It’s Time To Talk

It’s Time To Talk: Men’s Mental Health.

The stigma and discrimination that men face living on a day to day basis with mental health conditions is patronising.

Few individuals unfortunately regard mental health in such a pessimistic and ignorant way.

labelling self harm as people craving attention, depression well, you have no reason to feel this way, man up, just pull yourself together. Seriously grow up, get a grip and stop being so quiet.

I have discovered and learned that there are many reasons individuals endure mental health difficulties. Every day is different, faced with new problems and challenges, every emotion is different. Day to day, modern living in general can impact all of our lives in all sorts of ways.

Some individuals may feel a little worse than others and may feel worthless and that there whole world is full of negativity and feel what’s the point. While others can easily pull through, confident and not ashamed to ask for help and start the most important and life changing conversation that an individual will ever experience.

It’s difficult to comprehend what goes through a persons mind, the challenges faced and issues they are currently going through.

The way that mental health is currently recognised , means men get overlooked, which makes it difficult for men talk. That’s definitely what i have felt like in my position. The way some people make assumptions and distance themselves, from someone who is suffering with mental health problems, often makes the situation more difficult. Especially if the person you thought and believed to be a good friend could confide in is the one turning their back on you. My attempts to talk to friends and loved ones never ever worked. I felt worthless, i never knew how to explain how i was feeling, i was concerned about getting judged it was easier for me to always put a brave face on.

I have spent so much of my life caring, and worrying about the way other people perceived me. I was always distressed about how i was regarded in my community and existed to always please others. I behaved as if the people around me needed my constant attention, support and impression. This was so emotional and extremely intensive as i was struggling. I always had to be brave and courageous, i was an expert at hiding my feelings little did anyone know behind the scenes I was cutting my arms to shreds with knifes as i had to express how i was feeling Inside and relive all the unbearable tension, that kept building up and was dealing with.

I was embarrassed to accept myself that i needed help after all real men don’t need help. We are taught from a very early age to man up, and get on with life. We are taught that crying and showing emotion is a mayor sign of weakness, we are expected to be strong so real men don’t talk and ask for help.

Instead i bottled all my thoughts and feelings inside leading to anger, frustration taking it all out on my poor wee arms and leading to Suicide attempt. I am the lucky one

ADVICE FOR MEN EXPERIENCING DEPRESSION:

An illness, condition and disability certainly does not define you.

It’s important that you don’t allow your gender to determine where you fit into society.

I would recommend while combating depression to take a break from all social media platforms or reduce your time spent on these platforms where you may be in constant comparison with others. I would also take a break from mainstream news where problems seem to be endless and solutions too far fetched.

Lastly, i would advise you to express yourself, be kind to yourself and make time for hobbies and new opportunities.

This could be joining a local gym, talking to someone, swimming, playing an musical instrument,

meditation. Joining a local walking group or art class.

Expressing emotions through different mediums can be extremely beneficial. Rewarding and therapeutic.

Stay strong, your not alone, always be yourself, never give up and express yourself.

NEED T0 TALK:

Breathing Space is always there to listen. In a safe, quiet, non judgmental environment to talk through your fears, concerns, feelings and anxieties.

Trust me, it’s much better to talk about how your feeling rather than bottling them sally up. It’s OK NOT to be OK.

Breathing Space: 0800 83 85 87

Opening Hours: Weekdays: Monday – Thursday 6 pm – 2 am

Weekends: Friday 6 pm – Monday 6 am

THE SAMARITANS:

Whatever your feeling and going through at anytime, The Samaritans are always available.

Call them free anytime from any phone on:

116 123

They are available round the clock, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They are there for you.

Email: jo@samaritans.org

Steven Connelly

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