“I Feel Abused by My Own Mind”: Themes of Control in Men’s Online Accounts of Living With Anxiety

Phoebe G. Drioli-Phillips, Melissa Oxlad, Rebecca Feo, Brett Scholz, Amanda LeCouteur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Men’s experiences with anxiety are under-researched and poorly understood. Existing research gives little indication of how men talk about anxiety in situ, and little is known about how men describe their experiences of anxiety. Online discussion forums provide an opportunity to conduct naturalistic observations of how men describe their experiences with anxiety without the influence of a researcher. Thematic analysis, informed by principles of discursive psychology, was used to examine 130 opening posts to an online anxiety discussion forum. One superordinate theme, where anxiety is constructed as a loss of control, was identified. Analysis of this overarching theme generated three themes relating to how posters described a loss of control: (a) anxiety as an immobilizing force, (b) anxiety as an independent entity, and (c) anxiety as a dualist construction of the self. Our analysis has clear implications for developing and improving interventions for men experiencing anxiety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2118-2131
Number of pages14
JournalQualitative Health Research
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020


  • Australia
  • discursive psychology
  • masculinity
  • mental health and illness
  • men’s health
  • psychological issues
  • psychology
  • qualitative
  • thematic analysis


Dive into the research topics of '“I Feel Abused by My Own Mind”: Themes of Control in Men’s Online Accounts of Living With Anxiety'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this