Why Don’t Men Talk About Their Mental Health?
Mental health is an integral part of overall wellness and well-being. It’s estimated that 1 in 5 American adults experiences a mental health disorder in any given year.
However, mental health disorders continue to be shrouded in stigma and secrecy despite this high prevalence.
When it comes to men and mental health, the statistics are sobering. According to a study done by NCBI, men are four times more likely than women to die by suicide.
In addition, men are much less likely than women to seek help for mental health concerns.
Why is there such a reluctance among men to talk about their mental health? This article from Dr. Sandhya Prashad explores some of those reasons.
Reasons Why Men Don’t Talk About Mental Health
There are several potential reasons why men may be reluctant to talk about their mental health, including:
- The belief that they should be able to handle their problems on their own
- The fear of being seen as weak or not in control
- The worry that talking about their feelings will make them seem less manly
- The stigma associated with mental illness
While some of these reasons are based on stereotypes and misconceptions, they can still have a real and negative impact on men’s mental health.
For example, the belief that men should be able to handle their problems on their own can lead to men bottling up their thoughts and emotions, which can have disastrous consequences for their mental health. The fear of being seen as weak or not in control can also lead men to avoid seeking help, even when they genuinely need it.
Of course, being seen as less manly is also a common barrier for men when discussing mental health. This concern is based on the false idea that only women are allowed to express their emotions. In reality, there is no such thing as a “manly” or “unmanly” way to feel or express emotions.
The stigma associated with mental illness is another major reason why men may be reluctant to talk about their mental health. Often, people, in general, diminish the magnitude and severity of mental health concerns — telling those who are suffering to “man up” or “get over it.”
This stigma can lead to men feeling ashamed, embarrassed, or even scared to seek help, believing their problems to be insignificant in the eyes of others. Then, in turn, the one suffering begins to think of themselves as worthless, perpetuating the debilitating nature of the mental illness.
It’s important to remember that mental health is nothing to be ashamed of. Mental illness is a real and serious medical condition that should be treated with the same care and compassion as any other illness.
How To Encourage Men To Talk About Mental Health
So what can be done to encourage men to talk about their mental health? Here are a few suggestions:
Listen Without Judgment: When someone opens up about their mental health, it’s important to listen without judgment or criticism. Let them know that you understand and that you’re there for them.
Break the Stigma: It’s important to break the stigma associated with mental illness. This can be done by talking openly and honestly about mental health and challenging the myths and stereotypes surrounding it.
Provide Resources and Information: Make sure to provide resources and information on mental health for men. This can include websites, articles, books, and other information.
Start a Conversation: One of the best ways to encourage men to talk about their mental health is to start the conversation yourself. Talk to your friends, family, and co-workers about mental health and ask them for their thoughts and opinions.
The bottom line is that it’s vital for men to feel comfortable talking about their mental health. By breaking the stigma and providing resources and information, we can make it easier for men to open up and seek help when they need it.
Introduce Ketamine-Assisted Therapy Into the Mental Health Conversation
Ketamine-assisted therapy is a new and promising treatment for mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, PTSD, and more. This type of therapy can be helpful for those who have not responded well to traditional treatments.
Dr. Sandhya Prashad is a board-certified psychiatrist with long-running experience and expertise utilizing ketamine therapy for treatment-resistant disorders. She has assisted with and seen first-hand the profound and life-changing effects ketamine therapy can have for her patients.
It’s these leaps forward in discovering groundbreaking, proven methods of therapy that help to end the overall stigma surrounding mental health concerns. This progress leads to more people beginning to take mental health more seriously — placing greater attention and emphasis on the social and cultural impacts on society.
As more research is conducted and new treatment options are made available, it’s crucial that the conversation around mental health evolves along with it. This way, we can ensure that those with mental illness get the help and support they need and deserve.
Mental Health Treatment for Men From Dr. Sandhya Prashad
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, it’s important to seek help.
Dr. Sandhya Prashad specializes in treating various mental health issues and disorders. Her institution provides a range of services, including but not limited to:
- Ketamine infusion therapy
- Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy
All of these methods are proven to be safe and effective in improving and alleviating the effects of mental illness.
If you are a man who is reluctant to talk about mental health, Dr. Prashad can help. She understands the unique challenges that men face regarding mental health and has the experience, expertise, and compassion to provide the treatment you need.
Don’t suffer in silence! Click the link below to learn more about how Dr. Prashad can help.
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How Common Are Postpartum Mental Health Disorders?
One in 7 women will experience some form of postpartum mental health issue — also known as the “baby blues” — within the first year after giving birth. These issues that arise are known as postpartum mental health disorders (PMHD).
Postpartum depression (PPD) is the most common type of PMHD. Still, several other disorders can occur, including postpartum anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
All of these disorders can be extremely debilitating and can seriously affect a woman’s ability to take care of herself or her child. In some cases, they can even lead to suicidal thoughts or actions.
Despite the seriousness of these conditions, however, they often go untreated.
This is mainly because postpartum mental health disorders are often seen as taboo topics. Due to the social stigma, many women keep these issues to themselves and may not know where to turn for help.
The good news is that there is an abundance of information available about postpartum mental health disorders, and there are many resources available for women who need guidance and support.
In this article, we will discuss the definition of PMHD, its prevalence in the modern world, the signs and symptoms of specific disorders, and some of the best ways to get help if you or someone you know is struggling.
What Is a Postpartum Mental Health Disorder?
Postpartum mental health disorder is a term used to describe various mental health conditions that can occur after childbirth.
The term “postpartum” refers to the period of time immediately after childbirth. The “mental health disorder” part of the term refers to a range of conditions that can affect a person’s mood, thoughts, or emotions. Some of the most common disorders include postpartum depression, anxiety, OCD, and PTSD.
PMHD can occur any time within the first year after childbirth, but it is most common in the first few months post-birth.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Postpartum Mental Health Disorders?
Each type of PMHD has its own unique set of signs and symptoms, but some common symptoms apply to all of them.
The most common symptoms of PPD, for example, are:
- Feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness
- Loss of interest in activities that you previously enjoyed
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Difficulty sleeping
- Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
PTSD can cause flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, nightmares, and exaggerated responses to stimuli that remind you of the traumatic event. OCD may cause excessive worrying, intrusive thoughts, compulsive behaviors, and a feeling that you are not in control of your thoughts or actions.
In addition, anxiety can cause a racing heart, shortness of breath, dizziness, and excessive worry about everyday tasks.
It is important to note that these symptoms can vary in severity. Some women may only experience a few of them, while others may experience all of them.
What Causes Postpartum Mental Health Disorders?
There is no one cause of PMHD. Instead, several factors can contribute to the development of these disorders.
Some of the most common risk factors include:
- A history of mental health disorders
- Lack of social support
- Financial stress
- Relationship problems
- Stressful life events
- A history of abuse or trauma
Please remember that not all women who experience these risk factors will develop PMHD. Conversely, some women who do not have any known risk factors still harbor the potential to develop these disorders.
How Common Are Postpartum Mental Health Disorders?
Unfortunately, postpartum mental health disorders are quite common. A recent study found that almost 50% of women experience some form of PMHD within the first year after childbirth.
This number is likely to be an underestimate, as many cases of PMHD go unreported. This is likely due to the fact that these disorders are still seen as taboo, and many women feel ashamed or embarrassed to admit that they are struggling.
What Are the Best Ways To Get Help?
If you think you may be struggling with a postpartum mental health disorder, it is crucial to seek help from a mental health professional.
Many resources are available for women who need help, including support groups, counseling, and therapy. You can also find helpful information and resources on websites like Postpartum Progress and the PPD Support Page.
It is absolutely essential to have a strong, close-knit support system during this difficult time. Friends and family can be excellent sources of support, but it is also sometimes necessary to find a therapist or a doctor who understands what you are going through.
Never hesitate to ask for help if you need it. Just keep in mind that you are not alone!
Ketamine Therapy for Postpartum Mental Health Disorders
While many women struggle with postpartum mental health disorders, revolutionary treatments are available that can help. One such treatment is the relatively new and groundbreaking ketamine infusion therapy.
Ketamine is a medication used to treat various mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, and PTSD. It works by blocking the nervous system’s NMDA receptors, which are responsible for sending pain and fear signals to the brain.
When used in tandem with therapeutic methods like psychotherapy, ketamine infusion allows the patient to process these signals in a clear, healthy, and safe way.
If you are struggling with a postpartum mental health disorder, Dr. Sandhya Prashad offers a range of services that can help you. She is a board-certified psychiatrist who has extensive experience in treating mental health disorders — offering ketamine therapy and other treatments that may be helpful for postpartum mental health disorders.
If you are interested in exploring more about Dr. Sandhya Prashad and her services, click the link below to learn more about how she and her team can help!
[Learn More About Sandhya Prashad, MD]Learn More
IV Vitamin Therapy and Mental Health
Mental health is a huge issue in the United States, and more and more people are struggling with mental health conditions. The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t done anything to improve the situation either: With the extra stress, uncertainty, and instability millions of people are facing due to the pandemic, mental health issues are at an all-time high.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. has a mental illness, which amounts to approximately 52.9 million people in 2020. These conditions can range in severity and symptom expression and include everything from depression and anxiety to bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
With so many individuals suffering from mental health issues, often in silence or without the proper support, it’s no wonder that people are searching for ways to improve their mental health. If medication and psychotherapy haven’t been helpful for you, or if you are looking for something to use in conjunction with these methods, IV vitamin therapy has proven effective against mental illness symptoms.
What Is IV Vitamin Therapy?
IV vitamin therapy is a form of treatment that injects vitamins and minerals into the body intravenously. This method of administration bypasses the digestive system, meaning that 100% of the nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream and can be used by the body immediately.
IV vitamin therapy is used in various contexts, including treating dehydration, boosting the immune system, and strengthening and rejuvenating the skin. It is also generally used to support health and wellness and to revitalize the body. However, it is increasingly being used to treat mental health conditions.
How Does IV Vitamin Therapy Work?
While you can get many vitamins and minerals through oral supplementation or a healthy diet, many of these nutrients are poorly absorbed by the body. They are absorbed much better through IV administration.
For example, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin rapidly excreted by the body, meaning that it isn’t stored for long and needs to be constantly replenished. When taken orally in modest doses (30-180 mg daily), only about 70%-90% of vitamin C is actually absorbed by the body. In doses of 1,000 mg or higher, the common dosage for vitamin C supplements, the absorption drops to 50%. However, when administered intravenously, the body absorbs almost all of the vitamin C (common rates hover around 99.9%). You get a much higher dose instantly, and it stays in your system for longer.
The same is true for other nutrients such as B vitamins, magnesium, and zinc, and for many of these vitamins and nutrients, the difference in absorption rates is even more extreme. When taken orally, these nutrients are not always well-absorbed by the body and are rapidly excreted, but they are immediately available for use when administered intravenously. Calcium, for instance, has an oral absorption rate of 28%-36% when taken as a supplement but has a 100% absorption rate through IV administration.
What Are the Benefits of IV Vitamin Therapy?
The benefits of IV vitamin therapy are very similar to taking vitamins orally, with the significant difference that the absorption rate is much higher, so the vitamins are more effective. The results will depend on what vitamins and nutrients are used in your IV therapy. This, in turn, will be dependent on what you’re trying to treat and what kind of IV treatments your provider offers.
Some common vitamins in IV treatments are vitamin C, B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, antioxidants such as glutathione, and amino acids. These all help support your health and wellness in a variety of ways. Here is a breakdown of the main benefits of some of these common vitamins:
Vitamin C is used to treat everything from the common cold to cancer and is a powerful antioxidant that can help protect the body against damage from free radicals.
B Vitamins are often used to treat fatigue, stress, anxiety, and depression. They are essential for energy production, metabolism, and nerve function.
An important mineral for bone health, calcium is also involved in muscle contraction, blood clotting, and nerve function.
A mineral involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, magnesium is essential for energy production, metabolism, and DNA synthesis. It is also crucial for muscle and nerve function.
Antioxidants are important for protecting the body against damage from free radicals and can also help to reduce inflammation.
How Can IV Vitamin Therapy Help Mental Health?
There are a few ways in which IV vitamin therapy can help improve mental health. First of all, many mental health conditions are caused or aggravated by vitamin deficiencies. For example, anxiety and depression are common in people who are deficient in vitamins B12 and folate. Vitamin B12 is involved in the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood regulation. Folate is involved in the production of dopamine, another neurotransmitter that is important for mood and motivation.
Another way IV vitamin therapy can help mental health is by reducing inflammation. Inflammation has been linked to various mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and even schizophrenia. Some of the vitamins and nutrients in IV vitamin therapy, such as vitamin C and antioxidants, have anti-inflammatory effects.
Lastly, IV vitamin therapy can help improve mental health by boosting energy levels and improving mood. Many vitamins and minerals used in IV therapy, such as B vitamins and magnesium, are involved in energy production and metabolism. This means that IV vitamin therapy can help to increase energy levels and combat fatigue. Additionally, some of the vitamins and nutrients used in IV therapy, such as vitamin C and antioxidants, can help improve mood.
Consider Getting Help With IV Vitamins
IV vitamin therapy has many benefits for general health and can be especially helpful for mental health. If you’re interested in trying IV vitamin therapy, be sure to talk to your provider about what treatments they offer. There are a variety of vitamins and nutrients that can be used in IV therapy, so it’s important to find a provider who can tailor the treatment to your specific needs.
The COVID-19 Pandemic: Helping Those Who Suffer in Silence
Sandhya Prashad, MD is the medical director at Houston Ketamine Therapeutics and Houston Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy.
There is no question that the pandemic has shaped myriad aspects of life as we know it, including significantly impacting the mental health care industry. While the unprecedented events have resulted in mental health challenges, it has also delivered growth in the area as well.
“The pandemic has helped break down barriers such as the stigma around treatment, access to care in terms of proximity and available time, and even common misconceptions of what it means to receive treatment for depression.”
In fact, the appetite for treatment has increased so much that providers are finding it challenging to accommodate the surge of requested appointments.1 This newfound openness among patients to explore therapy has served as a means to deliver more care to those who have lived in silence for years due to either apprehension around going into an office or limited understanding around just how far treatment options have come.
Teletherapy has helped shepherd more patients through the door
Leveraging teletherapy has helped providers and patients troubleshoot the common concerns around social distancing and, ultimately, could be credited with getting many first-time patients in the “virtual” door. In fact, the use of teletherapy saw a 154% increase in March 2020 when compared to the same period in 2019.2 The ability to connect with patients in the comfort and privacy of their own homes allowed providers to build rapport over time and helped spark many overdue conversations around tailored options for treatment. While the convenience of teletherapy is likely to foster continued use long after the pandemic subsides, it is important for providers to remind patients that it is not a direct substitute for an in-person visit nor is it the only form of treatment available.
Taking the next step in treatment with the latest technology
Marrying the increased desire to speak with providers and the ability to ease into sessions via virtual visits, providers like myself have a unique opportunity to begin educating patients that mental health treatment is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Studies have shown that depression symptom prevalence is more than 3-fold higher3 during the COVID-19 pandemic, and because more than 40% of people with major depressive disorder (MDD), 4 find they are treatment-resistant, there is a growing need to foster education among patients regarding other available options when there is an unresponsiveness to traditional methods.5 These options include deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (Deep TMS), a non-invasive treatment process that is FDA-cleared for treating depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). While well-known within the mental health community, many patients are unaware of this successful treatment option which only takes 20-minutes per session.
In a study published by the Journal of Psychiatric Research, Deep TMS therapy combined with standard medication for MDD was found to be significantly more effective than standard pharmacotherapy alone, reducing the symptoms of close to two-thirds of participants battling depression.6 Deep TMS is a great example of how far we have come in treatment offerings, showing patients that there are treatments that do not require downtime, are noninvasive, and offer virtually no discomfort.
Moving forward in the new normal
While we as a society are working hard to leave the pandemic behind as a footnote in history, we as mental health professionals have been given a catalyst for a mental health movement. The pandemic has helped break down barriers such as the stigma around treatment, access to care in terms of proximity and available time, and even common misconceptions of what it means to receive treatment for depression. It is our responsibility as those committed to improving mental health to look for every opportunity we can to serve and educate, and the pandemic has certainly provided us with a platform.
Sandhya Prashad, MD is a board-certified psychiatrist specializing in interventional modalities for treatment-resistant disorders with a particular interest and expertise in ketamine therapy. She is the founder and medical director of Sandhya J. Prashad, MD, Houston Ketamine Therapeutics, and Houston TMS Therapeutics. Dr. Prashad currently serves as president of The American Society of Ketamine Physicians, Psychotherapists, and Practitioners.
1. Caron C. ‘Nobody Has Openings’: Mental Health Providers Struggle to Meet Demand. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/17/well/mind/therapy-appointments-shortages-pandemic.html. Published online February 17, 2021. Accessed February 17, 2021
2. Koonin LM, Hoots B, Tsang CA, et al. Trends in the use of telehealth during the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic — United States, January–March 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020;69:1595–1599. doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm6943a3
3. Ettman CK, Abdalla SM, Cohen GH, Sampson L, Vivier PM, Galea S. Prevalence of depression symptoms in US adults before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(9):e2019686. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.19686
4. Major Depressive Disorder and TMS Treatment. Brainsway. https://www.brainsway.com/knowledge-center/major-depressive-disorder-tms-treatment/. Accessed February 9, 2019
5. Jaffe DH, Rive B, Denee TR. The humanistic and economic burden of treatment-resistant depression in Europe: a cross-sectional study. BMC Psychiatry. 19, 247 (2019). doi:10.1186/s12888-019-2222-4
6. Filipčić I, Šimunović Filipčić I, Milovaca Z, et al. Efficacy of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation using a figure-8-coil or an H1-Coil in treatment of major depressive disorder; A randomized clinical trial. J. Psychiatr. Res. 2019;114:113-119. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2019.04.020
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