You may or may not already have strong connections with other guys – perhaps a brother, father, or close friend group. We sometimes negate the importance of men’s connections with each other in life and recovery. However, making connections is part of the addiction treatment and recovery journey. Some men may be hesitant about entering a male-only treatment facility. However, having support from other men can be vital to your recovery journey.
Support and fellowship with others are crucial for sobriety for several reasons. For instance, bonding and confiding in other men can help you cope with the pressures of supporting a family or dealing with stigmas surrounding men and mental health. Additionally, some guys struggle with being vulnerable or asking for help from family members for fear of looking weak. While asking for help is not weak, having a community of men to support you during hard times can make all the difference when staying sober.
As you may or may not be aware, there are many stigmas regarding men talking about their mental health. Men are also less likely to seek professional mental health treatment. This is primarily because they fear people’s response, that they will be seen as weak, or are concerned they’ll be treated differently. That is because a vast amount of people still perceive that having mental health issues reduces a man’s masculinity, which prevents some men from seeking proper treatment.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), one in five adults has a mental illness, with approximately 57.8 million Americans having one in 2021. While the prevalence of mental illness appears to be higher in females, women are also more likely to seek treatment. That is because there is less stigma surrounding women’s mental health. Most people don’t question one’s feminity based on a mental health condition the way people do with masculinity.
Unfortunately, because of the decreased likelihood of seeking treatment, men are at a greater risk for depression and suicide. Research indicates suicide is a leading cause of death among men. Additionally, the number shows that six million men are affected by depression every year across the United States. So what do these numbers mean for you? Well, in a way, you should find comfort in knowing that several other guys are struggling with their mental health. However, it also means you should work to prioritize making connections with these guys. You can do so during treatment or in a support group meeting.
When discussing mental illness, there are several conditions it encompasses. Of course, people may refer to typical disorders, such as anxiety and depression. However, men struggle with many other complex mental health conditions every day. One of those includes substance use disorder (SUD).
Statistics indicate that men are more likely to use illicit substances, which can ultimately lead to the development of SUD. Like with other mental health conditions, men may also be less likely to seek treatment. However, treatment is vital to recovery and can be an ideal time to begin connecting with other guys with similar experiences.
Some of the benefits of connecting with men during treatment are:
These are some of the same benefits you will experience from connections with other men after treatment. Life after rehab can offer you as many opportunities to meet other sober men. However, it can sometimes be challenging for men to make connections for many reasons.
There are many male stereotypes we experience outside of the mental health space. One of those stereotypes is that men are stubborn. This stereotype is sometimes true and makes broadening men’s connections with other men more challenging within a sober community.
Other challenges you may face when making connections are:
Overcoming these barriers is essential, especially if you hope to maintain sobriety long-term.
Some men have trouble accepting their mental health condition or addiction. The reality is that mental illnesses are chronic conditions that last a lifetime, but they are manageable. What makes mental illness more manageable is a strong sense of community, especially a fellowship of men. This fellowship is key to caring for your mental health and maintaining long-term sobriety.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), one in five people in the United States has a mental health condition. While the prevalence is higher in females, suicide is the leading cause of death among men, and six million men are affected by depression annually. Men also typically struggle with substance use disorder (SUD) more than women. Part of the reason for this is that men are less likely to seek proper treatment for many reasons. Having the support of other men can help guys seek treatment and focus on their mental health long-term. To learn more about the benefits of connecting with other men or to seek treatment, call Healing Pines Recovery at (720) 575-2621.
The first step can be the hardest. Fill out the form or call us at 720-706-7980. You will be connected with a Healing Pines Recovery specialist who can answer your questions and help you get started.