A recent trend in mental health issues has been affecting men in their late thirties and forties who are dealing with stress. Older men are coping with the struggles of work, family or being single in a time when they are no longer young with their full life ahead of them. The stress of middle age can lead to the highest levels of anxiety in a person’s life.
When a person is in their twenties they may feel less pressure to be in a stable career or have a long-term relationship. They often don’t worry as much about work or starting a family because they have time to think about what they want to do later in life. In middle age, people can experience a lot of difficulties that they didn’t have to face when they were in their twenties.
In their thirties or forties, people must reflect on what they’ve achieved and what they haven’t. They might begin to think about how their dreams of the past didn’t work out and life didn’t go exactly as they had planned. For men in middle age this can mean not having the career that they wanted or not finding a partner.
Coping with Stress in Middle Age
There are a number of reasons that a man in middle age may experience stress and struggle to cope with their problems. People in middle age can have demanding careers, more responsibilities such as taking care of children or aging parents or difficult marriages. On the other hand they may be experiencing the opposite problem where they have not found a relationship, are still working a low paying job or are getting past the age of potentially having children.
While stereotypically it is women that struggle with feelings of being past their prime if they are single in middle age, men are now starting to experience these worries too. More and more men in their thirties and forties are dealing with the stress of not being settled in their life. They may feel a lack of options as they get older or feel that their biological clock is ticking.
Although rates of anxiety and depression are typically higher for women in middle age, men are also dealing with psychological issues that can affect their health. Research has shown that middle aged men under psychological distress are three times more likely to have a stroke than those without any psychological symptoms. It is important not to ignore the signs of anxiety and to look for coping strategies so that middle aged men can remain healthy.
Men and Anxiety
One of the reasons that it is crucial for men to learn about the signs of anxiety and depression is because it is common for men to ignore or write off their feelings. They may dismiss feelings of anxiety or hide their problems from others by simply saying they are stressed. It can be harder for men to recognize that they need help because they are taught not to show their emotions or to push through them without expressing how they feel.
There has been plenty of research surrounding the type of anxiety that women experience as they age especially in connection with physiological changes such as changing hormone levels and menopause. However, men are sometimes overlooked in these studies in spite of their increasing need for help with psychological issues in middle age. They may experience symptoms but avoid talking about it because of stigma or fear of appearing weak.
Men can have issues such as nervousness, fearfulness, irritability, impatience, edginess or just general anxious feelings. At times these feelings can begin to interfere with their ability to focus or concentrate at work and may make it harder for them to handle relationships. When feelings of anxiety interrupt a person’s life it is important for them to seek help from a professional.
Treating Middle Aged Anxiety
When men feel anxious or depressed they may feel hesitant to seek help or try to keep moving forward instead of dwelling on their problems. However, without professional assistance anxiety symptoms can build up and lead to greater physical and mental health problems. Treatment is crucial in order to minimize symptoms of anxiety and prevent any further issues.
Men have many of the same psychological needs that women have as they age and they need to focus on their own mental health as they cope with the stress of middle age. Anyone who experiences anxiety, no matter what age or what phase they are in their life should seek professional help so that they can heal and recover. If you are suffering from anxiety, contact a local therapist or a treatment center that specializes in anxiety so that you can learn how to manage your symptoms.