Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Men vs Depression

This one's for all the men out there. You are amazing people! You are providers, supporters, fighters and lovers. You are fathers and grandfathers, brothers and sons. Yes. And you are supposed to be strong and show no signs of struggle or weakness...? NO! You are human. You hurt, you feel, you emote and you can break. But after that you are still a man. You are not immune to mental illness and you are entitled to support and help if it strikes.

It pains me to see men feel alone and be stigmatised for mental health. Male suicide rates are high and often mental illness is left too long before seeking help because of the way men are often portrayed and made to feel. Well let me tell you something, the strongest men I have ever seen in my life both physically, mentally and emotionally strong I have also seen cry. I have seen them worry, seen them sick, seen them mentally ill and seen them ask for help (albeit reluctantly ask for help but they have.) I don't want men out there to feel as though they need to fight on alone. Build an army don't be a lone ranger!

I want you to think of this; when babies are born everyone in the room waits to hear that first cry. That first cry says "I'm alive". When you cry as a child it means "I'm hurt" "I need help" "I need attention" "I'm sad" and you can cry as an adult male. A strong man crying and tell us you are hurt, need attention, feel sad and need help. You can stop providing while you recover and be supported by someone else. You can be a tag team fighter rather than stand in the ring alone against a champion heavyweight. 

One of the bravest and most courageous things I have seen a very important man do is soldier on through mental illness brought on by experiences that no one should ever experience. This gave me hope too. If someone so strong can fight a fight that hard then I could too. If that big, strong man can cry then this little girl can cry. If that amazing man can fight like that then he truly is a hero.

It is refreshing and beautiful to see a man full of emotions! And if this isn't enough to show you how amazing you are and how you can show emotions then I will tell you this! Yes I am going for the sex sells approach (sexist or what!). It is in my nature to respond to cries and help whether that be a baby, child, woman, man, OAP, animal... I will respond to a cry with love and support. BUT if the one crying happens to be my man, my husband, although it breaks my heart to see it... it's bloody sexy too!

Much love,
Becky xx


Marie Keen said...

Hi Sweetie
When men are from a different generation. One were they are expected to be the stronger gender. Taught that it is wrong to show emotion. Then that is a definite recipe for disaster. This I have seen first hand. To see someone close to you, who you love, who has always been the pillar of strength, Who have always worked their hardest to provide for their family. When you see them break into a million pieces before your eyes and that they have hidden all this because they were brought up to think they should be strong enough to not ask for help and not even know how too. This and the consequential resonating effects through family shouldn't happen in this day and age. Maybe there should be a special day to highlight this. The ' It's alright for men to cry day' or similar.
Hugs Marie xx

Becky said...

I love that idea! I have the same experience of seeing someone who really struggled on and took the world on their shoulders. my absolute idol and now I have had depression I really don't know how he did it. I still think today the image of men in the media, film, comic books is still the strong male that shows little emotion. Not in all media but enough to make a stereotype.
Much love xx

Steven Williams said...

I have a real problem showing emotion. At a very rough time during my depression, I also lost my mother to a stoke. She was unresponsive towards me in a nursing home before she had a massive stroke that took her life. I still had no emotion. i kept everything bottled up. Feeling that I couldn't talk to anyone for fear of people thinking I was weak. Now I know that it's just the opposite. It's a strong person that's able to talk about these issues. Keeping things bottled up will only result in really bad results.

Becky said...

Thank you for sharing that. You are right bottling up can have awful effects. Sometimes you just can't show emotion or feel it. I lost my dad in his early 40s which was devastating and I grieved for years and I still am now. But not long after my Grandad suddenly passed away in his 60s. I didn't cry I just took his death as matter of fact and part of life I didn't even cry at the funeral and remember thinking I needed to force tears out. I felt awful and like I didn't care when he was a really important person in my life that I loved to bits. I wonder if it's our mind's way of protecting us sometimes. Knowing we can't cope with too much in one go so it blocks it out?

Adam said...

Great post! Thanks for sharing these thoughts. As a man, it can be difficult to admit you need help. I put it off for far too long. I recently read an article called "Real Men Get Help" about seeking treatment for mental illness. I hope men like me who struggle with depression and/or anxiety are becoming more willing to seek help. Posts like yours are a great start to getting us thinking about needing that help. So thank you again!

Becky said...

Thanks Adam. It's a subject very close to my heart. Seeing someone try to struggle on because they feel they have to is heartbreaking. I always tell guys that in a way they can be proud of their mental illness because it's probably one of the biggest fights to face and it takes balls to get through it!