"I had to have that laddish bravado - I think that's why men can struggle so much," said 39-year-old British resident James. After 20 years of suffering from depression in silence, he had reached his limits after having experienced something at work and decided to kill himself. However, he decided to call a friend who helped him calm down as they talked about what he was feeling.
Therapy is still a dirty word for most men.
James is one among millions and more of men all over the world who struggle on the inside and keep their depression from their those closest to them, even their wives. For him, reaching out to someone saved his life and he was soon checked into an intensive treatment center. He first started feeling depressed when he became a member of a football and cricket team, saying "I felt I had to be part of it, to fit into the team. To be part of that, I had to have that laddish bravado - I think that's why men can struggle so much. Then I got caught in this whirlpool of despair - should I be laddish even if I didn't enjoy being laddish?" When he sought out help from his General Practinier, he was sent home with anti-depressants, but no counseling was recommended. "Men don't feel comfortable in a situation where they are made to express their feelings. With therapy, it's a case of sit down in a room and there's no escape. To be honest, therapy is still a dirty word for most men."
It is easier to stay silent than to communicate, but dangerous
Not alone in his journey, there is this perception among men across the world that they should just "man up" and "get on with it" and this has always been manifested in being silent about struggles, a mix of stoicism and strength. Hence, for a majority of men, it is easier to stay silent than to communicate and this can be such a huge problem since negative thoughts can easily lead to suicidal tendencies. Therefore, men need to find ways to stop bottling up their feelings by either talking to close friends or even see a therapist. The most courageous thing that men can do is actually face their fears and the pain rather than push it deeper inside.
Image credit: fashthenation.com