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Common Anxiety Symptoms in Men

Katelyn Hagerty FNP

Medically reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP

Written by Our Editorial Team

Last updated 1/14/2022

Anxiety.

It can be a total bear of a mental health condition, and it can hurt your quality of life to the point that basic daily activities don’t carry the same spark.

Not only is anxiety tricky to confront, but — especially among us men — there’s a particular stigma we have to overcome when admitting we need help (and finding that help). It’s also difficult to understand a risk factor for anxiety from a normal physiological reaction to something.

In this article, we want to break down the common symptoms of anxiety men experience.

Just as importantly, we want to show how you can take control of your anxiety — body and mind — and start living your life to the fullest.

Follow us.

Anxiety.

It can be a total bear of a mental health condition, and it can hurt your quality of life to the point that basic daily activities don’t carry the same spark.

Not only is anxiety tricky to confront, but — especially among us men — there’s a particular stigma we have to overcome when admitting we need help (and finding that help). It’s also difficult to understand a risk factor for anxiety from a normal physiological reaction to something.

In this article, we want to break down the common symptoms of anxiety men experience.

Just as importantly, we want to show how you can take control of your anxiety — body and mind — and start living your life to the fullest.

Follow us.

Does Anxiety Really Affect Men and Women Differently?

Well, kind of.

Research has proven, for example, women are more susceptible to depression and anxiety than men.

But that’s where the research on these medical conditions gets interesting.

In fact, as you delve further into the data, you find that, for the most part, women and men experience the same kinds of anxiety.

The difference between men and women when it comes to anxiety is not that one gender experiences anxiety and the other does not — it’s that women more often experience anxiety than men.

If you dive deeper into the data, you see women are several percentage points above men in reported cases of, for example, generalized anxiety disorder.

To make matters more interesting, men with anxiety are more statistically likely to receive therapy than their female counterparts.

Since men and women experience, for the most part, the same feelings of anxiety, it’s worth exploring what, exactly, anxiety is.

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What Is Anxiety?

Before we break down the common anxiety symptoms in men, it’s best we explain what anxiety is — specifically, what anxious feelings and physical manifestations are.

Anxiety is a feeling of worry, unease or discomfort in a given situation. 

You may feel nervous before a big presentation at work or at school. Maybe you’re an athlete and you have some jitters — a racing heart, worried thoughts — before a big game.

Not to worry. More often than not, the anxiety you’re experiencing is both normal and will abate quickly and easily.

However, there are more serious forms of anxiety that can affect you.

These are forms of anxiety that will have longer lasting, nastier effects on your mental health state, potentially leaving you depressed, more anxious and worried that you’ll never pull back and live your best life.

Here’s a basic breakdown of those types of anxiety disorders, so that you can differentiate one serious form of anxiety disorder from another.

Panic Disorder

A panic disorder can be characterized as an anxiety disorder in which someone has persistent panic attacks.

What can make a panic disorder even more acute and more difficult to deal with is that part of the panic disorder involves one always worrying about the next panic attack.

By worrying about their next panic attack, the sufferer almost sets themselves up for another panic attack.

One by-product of panic disorders is that a person curtails their behaviors — thinking it’ll bypass anxious feelings or chronic anxiety — in order to avoid panic attacks.

Consequently, a panic disorder can have a profound effect in reordering one’s life, often with negative consequences.

Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia often means that one has a fear of public spaces and public venues. Further, it can touch someone simply once they have left their home.

Like those with panic disorders, those with agoraphobia symptoms can alter ones life and their coinciding habits to placate their fear of anything outside of their home.

The results can be difficult for the person with agoraphobia, often having dramatic consequences on the way they structure and order their lives.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Generalized anxiety disorder means that someone has persistent anxiety that they’ve been combatting for at least six months. 

When someone has this type of anxiety disorder, it means the severity of their anxiety can vary. However, what remains constant is the presence of the anxiety itself.

When someone has generalized anxiety disorder, they experience a number of symptoms, such as: difficulty sleeping, irritability, fatigue, hopelessness, physical tension and difficulty concentrating.

Separation Anxiety Disorder (SAD)

Separation anxiety disorder rears its head most often, and most stereotypically, in children. 

Typically, when you exhibit signs of separation anxiety disorder, you show a fear of detachment from a loved one or trusted individual that doesn’t align with your age or maturity level.

Further, the level of anxiety one exhibits when separated — or confronted with the fear of separation — appears quite imbalanced.

Nightmares and physical symptoms can show when separation anxiety disorder begins to rear its head. 

Further, even though separation anxiety disorder most commonly presents in childhood, it can also touch people in adolescence and adulthood.

Specific Phobias

Having anxiety with regard to a phobia (or, fear) is quite common, but also difficult at times to reel in.

The reason is: these phobias can be rather varied, both in how they show themselves but also in the breadth of triggers for the phobias themselves.

Phobias at times can relate to specific objects or situations.

For example, the objects can be a spider, a piece of machinery — and your mind will then run with a bug, animal or object and create nasty, projected scenarios associated with that particular object.

Particular acts of your day-to-day can also trigger a specific phobia, such as flying, heights or getting on an airplane — or, as mentioned above with agoraphobia (a type of phobia), a fear of leaving one’s house.

All these circumstances, though quite varied, are causes for specific phobias that, in turn, provoke an anxious response such as shaking, racing thoughts, shortness of breath, sweating and other reactions.

Social Anxiety Disorder 

With social anxiety disorder, the idea of being out in public isn’t just intimidating — it’s downright terrifying.

Crowded spaces, social functions in which you know or don’t know the people — it doesn’t really matter, it just causes terror.

Sometimes, the anxiety is justified. Other times, the person who’s being struck by such an anxious reaction to a social situation is projecting disaster onto the situation itself.

Selective Mutism

Although this is a rarer form of anxiety, it is nevertheless critical to discuss.

Selective mutism is classified as the inability to speak in social situations due to anxiety. 

Further, it is classified as selective mutism because in other scenarios, the person can speak regularly.

Treating Your Anxiety Symptoms

The good news here is that there are plenty of ways you can treat some of the more common symptoms of anxiety

Here are some of the more common ones:

Psychotherapy

First, there’s psychotherapy.

Psychotherapy is the work between an individual and a mental health professional, usually a therapist, in which they help individuals develop better mental habits to improve their mental well-being.

Further, there are specific kinds of psychotherapy that your therapist may employ to assist you in your mental health care challenges.

Here is a breakdown of some of the basic kinds of therapy a therapist may use to help you in your journey of healing.

  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) places an emphasis on how you — the patient — think. CBT tries to restructure the way your feelings are influenced by your thoughts and visa-versa. By examining your feelings and thoughts, you’re better able to control your mental well-being.

  • Psychodynamic Therapy (PT) approaches problematic thoughts and behaviors by examining the unconscious meanings and motivations behind your hypothetical problematic thoughts and behaviors. PT puts an intense emphasis on the individual learning more and more about themselves.

  • Behavioral Therapy (BT) approaches the behaviors of an individual, specifically how the individual’s behaviors affect their mental well-being. Further, the individual examines whether those behaviors exacerbate their mental health challenges, whether they come in the form of anxiety, depression, severe depression or something else.

  • Desensitizing, or exposure therapy, exposes a patient to phobias and anxious triggers within a controlled, safe setting. The thought behind this form of behavior is that the more exposure the patient has to what causes them anxiety, the less strength, power — and even control — those fears have over them.

  • Humanistic Therapy emphasizes the individual’s agency — their ability to make rational choices on their behalf and for their own well-being.

Fortunately, hims offers a range of psychological counseling to assist the patient in their mental health care needs.

Hims will pair the patient with an online mental health care professional, who stands ready to provide the assistance necessary to help the patient help themselves when combating their anxiety — or even their depression.

Psychiatry

Psychiatry focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders with the help of a psychiatrist.

What makes psychiatry unique is a psychiatrist is a trained medical professional who can prescribe medications.

There are a number of medications a psychiatrist would prescribe to a patient. 

Here’s a rundown of a few kinds of medication a psychiatrist may prescribe to assist a patient as they battle something like depression or anxiety:

  • Antipsychotic medications, which are used to treat psychotic symptoms (delusions, hallucinations).

  • Mood stabilizers, which can assist something like bipolar disorder.

  • Stimulants, which are typically used to treat attention deficit disorder (ADD).

  • Sedatives, typically employed to deal with anxiety.

  • Antidepressants, which psychiatrists prescribe to treat a patient’s depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), borderline personality disorder.

Better yet, hims also offers psychiatric care.

Group Therapy

Group therapy can be a powerful tool for you to use in your mental health care journey.

Fortunately, hims also offers online group therapy to patients.

Hims’ online group therapy is confidential. It also provides folks with the safety and community support necessary to begin the journey to managing anxiety..

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Conclusion on Common Anxiety Symptoms

It’s never too late to seek out care for your mental well-being.

Challenges with anxiety can affect anyone — man or woman.

Although it’s challenging to say out loud — or to say to yourself, even — that you need help, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with saying it.

After all, you take the time to address your skincare and sex life — why not help out your mental health while you’re at it?

The first step in that journey is being able to identify some of the common signs of anxiety. The next step is getting the help you need.

9 Sources

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references.

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  2. National Institute of Mental Health. (n.d.). Generalized Anxiety Disorder. NIMH.NIH.gov. nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/generalized-anxiety-disorder.
  3. Chand SP, Marwaha R. Anxiety. Updated 2021 Jul 26. In: StatPearls Internet. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470361/.
  4. National Institute of Mental Health. (2018, July). Anxiety Disorders. NIMH.NIH.org. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders.
  5. Feriante J, Bernstein B. Separation Anxiety. Updated 2021 Jul 26. In: StatPearls Internet. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK560793/.
  6. National Institute of Mental Health. (n.d.). Social Anxiety Disorder: More Than Just Shyness. NIMH.NIH.gov. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/social-anxiety-disorder-more-than-just-shyness.
  7. American Psychological Association. (2020, July 31). Understanding psychology and how it works. APA.org. https://www.apa.org/topics/psychotherapy/understanding.
  8. American Psychological Association. (2009). Different approaches to psychotherapy. APA.org. https://www.apa.org/topics/psychotherapy/approaches.
  9. American Psychiatric Association. (n.d.). What Is Psychiatry. Psychiatry.org. https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/what-is-psychiatry-menu.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.