Males are just as likely to feel depressed as females. Unfortunately, the male of the species are still taught to ‘man-up.’ Read this article for encouragement. Speak your truth. Reduce stigma. Talk about it!
Mental illness is always a difficult topic to talk about. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t talk about it. The reason why mental health has been so stigmatized in the first place, particularly from a male perspective, is because the culture of “manning up”. Why do we have to “man up”? “Manning up” means having to bottle our feelings up in order to avoid showing signs of weakness. The outdated idea of a man is having to hide your true feelings because it will make you look inferior. That is not the case at all. By telling others to “man up”, some people think they are giving them some tough love. But that’s not the case. It’s not about what THEY think, it’s about what sufferers think. Over time, “manning up” becomes something men are used to, which makes it even harder for them to talk about their illness. The male sufferers will believe that suffering from depression and talking about it is a weakness. Because of that, they end up hiding their feelings and never talk about it because they believe that it makes them less of a man. In the long-term, their depression gets worse and worse, and that’s why the male suicide rate is so high.
Depression confines people in a small box. It doesn’t let them run free or even breathe. When a sufferer thinks about something, it will always be negative and never positive because depression hates positivity. Depression hates the truth. There is nothing worse than feeling like you cannot be happy any more. When in fact, you can. All people are strong enough to conquer depression. When I was suffering from depression, I always thought that I cannot get better. I didn’t believe I can enjoy my life any more. Over time it got worse and worse and I was on the brink of suicide, even though I didn’t really want to die. I felt like I had to. But I couldn’t. Ironically, the more I thought about it, the more determined I became to get better. So I decided to try and find happiness by doing things that I enjoyed or interested me – which I did.