Men's Health

THE HAPPINESS TEST

68% NUMBER OF MEN WHO SUSPECT THEY HAVE A MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEM BUT HAVEN’T TALKED TO THEIR DOCTOR
MEN’S HEALTH POLL

BILL WAS SUCCESSFUL IN ALL WAYS. AT 48, HE was wealthy and at the top of his field. His body was strong and trim from intense workouts and smart eating. He had a loving wife and two healthy kids. “What do I have to be depressed about?” he asked himself.

But depressed he was. For weeks he woke up in the morning with crippling anxiety instead of his signature calm. Simple work decisions became impossible. He started drinking more. His wife’s penchant for planning vacations, usually a pleasure, became a nagging honey-do list. He called me—a drastic step in his mind—after uncharacteristically pulling his car off the highway, turning around, and screaming at his kids.

Sound familiar? It does to me. As a psychiatrist for the past 15 years and an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, I’ve seen a range of men struggling with their mental health, from CEOs like Bill to hipsters in their 20s. Plus, I’m a husband, father, and businessman. My life depends on managing my stress. But wait, men don’t talk about feelings, right?

Maybe that myth is behind the fact that dozens of women’s mental health centers can be found at major U.S. academic medical facilities—Harvard, Columbia, Stanford, Yale. But mental health venues for men? Minimal. One of the first, the Eaton Foundation in the U.K., was founded just five years ago.

The statistics can make these problems seem uncommon in men. Women are nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with depressive or anxiety disorders. And since men are less likely to seek health care of all kinds, I worry that these statistics further dissuade guys from getting help. After all, men con sistently beat out women in one key area: suicide. In 2016, 77 percent of the

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