I was asked by the Mental Health Foundation to write something for them as it is “Men’s Health Week” see more on their Facebook page here
It always struck me as strange that woman are so much more open about discussing their mental health illnesses than men are. Often we are more worried about how we are perceived by our friends and family to actually admit that we have an issue. This comes long before we find the strength to seek help and speak about depression with our GP.
The stigma attached to depression often forces men to simply deny they have any issues because we don’t want to be seen as weak, <insert cave man voice here> “ug man strong”.
This was one of my main reasons for wanting to branch into the blogging world and share my experiences with others, men in particular, to dispel the myth of weakness and depression being linked. Going to my GP and breaking down in tears as I explained my problems and feelings to him didn’t scare me half as much as announcing it to friends and family let alone social media but I was determined to show that even though I suffer with depression I have the strength to tackle it head on whilst trying to help others in the process.
There are a lot of men out there still too proud to talk about depression with partner/children but for me I have never tried to hide it from them (once diagnosed of course). It helps to talk about how your struggling because it gets it all off your chest.
One of the things I have come to realise is that the weight of keeping everything inside is a lot more than the weight of people thinking I am weak because I have depression.
I cannot emphasis enough that the best way to deal with depression is to talk about it with loved ones or friends. The more people we have talking about depression will only decrease the stigma we feel about it, and by you speaking out it not only helps you but could help others as well. From my own experience I can tell you that people really appreciate knowing others are talking about mental health because it makes things easier for them.
As for me, I battle daily with my demons but I always have an ear for someone who wants to talk about depression, sometimes that’s all people with depression require….