Young men and women differ emotionally, so emotional issues in your boyfriend may not be easy to spot. He could be a blank screen or have a temper that is easily set off. Recognizing the signs of emotional issues in young men helps you better relate to them and become an effective source of support. This knowledge then helps you show a new form of love for your boyfriend by looking after his mental welfare.
Staring at a Blank Wall
One way to spot emotional issues in your boyfriend is to see whether he shows any emotion at all. Due to gender socialization, men are more likely to bottle up their feelings. They do not learn the same skills as girls do for dealing with emotions and are commonly told they need to be "strong," so they inhibit their feelings. If he "blanks out" most of the time, even in very emotional situations, this behavior indicates emotional issues. A significant sign is whether his blank expressions are a change from his usual demeanor.
Consistent irritability is a sure-fire sign of emotional issues in your boyfriend. According to a report titled "Men and Depression" by the National Institute of Mental Health, compared to women, men often manifest issues such as depression through irritability or agitation. He may become upset quickly or often be in a state of frustration. His irritability can also manifest to the extreme as violent or controlling actions towards others, behavior that people do not consider to be expressions of sadness.
Drinking Like a Fish
Drinking is a strategy many people use to deal with emotions, but according to the Mayo Clinic article "Male Depression: Understanding the Issues," it can also indicate emotional problems in young men. Because alcohol makes him feel less upset, your boyfriend may take to drinking more often than he should if he has underlying emotional problem. Drinking is a common self-medication tool for people with anxiety or depression. Especially if he is underage, your boyfriend's drinking can be a sign that he is struggling with emotional issues he doesn't know how to handle.
Three Emotional Rights Make a Left
Your boyfriend can show signs of emotional issues even through denial. In its report on male depression, the Mayo Clinic asserts that the condition is often overlooked because men downplay or deny symptoms. Sadness is not the only emotion that men may skirt -- many men do not feel comfortable talking about emotions that make them look less masculine. Though he may redirect your questions or ignore them, he may still be experiencing deep emotional problems. Check for other signs such as less activity, sleep problems or changes in appetite if you feel your boyfriend is denying his issues.
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