In general, women are twice as likely to struggle with an anxiety order than men. That said, men are typically far less likely to display traditional anxiety symptoms. They are also less likely to seek treatment. As a result, symptoms of anxiety in men can escalate and grow more severe. This makes it especially crucial that signs of anxiety in men are more easily recognized.
For example, anxiety for anyone often leads to symptoms like hyper-vigilance, extreme worrying, social isolation, and both sleep and digestive issues. Many men frequently repress or reframe such signs. To follow, we’ll examine where this tendency can lead.
4 Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety in Men
1. Inappropriate Anger
This one is listed first because it’s a key problem. In our society, it’s common knowledge that men feel it’s more acceptable to display anger or aggression than anxiety. The worry and stress that is pushed down can erupt in angry outbursts or fits of irritability. Running parallel to this are physical signs of anxiety. Signs that may accompany anxious rage are profuse sweating, pounding headache, racing pulse, and more. Anxiety is not a reason to excuse any man’s inappropriate expression of anger. Rather it could be an underlying explanation that should be explored.
2. Unhealthy Competition
Insecurity, doubt, and low self-esteem may result from anxious feelings. Once again, these are not viewed as masculine traits. Thus, men with anxiety may display a disproportionate about of competitive drive. This can manifest in an obsession over one’s social status, workaholism, or jealousy in relationships.
A man who seems to need to compulsively “win” just might be a very anxious man underneath. Unfortunately, it’s a self-perpetuating cycle. The more you engage in unhealthy competition, the less secure you feel.
3. Addictive Behaviors
Studies show that men will use addictive behaviors far more than women when it comes to anxiety relief. In particular, alcohol and drugs are common outlets. Some reasons for this include:
- Rather than face and/or express emotions that may be interpreted as weakness, many men prefer to self-medicate.
- It fits the standard male profile to insist that they can “fix” any problem they have. No outside help is required.
- Also, substance abuse is not even something that has to be hidden. It’s socially acceptable to let off some steam in a bar with your buddies, right?
Other addictive behaviors used to mask anxiety might be online gaming and watching porn. The pornography angle connects directly to symptom #4.
4. Relationship Issues
Another reason an anxious man may find solace in virtual sex is the fear of dating, sex, and relationships. There is plenty of pressure on men to initiate (even on dating apps) and be “providers.” This alone is enough to inspire some doubt. When dealing with an anxiety disorder, the stakes rise exponentially.
As for men already in a relationship, anxiety can play a detrimental role. It increases the likelihood of feeling stress, strain, and relationship distress. Many women will talk to friends or seek out therapy. Many men either remain silent or rely exclusively on their partners for support. Either choice only serves to increase the potential stress.
Take the Big First Step
Once men embrace the idea of getting help, they are just as likely as women to recover. But it begins with a big first step. That’s why I invite you to privately reach out to me. Let’s connect for a free and completely confidential consultation. In such a setting, you can get a better idea of what counseling can do for you.
There is no shame or stigma. It takes immense courage and strength to ask for support. The skills you learn will only serve to make you stronger. If any of the above symptoms resonate with you, I’d love to hear from you. Read more about anxiety therapy and reach out for a consultation. You deserve to live free of fear and worry.