Home Male Psychology New Study Sheds Light on Why Australian Men Seek Help for Anxiety

New Study Sheds Light on Why Australian Men Seek Help for Anxiety

Reading Time: 2 minutes

In Australia, anxiety disorders among men have been rising steadily, with a marked increase in men seeking mental health support.

A recent comprehensive study involving 419 Australian men between 16 and 77 years of age sheds light on this trend, offering invaluable insights into men’s help-seeking behaviours for anxiety.

The study identifies common “tipping points” that prompt men to seek help. Relationship issues and workplace stress feature prominently as catalysts. These challenges often reach a point where men feel compelled to seek external help, breaking through the traditional barriers of self-reliance and stoicism typically associated with masculine norms.

The findings were published in the journal SSM-Mental Health.

Masculinity plays a complex role in shaping men’s responses to anxiety. The study reveals that while traditional masculine norms can deter help-seeking due to associations of vulnerability with weakness, they can also drive men towards help when reframed positively. The research indicates a need to leverage these masculine norms in a way that encourages men to view help-seeking as a strength, not a weakness.

Men’s responses to anxiety-inducing situations often fall into two categories: defeatist or defiant. Defeatist responses are characterised by feelings of resignation and the inability to self-manage anxiety. In contrast, defiant responses are marked by a proactive approach towards change. The latter often results in men actively seeking help and viewing it as an opportunity for personal growth and betterment.

The pathways to seeking help vary greatly among men. Some embark on this journey independently, motivated by a desire to regain control over their lives and understand their condition better. For others, external influences, such as encouragement from friends or family, are decisive. This variation highlights the need for a diverse range of mental health support options that cater to different help-seeking preferences.

A significant aspect of the study is the role of medicalisation in men’s help-seeking behaviour. A formal diagnosis often serves as a turning point, providing men with a framework to understand and manage their anxiety. It underlines the importance of accurate diagnosis and effective communication by healthcare professionals to encourage help-seeking behaviours.

The study also underscores the importance of community-based mental health treatment and initiatives. Leveraging social connections and engaging in community support networks can be effective in addressing men’s mental health needs. Promoting mental health awareness and treatment options within these community settings is seen as a key strategy.

These findings suggest a pressing need for mental health interventions and services that are tailored to the unique experiences and pathways of Australian men. Future strategies should incorporate an understanding of masculinity, social dynamics, and the benefits of medicalisation. Such an approach will likely improve the effectiveness of mental health care and support for men dealing with anxiety.

© Copyright 2014–2034 Psychreg Ltd