Now, more than ever, we need to stop expecting so much of our boys and men. They need to talk about their emotions as much as anyone else.
Can we ease up on the focus on sports, and balance that with a little (even once a week) on our emotional well-being?
When I was a child, in 1988, my uncle committed suicide. Years later, I became a psychotherapist, and I hoped things had improved since then. Yet still the suicide rates are higher amongst men (compared with women). And still there is the expectation that the man remains silent, just powering on.
Depression, anxiety, and generally any kind of distress, can reveal itself in the most surprising ways. It can show itself in excessive anger, outbursts, or ‘flatlining’ with your emotions so that you appear emotionless (dissociating).
And the present day does not have to be the root cause. You can have a seeming ‘great’ life, and yet unresolved trauma can still have an impact. This is a vicious cycle, because then the people around you don’t understand. They think there is no ‘valid reason’ for your current behavior.
And ‘trauma’ covers more commonplace experiences than you would think. It is not just a war veteran, car accident survivor, or survivor of sexual assault. Research has shown that ‘adverse childhood experiences’ have a lasting impact (if you do not get the right sort of help). Check out this link with more information about ACEs. https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/childabuseandneglect/acestudy/index.html
If you are in urgent need of care, contact the national helpline on 1 (800) 273-8255
If you think you need help, but it is not an emergency, find a local counselor by checking out https://www.psychologytoday.com/us
Chris Warren-Dickins LLB MA LPC
Counseling & Therapy