The age of stress: Anxiety in men
Focusing on anxieties, phobias and fears in a therapeutic practice changes peoples’ lives by helping them change their negative thought patterns in order to find a way for them to live the life they deserve. One may assume that a practice focused in anxiety would bring in mostly women patients; but the opposite is true. About 80% of clients, according to one practitioner, are men. The men entering therapy for anxiety are usually seen as successful in the eyes of society. However, because of pressures from work, relationships and society as a whole, for men, success does not equal happiness. Anxiety in men is not something that is casually discussed, despite the fact that the scale of men with anxiety is larger then you might imagine.
It is important to note that anxiety in men is real. One in five men will experience anxiety at some point in their lifetime. In today’s society, both men and women are pressured to fit into gender roles, which can be a major cause of anxiety among many other things. Generally speaking, men are expected to be strong and supportive. They are required to provide for the family and have successful careers. This can result in men not spending enough time with their family, which causes alienation from their partners and children. Being a man in today’s society is not easy because others perceive showing any form of weakness as unacceptable. Men report that they are scared of being perceived as weak, which leads to their biggest fear of not being able to provide for their family.
The understanding of the causes of anxiety in men does not completely answer why they seek help in private therapeutic settings. A big underlying truth is that men are less likely to talk to their friends or family about anxiety. This is opposed to women who are generally more open with their peers regarding anxiety-provoking issues. In fact, one study showed that only 3% of men discuss their worries with their relatives compared to 54% of women. In the context of men desiring to not being viewed as weak, the study’s findings make sense. Therefore, seeking private help rather then going through a national health system provides a freedom of choice for men to choose a therapeutic approach that is more flexible and confidential. Because men are reluctant to speak of anxieties in public, they revere the privacy of a therapeutic practice and not having something like an anxiety disorder listed on their public health records.
As a therapist, your clients consider you their biggest secret. This is why they find confidence and are willing to share so much. It is also why it is more successful for helping men cope with anxieties and live the life they wish. The men know that what they are sharing is in confidence and they can explore without fear of whiplash from friends, family, coworkers, and society.
Hypnotherapy is a useful tool for practitioners to help treat clients’ anxieties. The practice allows clients to discuss information they may not speak of in other therapeutic environments. Hypnotherapy allows clients to focus on their future, thought patterns, and creativity. Through this process, clients start to understand how their mind works. Together with their therapist, the person can find skills they can use to overcome anxiety as it appears in their normal daily routines.
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