The Modern Man and the Recovery From Addiction Battle
In regards to addiction, men are faced with a set of sensitive and unique issues. It has been proven that men are less likely to seek treatment for addiction and are more likely to experience relapse. Professionals in the field of addiction and psychology believe that part of the problem is that men face a set of modern stressors that place them under serious pressure, a pressure not experienced by previous generations.
The Modern Day Man and his Modern Day Stresses
The social pressures that are placed on the modern day man can hamper their addiction recovery severely. In the not so distant past, men were expected to be self-sufficient, self-contained, masculine and strong – both physically and emotionally. Men were brought up to live out the traditional masculine ideal.
In recent years, the male role in society and at home has evolved rapidly. Men are now expected to be masculine and sensitive, vulnerable to their emotions and open to their families. Men are now asked to show emotion and not be afraid to reach out to others for help. Due to this modern day shift in gender identity and stereotype, men feel stuck in the middle of a standard of masculinity that they were raised on and a new version of manhood that may be frightening and uncomfortable for them. Despite the ever evolving cultural expectations, and shifts in gender stereotypes, most men continue to fear their emotions and their vulnerability. Consciously or unconsciously – they see this kind of emotional openness as shameful.
Due to the fact that many men fear vulnerability they are less likely to reach out for help – for anything, let alone addiction. This is why men wait much longer than women before seeking treatment for addiction or alcoholism – or any medical illness. When a man does go to therapy he is more likely to be defensive and guarded, pseudo strength – one that protects them from their core emotions. As stereotypical as this may sound, a man’s depression usually manifests as anger or hides behind a sense of boredom. Men also have far less friends than women, with friendships based around activities rather than shared feelings.
The Modern Man and Addiction Treatment
For counsellors or therapists seeking to assist men in addiction recovery, it is vital to validate their inherent worth outside of their professional life. Men need reassurance that they are good, decent people who just need to learn better ways of expressing their emotions. They need to know that in life they are valued and respected.
Men may struggle to express their emotions verbally in therapy; however they thrive with homework/step work
assignments. These logical tasks assist them in improving their relationships and their behaviour. Group therapy sessions with other men also work as an effective recovery tool. This is because men feel less threatened in this kind of group environment –especially when they can relate to other men in the group. This helps them understand that they are not alone and helps them feel safer sharing their experiences and emotions.
Men are faced with challenging issues in addiction treatment and addiction recovery. They struggle with an amalgamation of issues, from conflicting cultural and social expectations to a fear of vulnerability and emotional openness.
The Houghton House addiction specialists take all aspects of a person’s lifestyle, upbringing and culture into account. All aspects are taken into consideration – ensuring the best possible addiction treatment.
Office Hours 011 787 9142
24 hours 079 770 7532