Although anxiety disorders are the most prevalent mental health disorder in Australia, little is known about men’s anxiety help-seeking practices. This study investigates how male users of an online discussion forum accounted for engaging in troubles-telling in an online community. Posts on an online discussion forum written by men who identify as experiencing anxiety were analysed using discursive psychology, through the identification of four interpretative repertoires: (1) orienting to troubles-telling as their purpose for posting, (2) troubles-talk as a necessary form of self-help, (3) the online community as a last resort and (4) anxiety as a hidden, secret experience. Findings demonstrate how men reproduced hegemonic masculine ideals of strength, self-reliance and emotional stoicism, while also sharing their experiences of anxiety online. This research highlights the relevance of masculine social norms in understanding anxiety help-seeking practices, and also illustrates the value of online communities in offering support to men in need.
- Support groups
- Online discussion forums