Fighting the stereotype against men with mental health issues

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Mental health is something many people are often afraid to talk about, especially men, according to one of Burrell Behavioral Health’s counselors.

Stephanie Robbins, a licensed professional counselor, says the biggest problem for men is the stigma of getting help.

“I have experienced that men do seem to have a little bit more of stereotype or stigma with getting help for anxiety or mental health issues,” Robbins said. “I think I see a lot more shame associated with anxiety in men or maybe they think that they’re supposed to be more controlled or you know, be able to handle their emotions and maybe that feels a little more out of control sometimes is what I hear them saying so that’s hard to admit to. It’s hard for anybody to admit to.”

If left untreated, Robbins says people may seek out coping mechanisms.

“With anxiety, we see all kinds of coping mechanisms,” Robbins said. “Anything from drugs, alcohol, eating disorders, anything like that pops up as a way to try and manage the anxiety in kind of a short-term manner. If they are holding in those emotions, a lot of times they can come out as anger because anger is a lot easier to express than saying, ‘I’m really really worried, I’m anxious about something.'”

Robbins suggests if you have no one to talk to, to try talking to your primary care doctor. Then you both can work together to find a solution.

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