About Anxiety
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Anxiety in Men: Anxiety, Panic Attacks, and Mistakes

Henry Vyner, MD, Psychiatrist
Anxiety in Men: Anxiety, Panic Attacks, and Mistakes

Women are more prone than men to develop anxiety and anxiety disorders. One recent study found that the lifetime prevalence rate for any anxiety disorder is 30.5% for women and 19.2% for men. Nonetheless, this same study also shows that men definitely do develop anxiety and anxiety disorders,

Anxiety is always a serious and potentially debilitating problem. But anxiety in men may be especially problematic because men are less likely to seek help, and far less likely to understand how important it is to combat their anxiety issues. This article explores anxiety as it relates to men, including treatment recommendations.

Men Don't Always Own Their Anxiety

While many men are aware that anxiety disorders exist, very few realize how often it affects them. Often men refuse to admit to themselves they can have a mental health issue, seeking other forms of treatment or drowning their anxiety out with poor coping behaviors rather than admit to the issue.

The reason men will often deny their anxiety and avoid seeking help for it is that men are often ashamed of their anxiety, whereas women are far less likely to feel ashamed of their anxiety.

Men are apt to feel ashamed of their anxiety because men are taught in many cultures that they are supposed to be brave and fearless. Men are also taught that they are not supposed to be vulnerable. In this context, it is easy for a man to see himself in a negative light if they suffer from an anxiety disorder; and this will lead them to not seek help.

To a man who is suffering from anxiety, I would say please don’t judge your anxiety and try to deny that you are having anxiety. That will only make things worse. If you accept your anxiety as it is, and seek help, there’s a much better chance that your resolve itself and disappear.. 

Types of Anxiety in Men

Men can suffer from every single type of anxiety disorder, as well as minor anxiety that is disruptive but doesn't otherwise qualify as an anxiety disorder. Not only are men prone to:

Men often struggle with performance anxiety and specific issues that relate to shyness and masculinity. In some cases, the anxiety can actually be worse than it is with women because women are more likely to seek out support in others in a way that men aren't. Men may be a bit less likely to develop anxiety, but they are far more prone to several anxiety mistakes.

Common Male Anxiety Mistakes

Mistakes are a common problem with anxiety, and unfortunately men are extremely prone to making some very common anxiety mistakes. A small sample of these mistakes includes:

Tips to Overcome Anxiety in Men

After you have admitted to yourself that you have a problem with anxiety, there are basically three categories of things you can do to help reduce your anxiety:

  1. Reduce your anxiety by improving the day to day quality of your life
  2. Learn how to meditate or take a mindfulness training
  3. Go into cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

Here a few ways that you can help yourself cope with your anxiety before you seek out help

One of the most important things you can do to reduce anxiety is to accept it, and to seek help if you can’t find ways to cope with it yourself. 

Suffering from anxiety does not mean you are a bad person. It is something that you didn't cause, and it is something that can be cured. And accepting your anxiety and in general yourself, will go a long way towards helping you reduce your anxiety.

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