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3 Ways Good Mental Health Improves Men’s Lives

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Men receive daily messages from television and film to take care of their physical health:

But it can be harder for men to find a media message telling them to prioritize their mental and emotional well-being. It can feel selfish or un-masculine to focus on feelings over muscles. Here are three reasons that mental health is essential for men, and steps on what you can do to improve yours.

1. Good mental health helps your friendships.

Social withdrawal is a common symptom experienced by men living with mental illnesses like depression, bipolar disorder and PTSD. When men experience these symptoms, they lose interest in activities that used to bring them joy. For any given man, that could mean: tickets to a sporting event go un-used, a spot will be empty at the weekly trivia night or a beloved bowling team may lose a tournament without their star player. Instead of spending time with friends, they choose to stay home and sit on the couch.

Treating depression will help you get back on the golf course with your friends. There is evidence that good friendships even help you avoid depression.

2. Good mental health helps relationships with your family members.

Do you want to be a better father, husband, son or brother? Taking care of your mental health helps you be there with the people you love the most. Children of depressed parents are more likely to have behavioral health problems. Because mental illness can decrease your ability to feel empathy towards other people, it can be challenging to connect with people you once felt close to. Research suggests that mental illness is strongly associated with divorce, so seeking treatment for your symptoms is seeking treatment for your marriage.

3. Good mental health keeps you alive.

Accessing adequate mental health care can mean the difference between life and death. Men are over three times more likely to die by suicide than women. And eating disorders, an extremely lethal illness, are becoming more common in men. Early intervention is crucial to preventing even one more lost life. Men living with mental illness deserve better.

What You Can Do

Do you think that you or a loved one might be depressed or experiencing the symptoms of another mental illness? You are not alone. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating mental illness. Keep reading for resources to begin your journey to mental wellness.

Talk to a licensed therapist with an Ochsner Anywhere Care virtual visit.

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