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Depression in Men: Stop the Silence

Updated on September 14, 2017
Claire-louise profile image

Claire has been dealing with depression since the age of 14 and obtained a degree in psychology in order to help those suffering.

Anyone can Have Depression

Depression doesn't discriminate, depression doesn't care whether you are young or old, it doesn't care if you are rich or poor and it doesn't care if you are male or female. But it seems that society, does care, society cares about depression and acts in a sympathetic way, if you're a woman. But if you are a man, for the most part you just seem to be left to get on with it and deal with everything yourself.

Statistics show that 1 in 8 men are diagnosed with a mental illness, but researchers believe the number suffering with mental illness that have not sought medical help will be much higher. And yes, society is getting better at recognizing that men suffer with depression, but we still have such a long way to go.

Man Up

This is a phrase that should be totally removed from the English language, it's divisive, sexist and dangerous. It implies that men have no business being upset, nervous or depressed and that they should all act like louts, beat their chests and repress their feelings.

And repressing your emotions is so unhealthy, it can lead to stress, high blood pressure and severe feelings of anger and resentment, believe me, I know, I did it for about seven years, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

People also seem to think that men need a reason to be depressed, they will accept that women don't need a reason, but they seem to think that men do. Depression doesn't work like that, you don't choose depression, it chooses you.

I don't know about anyone else, but this is how I feel with depression. Like a passenger in my own brain.
I don't know about anyone else, but this is how I feel with depression. Like a passenger in my own brain.

Grow a Pair

Lets look at another toxic and destructive phrase "grow a pair" again, this implies that having testicles automatically means that you should act in a certain way, and that way is like a heartless robot who is not allowed to express or even experience any feeling whatsoever without being thought of as soft and weak.

Depression Isn't Weakness

Depression isn't weakness, and those who have it are not weak, they struggle to get through every day. Their bodies wand brains want to give up, but they fight that feeling, they carry on, despite the fact that they are in so much psychological pain. What's weak about that? Nothing.

Imagine for a second living with someone close to you who has totally turned against you, they fight with you about everything and miss no opportunity to let you know how weak, worthless and pathetic you are. They tire you out, they stop you from doing all the things you love and they tell you that everyone would be better off with you. Imagine having to live with this person every single day of your life, whilst trying to carry on as normal to the outside world, like nothing is wrong.

Now imagine, the person doing all of these things is you, this is depression, and if depression were another person, they would be an abuser. And you wouldn't tell someone to man up if they were being abused (and if you do then you need to stop talking to other people)

Men are People Too!

Men are human beings, they experience emotions and problems just like everyone else on the planet. And if they have depression, they don't need judgement, they need help and advice. They need to know that they are not weak and they have nothing to be ashamed of because they don't.


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    • Claire-louise profile image

      Claire Raymond 7 months ago from UK

      Hi Denise, that must have been really hard for you both and I am really glad that he has someone like you to be there for him.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 7 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      There are several members of my family who have suffered from depression, one of which is my husband. There was a time in our lives that I didn't know what to do. I spoke with our family physician about the issue, and he agreed to see my husband, I just had to get him there. I spoke with my husband's employer and made arrangements to have him get time off so that I could pick him up and take him to the doctor. At first, my husband was upset with me, but later, both he and the doctor thanked me for saving his life! He had a physical ailment that was triggering his depression. Thankfully, there was medication that helped the condition. Now we are able to talk about it more openly when he has these feelings rather than suffering in silence.