I read this Time to Change article about why men don’t talk about their mental health problems. This is my reply:
I think men do talk, and they do seek help. The problem is that they don’t get the support they need. Another issue is that a lot of men exhibit major depression and suffering via anger, which isn’t always recognised by professionals. Anger can also push people away, as we see it as a ‘bad’ emotion.
I always call fear a primary emotion, and anger a secondary emotion. Anger is often due to fear or survival, i.e. it has a root issue preceding it. If we allow anger to remain a taboo, then we dismiss the suffering beneath the anger. I think this is one of the biggest things letting men down.
I currently run http://www.menheal.org.uk as a website for men’s mental health. I’m hoping to keep writing articles on here to raise awareness of the specific struggles men face.
Most of my male friends do talk about their problems. The problem is that the NHS rarely helps them. We need full parity of services, i.e. mental and physical, but we also need to provide more support for men.
A minimum of 40% of domestic abuse victims are male, and yet this isn’t talked about. Most campaigns and support centre around women. As men are perceived as being physically strong, even most charities and public bodies deny they can suffer in this way. Society is definitely bigoted against men who suffer. The divorce courts also beat men to the ground… men who have done nothing wrong. Most of society think this is acceptable due to the myth of the patriarchal state.
It’s almost as if people are saying that because there are lots of men in power, ALL other men in existence, aren’t allowed to ‘feel sorry’ for themselves. It’s just shocking that the general public, and even certain charities, and the divorce courts treat men in this way. It’s vile. Even some men propagate this dangerous thinking.
Let’s start honouring FULL equality. Equality is for EVERYONE, not just minorities, and not just women. Interestingly there are more women in the world than men, so technically we are the minority, and not women. So that’s another thing to reflect on!
I feel very passionately about the idea that men aren’t allowed to have problems, because they allegedly have the world at their feet. Let’s start being fair and kind to all people.
Note, I think Time to Change are doing an excellent job at reducing stigma. So a huge thanks to the team of people that make this happen.
Copyright MEN HEAL 2016