Men don’t talk about issues and problems that they may be facing…why? Because from little you are taught that boys are tough, they are strong and brave and they must protect their moms and sisters. To be this strong, brave man you can’t be seen as soft and emotional, so no crying allowed, no feeling down or overwhelmed by things.
So when men do encounter difficulties in life, and they do, how do they deal with them? What tools have they been given to help them through these rough patches? Well, I remember been told all the things that boys and men DON’T DO…but I can’t recall ever hearing what we should do when we are down and facing a difficult situation. I also didn’t have an example to follow as my dad turned to alcohol.
So here is what most of us do…we bury that shit so deep inside that it can never be found again! The problem is that at some point in time you hit a really big pothole (financial stress, work issues, family pressures, marriage problems) and all that stuff is jolted lose and drifts to the surface…it has now become such poison that it kills everything on the way up to the surface…it kills your confidence, self – esteem, trust in your own abilities and also your connection with significant others in your life. You are enveloped in this dark cloud of helplessness and negativity. You sink deeper and deeper into it the longer it is left unchecked. You start having difficulty sleeping, eating, and concentrating. You feel tired and listless and no matter how many times people ask you how you are, you are oblivious to the picture that the outside world is seeing. If so inclined, you start drinking or using drugs in an effort to just feel better. The more you use the deeper you sink into the black hole, but for as long as it gives you relief you really don’t care.
Depression is a horrible disease and because of their pride and the stigma attached to depression men very seldom seek help. They cannot admit that they have an issue that needs professional help because that would mean that they have failed as men, as protectors, providers and fighters.
Depression unchecked and untreated leads to suicide…which leaves huge holes of despair, confusion and hurt in the lives of the family members that stay behind.
Guys, depression can be treated and there is no problem in this world that doesn’t have a solution. I know this first hand as I suffered from depression that crippled me. Until I spoke up and asked for help suicide was a reality for me. Today I know what triggers my depression and I know how to deal with it and when to ask for help. I also know now that my father suffered from depression and if he had sought the help he needed I might not have had the abusive childhood or the difficult and sometimes unstable adulthood that I have had.
It is never too late to ask for help. There are so many organisations out there today that can help you or you could speak to your doctor for further information. Online resources are endless; don’t waste another minute more than you need to. Call now!