man resting hands against head who looks stressed

What Are Anxiety Attack Symptoms In Men?

The most common mental health conditions in the world are anxiety disorders. Statistically speaking, women are more likely to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. But this doesn’t mean men do not suffer widely from this issue. In fact, since men are traditionally less likely to report mental health symptoms, the real numbers are probably much higher.

Like all mental health conditions, anxiety can manifest uniquely for each person. This includes a documented difference in how males and females respond to such a disorder. For example, research shows women commonly choose avoidance while men more often turn to substance abuse. Obviously, it’s important for us to understand such different reactions.

What Is An Anxiety Attack?

Unlike a panic attack, an anxiety attack is not technically a diagnosable event. The clearest way to understand an anxiety attack is to view it as a convergence of many symptoms at once. Take a look at the list of anxiety symptoms below. Then imagine any combination of them striking at the same time.

Common Anxiety Symptoms In Males


  • Extreme sweating
  • Unexplained muscle aches and tension
  • Headaches
  • Racing heart rate
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Shortness of breath/Choking sensation
  • Digestive issues
  • Fatigue
  • Trembling and shaking


  • A consistent feeling of dread
  • Nervousness
  • Irritability and anger
  • Worst-case scenario types of worrying
  • Hyper-vigilance
  • Avoidance
  • Difficulty staying focused
  • Restlessness and edginess
  • Forgetfulness
  • Intense fear of being out of control

man resting hands against head who looks stressedThis is not to say women will not also experience some of these symptoms. For men, however, many of these signs can be viewed as a “weakness” and thus lead to panicked efforts to suppress them. When this happens, anxiety becomes heightened and the chances of a full-blown anxiety attack are higher.

What Causes Anxiety And Anxiety Attacks In Males?

An anxiety attack is a possibility for anyone — regardless of age or sex — when life has become very stressful for them. The loss of a loved one, financial woes, relationship strife, and so much more can trigger any and all of the symptoms listed above. In short doses, this is normal, inevitable, and manageable. When stress symptoms linger and become unmanageable, you could be on cusp of an anxiety attack.

Besides the universal trends just mentioned, there are some anxiety attack causes that are quite specific to males. These include:

  • Low testosterone: Hormones are not just a female problem. There is a direct correlation between anxiety increasing as a man ages — and testosterone levels decline.
  • Substance use and abuse: Of course, this can affect women, too. But substance issues are more common in men and this is often because drugs and alcohol are used to self-medicate problems like high anxiety.
  • Societal expectations: Generally speaking, men are not encouraged to acquire the complex language needed to express emotions. This can lead to having less close relationships. Combine these two tendencies and you have a recipe for increased anxiety.

It’s So Important to Ask For Help

Anxiety is a diagnosable mental health disorder that cannot and should not be brushed off. Left unchecked, it can lead to anxiety attacks and seriously hamper your ability to function on a day-to-day basis. As highlighted throughout this post, men can be reluctant to own up to anxious feelings. Fortunately, therapy is private and confidential.

Any man struggling with worry and dread can reach out and get the help they need and deserve — without divulging anything to others in their life. Your weekly therapy sessions are a safe space to talk openly about emotions. You and your therapist work as a team to reveal underlying issues while discovering productive new approaches. Reach out if you are ready to learn more about therapy for men.

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