Men: is it time we man up or man down?

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by Perfect Melancholy, Aug 19, 2014.

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  1. Perfect Melancholy

    Perfect Melancholy SF Friend

    Firstly this post is not aimed at just men so apologises, I would love any input from from women. I am not having a go in this just trying to comprehend a confusing thought pattern. the oxymoron that is my mind on depression, my own issues.

    What annoyed me and triggered this is the BBC coverage of mental health after robin Williams sad passing, firstly in the uk suicide is the biggest killer of men aged 18-49, instead of seeing this as a chance to promote support for men the BBC focused an article on support for women who were suffering suicidal thoughts. Again not belittling this but we have a national crisis, three men a day take their lives a massive increase on how many women do, don't get me wrong every death is tragic. And I do realise it is as important, but did they do it because of the male macho culture we live in?

    So you're probably thinking rich what is your point, well this is. Men why do we pretend we are okay myself included, why do we hide behind how we feel? Surely it's time to talk to each other even if it's a mate I'm doing pretty badly. I often wondered in life why I got along with women better, it is because I can be myself, no macho bs. No being "a lad".

    I am a normal male not because I love football beer cricket banter action films and music, but I am a normal male BECAUSE I suffer from mental health problems, it will affect two thirds of us men from mild depression to one in six of us making a serious attempt on our lives.

    And here's the oxymoron, shouldn't I practise what I preach? I don't I am scared one day I will but yeah you go first attitude overcomes me. I think it's time we put down the facade stop pretending we are okay mate, and start talking to each other start expressing how we feel.

    This might just be me, but everyday I read a story In the papers with the quotes of "he was the life and soul of everything" it's not hiding who we are or acting differently, it is just saying when we are down we are that, reaching out.

    Part of me even thinking writing this despite knowing the stats, despite my experiences in life that people will just ask what the hell I am on about and I am wrong, and I probably make no sense. Sorry again for this vent
  2. Mr Stewart

    Mr Stewart Well-Known Member

    I think maybe men are less likely to admit they have a problem with depression and mental illness in general, so put off getting help until the advanced stages where these things get much more dangerous and overwhelming. I'm not sure it's a macho thing so much as just the male "walk it off" mentality and also attempts to self medicate with alcohol and drugs preferred over proper psychiatric treatment.

    I most certainly tried to self medicate with alcohol in my 20's. It only made things worse, of course.
  3. justMe7

    justMe7 Well-Known Member

    Well... most guys don't talk about things because that's sorta what we do. Alpha's deal with the situation themselves. That's the basic principle in my opinion. Coming together is extremely important and helpful, but also dangerous to the individual's state of being in control of their own lives and dealing with life themselves. If they don't learn to adapt and deal with the situation themselves. Or atleast regain a foothold for themselves in toxic situations.
  4. SoleSpider

    SoleSpider Member

    Hello, I'm new here, I was thinking it best to reply to a few topics before I introduce myself in more detail.

    I don't think we hide our true feelings and emotions not because we want to or prefer it that way but because the world around us forces it that way. Yes, I might feel better if I open up but I can connect the dots to know that if I do my life will just get a lot worse because even less people will want to be around me. Sure, at the moment when you are expressing yourself people will not shun you to your face but very quickly they will find reasons to not want to be around you. That's the way I feel about it anyway.
  5. johnnysays

    johnnysays Well-Known Member

    SBlake and SoleSpider, I think you're both right.

    No man is perfectly alone but I don't think men are solely social bugs.

    I've been in both cases. Sometimes I won't say things because I don't want someone else to push me around. Other times I won't say things because I don't want to bring others down or to cause them to use me as a target for whatever contempt they have.
  6. helpme551311

    helpme551311 New Member

    I feel the that way I hide this sight from my wife as and it back fired in my face ...
  7. random33

    random33 Well-Known Member

    Things may be changing now, but looking at my generation, people born in the late 70's, early 80's, there was still a lot of stigma surronding mental illness and men were raised to believe they had to be strong, that crying, showing emotion and offcourse seeking help was for the weak, if we were depressed we just had to man up, this is I believe one of the main causes why men with any kind of mental illness don't seek help and end up commiting suicide, it's up to this generation to change this, we need a world where men should not be ashamed to ask for help.
  8. Phil smith

    Phil smith Member

    I've been in a real bad place for years now. I'm not going to get into it now cuz no one wants to read a book about my depression. I am a 30 year old male, father of 2 young boys and have been married to the most beautiful women for the last 6 years. For some reason I have had less then 20 good days that I can remember in the last 5 years. I cry constantly, I've tr killing my self a few times and the only thing that matters to me(my family) is slipping away. I've been a crying little boy for so long I usually don't even reference myself as a man most times. I feel like a helpless baby. I'm Not sure how u might relate my post to this thread but I feel that society tell me that since I'm not acting like a man....I'm not one.
  9. Bart

    Bart Banned Member

    Phil Smith,

    Well, you're man enough to make some pretty honest revelations about yourself. A lot of men can't do that because they're too scared to. So, I think that makes you more of a man than most.
  10. Acy

    Acy Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense Staff Member Safety & Support

    In response to the OP: Society kind of defines how we "expect" people to be. Society, in western culture anyway, seems to define manliness as all the tough, strong things and never showing that men hurt or feel tenderness towards others. That is not realistic and it puts a huge strain on a person to hide their feelings.

    In my opinion, male or female, people DO have feelings - good ones and bad ones - happiness sadness, joy, jealousy, curiosity, eagerness, anger... If our feelings overcome us and we need to share them or have some support, there's nothing wrong with that. If we can acknowledge our feelings and still manage to proceed with whatever task is at hand, that's fine too. But ignoring our feelings and needs is not being honest with ourselves. In the long run, being able to be cared about during hard times is a good thing. Yes, showing our feelings makes us a little "vulnerable". Being vulnerable means we are open to seek caring/support/love and to be hurt if our needs aren't met.

    Phil Smith, I'm sorry to hear that the society around you has labelled you. It's not fair or right, imo. If you haven't done this already, perhaps you could find a male counsellor who can give you some direction and help you understand that "humans" - including MEN - have feelings, and it's okay to have them. He could talk to you from a male's perspective. You have already done one of the bravest things just by opening up to us here. I'm glad you did. I think that makes you a stronger man than many who would not risk sharing. I hope you'll find some support here on SF so that you don't feel alone. You are very much a man and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!
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