Dear men, your mental health is just as important as your physical health.
I get why you have trouble speaking up – men who are vocal about their mental struggles can be seen as inferior, weak, and broken instead of being applauded for their strength and bravery to do something many cannot. Instead of getting compassion and support, they hear “Man up,” as if their gender is enough to help them go through all the hardships in life. Or, they hear an ‘empathetic,’ “Oh, I am sorry. That sucks,” and then quickly change the topic because talking about feelings is not ‘manly’ at all.
9% of men (about 6 million men) struggle with depression daily and more than 3 million men experience anxiety on a daily basis. Mental issues are killing everyone, and this must stop.
Your macho attitude of ignoring your emotions is not helping you. You should understand that it is okay if you don’t have your life together. It is okay to feel sad and depressed. It is okay to be scared. It is okay to feel. And it is also okay to talk about it.
What is not okay is remaining silent and suffering in silence.
Several brave men opened up about this topic and exposed their silent mental battles with depression and anxiety. The Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kevin Love chronicled his panic attacks in an op-ed called “Everyone Is Going Through Something.’ Singer Zayn Malik opened up and talked about his battle with anxiety and his eating disorders. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson revealed his painful battle with depression after his mother attempted to kill herself when he was a teenager.
“[It] took me a long time to realize it but the key is to not be afraid to open up. Especially us dudes have a tendency to keep it in. You’re not alone,” he said.
Most of us are going through it. But, in order to heal, you must first speak up. You must become aware of your condition and seek help. You are not less of a man if you talk openly about your feelings. On the contrary, you are confident and brave for speaking up and raising awareness on this controversial topic.
Stop with the detrimental silence. It is not helping anyone. It’s a final time we should all raise our voices and fight this stigma that men are not supposed to talk about their feelings and issues.