It’s not a sign of weakness. It’s a fact. Depression affect millions of men every year and it’s the leading cause of work sickness worldwide.
It’s an illness that can rob you of your will to live.
It can steal the pleasure from things that used to give you joy
It can steal your physical energy and strength
It can steal your connections to friends and family
It can steal your ability to handle the littlest of things in life
Myth v Reality
Myth 1 –Depression is a sign of personal weakness
Reality – Depression is a real illness
Myth 2 –“real men” are in control of their emotions and don’t let things get to them
Reality – “Real strength” is facing whatever challenges arise
Myth 3 –Feeling sad or down is not manly
Reality –Sadness is an emotion all humans feel, including men
Myth 4 –Anyone with enough willpower should be able to “snap out of it”
Reality – Depression isn’t overcome by willpower alone, you have to learn and acquire new skills and tools to beat it
Myth 5– Men should not ask for help; they should be able to cope on their own
Reality – asking others for direction and guidance really means taking control and it’s the smartest thing you can do.
Because of these myths, men will often talk about being angry or irritable rather than sad or feeling down. These myths can also feel like handcuffs for men preventing them from reaching out to others for even a little support. This contributes to the many men not seeking support until their depression is very severe, if at all.
This can place men at an increased risk of taking their own lives-the greatest risk for suicide is untreated depression.
Ignoring or hiding the pain of depression only makes things worse.