Mental Health and Men

Mental Health

Could an ADHD test for adults be the first step on your path to success?

Bring Change to Mind – a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging dialogue about mental health, and to raising awareness, understanding, and empathy – established a Men’s Mental Health Campaign with the goal of challenging some of the common misconceptions men have about mental health. These mistaken beliefs can discourage them from getting the help they need.

The way men perceive mental illness can be a real stumbling block to overcoming the challenges of ADD in adults. While ADD/ADHD is often considered to be a problem associated with male minds, it is in fact an equal opportunity disorder, affecting both men and women.

In many schools, teachers learn how to detect ADHD in boys, which can lead to ADHD testing and appropriate treatments. The disorder presents itself differently in girls and so the problem often goes undiagnosed.  In adulthood, you could say the tables are turned to a certain extent.  Women are much more likely to seek treatment for a mental illness than men.

To try to dispel some of the misconceptions that men tend to have regarding mental health, Bring Change to Mind turned to Dr. Sara Hickmann, a clinical counselor for the Fleet and Family Support Center at Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego, CA. and the former director of player assistance services in the Player Development Department at the National Football League (NFL).

As Bring Change to Mind points out, men challenged by mental illness will often say, “I don’t need help. I got this.” Dr. Hickman sheds light on the reality of the situation by saying, “Research shows that, often, the men who need mental health services most – stressed out, successful, athletic, family men – are also the least interested in getting help. The traditional male role encourages a preoccupation with success, power and competition. And yet these types of men are at higher risk of negative psychological consequences, such as depression, anxiety, and relationship problems.”

In other words, the men who tend to put a lot of pressure on themselves to succeed are more likely to need help.  They may go to great lengths to climb the corporate ladder, score the winning run or earn the top awards, when they could achieve their goals more easily by taking care of their mental health.

Dr. Hickman also explains that men who have difficulty expressing their emotions may be more prone to suffer from depression and less likely to seek treatment for any mental illness.  “Men are geared towards problem solving, but sometimes holding in how you feel is part of the problem,” she says. “When you start talking about things that bother you or are causing stress, the problem solving can begin.”

Waiting until a cough turns into bronchitis to see a doctor, can leave you out of the action.  “Mental health issues can be similar,” Dr. Hickman says. “Untreated depression and other psychiatric problems can result in personal, family, and financial problems, even suicide. According to NIMH, four times as many men as women die by suicide in the United States, which may result from a higher prevalence of untreated depression. Yet eight out of 10 cases of depression respond to treatment.”

ADD in adults also responds well to treatment. But, when the condition goes undiagnosed, a man may find his efforts to resulting in failure. Instead of success, his life can be seen as a series of missed opportunities – in both his work and social life.

Life coaching has become a popular option for many of those who occupy the C-suites, as well as those who aspire to. Treatment for ADD in adults can be even more effective in setting you on the path to success.  The Sachs Center offers ADHD testing for adults, allowing our ADD/ADHD doctors to assess your situation.  From there, we can begin to develop a plan to address your unique challenges.