Valiant Living Blog

The Mental Health of Men in America

Written by Valiant Living Recovery on Thursday, March 3rd, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a devastating impact on the mental health of Americans. According to the recently published Mental Health Index, one in four members of the US workforce show signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression is up 87 percent according to the survey.

The US Worker Edition of this latest Mental Health Index provides devastating insights into the mental health of men in particular. Males show a sharp rise in the risk of addiction—up an alarming 80 percent between September and December 2021 alone. In just the past three months, depression among men is up 118 percent, and social anxiety is up 162 percent. When looking specifically at men ages 40–59, general anxiety almost doubled.

The Mental Health Index: US Worker Edition, powered by Total Brain, a mental health monitoring and support platform, is distributed in partnership with the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions, One Mind at Work, and the HR Policy Association and its American Health Policy Institute.

“We expect mental health declines around the holidays; however, nothing of this sheer magnitude,” said Mathew Mund, CEO, Total Brain. “We see a very troublesome surge in mental health concerns at a time when Omicron begins to grip the nation; workplace vaccine mandates are put in place, and the holiday season is in full swing.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, various researchers have observed a significant increase in alcohol consumption.   

“Using data from a national survey of US adults on their drinking habits that found that excessive drinking (such as binge drinking) increased by 21 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic,” investigators at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital recently “simulated the drinking trajectories and liver disease trends in all US adults. The researchers noted that a sustained increase in alcohol consumption for more than one year could result in 19 to 35 percent additional mortality.”

It can also result in a dramatic increase in cases of alcohol use disorder. Substance misuse has long been correlated with intense stress, especially trauma, and mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. Addiction is a complex disease and gender-specific, comprehensive treatment yields the best outcomes. Valiant Living offers a new approach to recovery from addiction, comprehensively restoring the lives of men from substance use and intimacy disorders, and their impact on all aspects of life. 

When it comes to substance misuse and addiction, gender differences abound. Males start using drugs at an earlier age. Men misuse drugs more often and in larger amounts. Males are more likely to misuse alcohol and tobacco. Men are more likely to engage in binge drinking (the consumption of five or more drinks in a short time period).

Since men have specific needs and issues when it comes to substance use, treatment should reflect that. “In the past, the term gender-responsive has meant woman-centered,” write Stephanie Covington, Dan Griffin, and Rick Dauer in Helping Men Recover. “This came from the need to develop programming for women in a field that assumed that male and female addicts would respond to the same type of services.”

An even more specific group of patients is male professionals. Many physicians currently continue to work under extremely stressful conditions because of the deadly COVID pandemic. In order to cope with this stress, they may be tempted to engage in drug or alcohol misuse or compulsive sexual behavior

Valiant Living Professionals Program for Men strives to restore lives severely harmed by addictions, intimacy disorders, and their impact on all aspects of life. We treat men looking to heal relationships hurt by addictive or compulsive behavior. Our clients are professionals who need to make significant life changes in order to rebuild the life they imagined for themselves.

We help men who struggle with compulsive behaviors and mental health issues and may benefit from a clinical team that can navigate multiple co-occurring issues with them. We treat addiction as a disease of the family system—an important aspect of our treatment approach. Valiant Living founder Michael Dinneen previously worked with other programs addressing substance misuse and intimacy disorders, but each focused primarily on the individual as the client, often missing the broader context of the family system in which they lived. 

Our trained staff utilizes the most progressive therapy modalities to offer the highest quality care. We provide individual therapy, group therapy, psycho-educational classes, workshops, and more to help restore the harm created by intimacy disorders and addictions.

We understand the unique challenges faced by professionals in recovery. That’s why we offer a specialized program for men with demanding careers and a fast-paced lifestyle. Our discreet Professionals Program is a treatment solution that balances career and recovery to help you achieve lasting sobriety without sacrificing your professional status. If you or a loved one has turned to drugs or alcohol to keep up at work and manage a high degree of daily stress, don’t hesitate to reach out for help by calling us today at 303-952-5035.