I asked. And I received.
I posted the survey on Men, Depression and Openness To Therapy last week.
We have received almost 400 responses. I have also had contact with The Good Men Project, a major men’s website, and they will also publish and support.
Yet it’s in the private emails. Facebook comments. Conversations that are springing up locally. That’s where I really learn.
“You say you like men but you are trying to turn them into girls.”
“Took your quiz. Am sitting here in my hotel room crying and I don’t know why. I have a great life, I work hard, but I know I am depressed.”
“We men need to realize that opening up about how we feel is the manly thing to do,”
“I would like to help but I don’t know what my friends would think if I sent this to them.”
“Stigma. We men are supposed to be tough. Especially vets.”
“I found my brother 15 minutes after he committed suicide… I still have flashbacks of all that… but I don’t talk about it.”
“We need to go back to what they are calling the traditional man. We don’t have a place to test our mettle anymore.”
And I heard from women who love or have loved these men.
“Thank you for doing this. My husband has not been the same since he lost his job. I don’t know what to do.”
“Our son drowned in a pool years ago. My macho husband would never get help and his grief became who he was. Who he still is.”
I also received a question about why I was only focusing on men’s depression. I am not doing that, as far as the scope of this website is concerned. I have written about the Perfectly Hidden Depressed Person, using many female examples. Men are not the only ones who are being totally used up by the need to get things done, to make money, to just keep going. To look successful. Traumatic memories are buried. Sadness kept under lock and key.
Yet men are the more typical gender that receive the cultural and familial message to toughen up. That there is something wrong with them. All the energy they exude. They need to control themselves. Physically. Emotionally.
One man said, “Thank God we can learn how to feel again“.
I had to have a heart cath years ago. I was in my early 40’s. I had failed a stress test. The doctor was talking to me about stents. It was frightening – I had had relatives die suddenly from heart attacks. I had a young son.
My husband and I went about the business of getting things together. Didn’t really talk too much about the implications. Of what might be down the road.
I happened to be walking by our bathroom the night before the test. He had his back to me, leaning over the sink. There were tears on his face when he turned around. “I don’t want to lose you” is all he said. And then I cried.
I felt very loved.
I wonder how many moments are missed. Between fathers and children. Husbands and wives. Friends. By men who don’t allow themselves to show vulnerability. To express what they are feeling. Or simply have forgotten how.
We almost missed ours.
Here is the link again to my survey. I am asking questions about why men would or would not admit depression. Or seek treatment. Please click here to take if you are a man. If a woman, please show it to a man that you care about. I want to hear from all kinds of guys. Whether you agree with me or think what I am saying is wrong.
It will take only a minute. 10 questions.
[tweetthis]Maybe we need to approach men differently in the mental health profession. #depression [/tweetthis]
Maybe we need to reach out differently.
Right now I want to listen. Please tell me more.
Thank you for your help.
You can hear more about mental health and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my website and receive one weekly newsletter including my weekly blog post and podcast! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome!
My new book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression has arrived and you can order here! Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions long hidden away that are clouding and sabotaging your current life.
And there’s a new way to send me a message! You can record by clicking below and ask your question or make a comment. You’ll have 90 seconds to do so and that time goes quickly. By recording, you’re giving SelfWork (and me) permission to use your voice on the podcast. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!