1. MHA – Infographic: Mental Health for Men

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