According to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, one in 10 adult males in the U.S. are affected by anxiety or depression, but more than a half do not get professional help.
The CDC researchers surveyed more than 21,000 Americans during their study. They also learned that black and Latino young male adults are less likely to report a mental health illness than their white counterparts. And the two minority groups are also more reluctant to ask for help when they experience psychiatric disorders, the CDC report revealed.
Dr. Stephen Blumberg from the CDC’s NCHS and lead author of the study believes that “social and cultural pressures” should be held accountable for black and Latino young males’ resistance to treatments of mental disorders.
“These pressures, which include ideas about masculinity and the stigma of mental illness, may be more pronounced for men of color,”
Dr. Blumberg also said that cultural prejudices pressure men of color to hide or deny their depression or anxiety symptoms, so mental health issues among black and Latino communities may be severely under-reported.
The study was conducted between 2010 and 2013 and was finally published this Thursday in the NCHS Data Brief.
But regardless of their age, about 9 percent of U.S. males experience either anxiety or depression symptoms on a daily basis. But only 41 percent seek treatment, the CDC report showed.
About 39 percent of study participants that were under 45 reported that they had taken psychiatric drugs or visited a professional to treat their daily depression or anxiety over the course of previous year.
About 42 percent of men aged 45 or more reported that they had done the same. But above 45 years of age, there were no statistically significant differences between whites and men of color.
Those differences struck researchers when they focused on males aged 18 to 44 years old. Only six percent of men of color reported daily symptoms of anxiety or depression, while more than eight percent of younger white men admitted they had the symptoms.
Additionally, just 26 percent of young black and Latino males sought professional help, compared with 45 percent of white males. But no racial divide in access to treatment was detected among young insured men, regardless of their color.
Researchers found that uninsured whites were three times more likely to go and see a doctor than their uninsured black and Latino counterparts. So, they believe that the differences detected among the uninsured may have something to do with black and Latino men’s prejudice that a health insurance shields them from the stigma a mental health issue may bring in their community.
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