A Brief Overview Of Male Anxiety

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues for men. It is estimated that one in every five men[1] will experience anxiety at some point in their lifetime. That is a large percentage of the male population. But, like other sensitive health issues, men don’t like to talk to anyone about their mental health status. This is why men’s anxiety is becoming more and more of an issue.


The cultural perception of men being strong and not needing to ask for help only exacerbates the issue because men typically won’t seek treatment for their condition. Still, men’s anxiety needs to be managed properly to keep it from spiraling into full-blown depression or addiction.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that can cause anxiety symptoms in men. The factors could be both mental and physical; however, symptoms usually manifest themselves in the mental sense. But physical occurrences, like being injured in a car accident and not being able to perform the physical tasks that you used to, can also lead to anxiety.

What you should know about men’s anxiety, first and foremost, is that it is a dangerous condition that will only get worse if left alone. The good news is that there are things you can do about it.

What Are The Signs Of Anxiety In Men?

Men’s anxiety is often hard to catch because men tend to hide or disguise their anxiety as much as possible. Nevertheless, it does come out in one way or another. One way that men sometimes express their anxiety is through aggression.

Anxiety in men


Some men have been trained to believe that anger is an acceptable emotion to display, so instead of seeming sad or depressed, they simply become more irritable or aggressive when they feel anxious. Other anxiety symptoms in men include:

  • Working all the Time – Work stress can certainly lead to anxiety symptoms in men. If you are noticing a loved one exhibiting an inability to stop working, like checking emails all the time, looking at their phone excessively, on calls with colleagues or clients even at home, it could be a sign of anxiety.
  • Insomnia – There is a ton of research on men’s anxiety and insomnia that shows an undeniable link between the two. Anxiety can trigger insomnia, and in turn, insomnia can make anxiety worse. When you are unable to give your mind the rest it needs to perform, it becomes less capable of managing stress and anxiety.
  • Substance Abuse – Some men may have a predisposition to self-medication when they feel anxious. If you are noticing a loved one who is drinking or using recreational drugs more than is normal, that could also be one of the anxiety symptoms in men.
  • Muscle Aches and Tightness – Anxiety takes various physical forms. The tightness and aching in the arms, back, or shoulders are common anxiety symptoms in men.

Other Manifestations Of Anxiety

Men’s anxiety takes many forms, and you should be aware of them in case you or a loved one is suffering from it. Other, possibly harder to spot symptoms include:

  • Trouble BreathingShortness of breath is often reported by men who are experiencing extreme anxiety.
  • Inability to Calm Down – Sometimes, anxiety symptoms in men take the form of restlessness or an inability to sit down, be calm, and remain still for even a short time.
  • Suffering Interpersonal Relationships – It is not uncommon for men to find it difficult to maintain healthy relationships when they are experiencing anxiety. Anxiety symptoms in men can include poor communication leading to strained romantic, family, and any other kind of interpersonal relationship. Again, this often stems from the individual’s unwillingness to talk about their problems or an aversion to being vulnerable.
  • Altered Appearance – Because anxiety symptoms in men often include insomnia or at least a minor disruption of their sleep schedule, you may start to notice a change in their appearance. They can look tired and unrested. Oftentimes, anxiety will cause everyday concerns like personal hygiene to simply fade away. A man suffering from anxiety may dress sloppily, stop shaving, and stop caring about the way they look in general.
  • Depression – High functioning depression and anxiety often go hand in hand. A man might continue to go to work, fulfill family obligations, and even participate in social events when they are depressed. This is known as high functioning depression. It is often the most difficult to detect because so many other aspects of the person’s life may seem normal.
other manifestations of anxiety

Anxiety And Addiction

High functioning depression and anxiety often lead to substance abuse. Instead of talking to someone, a man might drink excessively for a brief reprieve from what is causing their anxiety, in the first place.

But make no mistake about it; this is not good for men’s mental health. It is very bad for physical health as well. Not only that, using drugs and alcohol to treat anxiety will never work because it doesn’t address the real issues.

The problem only gets worse as the individual’s tolerance for drugs and alcohol increases with frequent use. In essence, men suffering from high functioning depression and anxiety need to use more drugs or alcohol to get the desired effects because their tolerance is higher.

Men’s mental health and addiction are so tightly intertwined. People suffering from anxiety or depression are twice as likely to abuse drugs and alcohol as opposed to people without anxiety.

This cycle is what causes so many men suffering from high functioning depression and anxiety to turn to drugs and alcohol, putting them at a much greater risk of actually becoming chemically dependent on these substances.

Eventually, they become completely addicted to drugs and alcohol. This is why it is so important to catch and treat high functioning depression and anxiety as soon and as effectively as possible.

Oftentimes, drugs and alcohol will only magnify the feelings of depression and anxiety – leading to more intense substance abuse. The result is a physical dependence on drugs and devastating effects on men’s mental health.

Anxiety not only takes a toll on men’s mental health; it has a very real physical effect. Excessive drug and alcohol abuse can cause major organ failure, respiratory issues, and often leads to accidental death by overdose.

How Anxiety Affects Men Differently

Men’s mental health is often spoken of in terms of having a strong constitution. Again, this goes back to the cultural perception that men shouldn’t show weakness. The data supports this phenomenon, as well.

It is estimated by anxiety and depression experts that women are twice more likely to be diagnosed with anxiety or depression. This is not to say that women are more predisposed to anxiety than men are. Instead, it could mean that men aren’t talking about their anxiety with doctors and people who can diagnose it. It is important to understand that distinction if you want to know how to deal with men’s anxiety.

The data suggest that men are less likely to talk about anxiety and depression. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect them. In many cases, anxiety can affect a man differently than a woman. For example:

  • Self-Medication – Because men are more reluctant to seek proper help with anxiety and depression, they are more likely to self-medicate.
  • Suicidal Thoughts – When feelings of anxiety and depression are suppressed, the worldview of the individual may begin to grow very dim, leading to thoughts of suicide.
  • Isolation – Some men would rather be alone than to let people see that they are suffering.
how anxiety affects men

Common Questions About Anxiety

Anxiety can be caused by work, high-stress situations, fears of the future, and big life-changes.

Male anxiety is the inability to manage stress or fearful thoughts, causing feelings of hopelessness or depression.

Many people ask how to deal with men’s anxiety naturally, and the best way is through healthy living. A good diet and regular exercise are common for people overcoming it.

Clinically, a deficiency in B vitamins has been noted in many patients with anxiety and depression. Supplementing with B vitamins is one of the ways on how to deal with men’s anxiety.

Last Words

Anxiety is very common, and it can be very destructive. But you should know how to calm anxiety. Staying away from high tension or stress from situations is a good way to minimize anxiety.

Avoiding excessive alcohol intake is another way to avoid anxiety. Regular exercise is also crucial. Sports, meditation, and yoga are also common answers to the question, “How to calm men’s
anxiety?”

And of course, it is always advisable to talk to a doctor, therapist, or loved one if you want to know how to deal with men’s anxiety and if you are feeling anxious or depressed.