While some find it easy to talk about mental health issues, for many men, it can still be difficult.
Too often they are “toughing it out,” keeping their feelings to themselves. That means they are suffering in silence — something Australian charity organisation Movember has decided to point out in a new campaign.
Its heartbreakingly powerful video, “Suicide notes talk too late,” gets right to the core of the issue. In the video, we hear from a number of men who have written suicide notes, but who are still here today — all thanks to simply talking about how they’re feeling.
This is touching, I’m glad these guys are still here to tell their stories. Please watch, and talk to someone if you need help.
As a society, why are we so adamant to believe what we want to believe? We pretend that the brutal reality of child abuse doesn’t exist. We are taught to remain silent when such tragedies occur, why? There is no point in being in denial about this matter. I wonder who we try to save by not raising our voice against this brutality. Perhaps turning the blind eye makes it bearable for us, but what about those victims? Our silence destroys them further.
This is true in Pakistan, and everywhere else in the world! Child abuse exists, and it’s happening in every country.
The biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK is suicide. Despite all the horrible diseases we could contract, accidents we could be in or potential ways we could kill each other, we’re still killing ourselves more frequently than any of those things.
It is beyond time. Men are dying in the UK, the US and everywhere else, when they don’t have to.
But it still doesn’t feel very normal. We’re surrounded by millions of people who look great, do brilliantly at work, and yet still walk to the subway every day feeling totally trapped and isolated.
To help change this, my friend and former colleague Bryony Gordon has set up Mental Health Mates, a walking group in the UK for people with mental health issues. This fall, I’m setting up the organization’s first New York branch. We’ll meet at the steps of the Brooklyn Public Library by Prospect Park at 10:30am on the 25th of September. It’s not therapy, there won’t be professional advice, and those who come don’t have to talk about their problems—although of course they’re welcome to do so.
This is pretty cool. If you’re in the New York area, check it out. Or if you’re in the UK, check out all of the current meet ups at the link. If nothing else, maybe it can help all of us know that we aren’t alone to simply walk in the company of others who are dealing with the same things.
We’re surrounded by smiling, successful, talented people who are depressed
However, just because not every teenager is harmed by statutory rape doesn’t mean that it’s an okay thing to do. Most of us know people who have driven while drunk, and gotten home safely without hurting themselves or anyone. Does that make drunk driving okay?
Of course it doesn’t.
Because the question isn’t “Is this always and in every case harmful?” The question is “Does this have a high probability of hurting someone else?” And with statutory rape, as with drunk driving, the answer is yes.
Interestingly, this is absolutely the situation male victims run in to. Society tells boys that of course they want to have sex, and an encounter with an older woman is good, not bad. It also tells boys to “man up” and not whine about being hurt.
Then we ask them whether being manipulated into having a sexual encounter with an adult authority figure hurt them, and of course they say, no. Which we then point to as evidence that sexual assault of teenage boys isn’t harmful.
Umm, no. We coached boys into that answer. That’s not evidence that sexual assault of boys isn’t harmful. In fact, there is plenty of evidence that it is, indeed, very harmful.
5 Ways People Justify Adults Having Sex with Minors – And Why It’s Still Not Okay
Every day, thousands of teens attempt suicide in the U.S. — the most extreme outcome for the millions of children in this country who struggle with mental health issues.
As we’ve reported all week, schools play a key role, along with parents and medical professionals, in identifying children who may be at risk of suicide. And one of the biggest challenges: myths that can cloud their judgment.
Know the truth, don’t assume you know all about suicide among kids and teenagers. What you don’t know could hurt them.
If you have never stood on the shore and looked at the ocean, you don’t know what that feels like. If you have never flown on an airplane, you don’t know the sensation of take-off or ascension.
Mental illness = same thing.
Yes, it’s true. You cannot expect everyone around you to really understand what you are going through, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help and support you.
On the flip side of this, if you know someone struggling with a mental health issue, you don’t have to wait until you completely understand to be helpful and a source of support.
Just being there is half the battle.
You Can’t Expect People To Understand
“Dating as an adult can be quite difficult and frustrating, but when you add in being a survivor of abuse, it adds an entire new dimension to the process.”
It really is different and though it’s been a number of years since I was dating, the childhood sexual abuse was something that hung over any new romantic relationship. It needed to be addressed in one way or another. I always felt it was important to get it out in the open early. Not everyone would agree with that, I’m sure.
That being said, if you are dating, you could do worse than spend a few minutes reading these tips.
Dating tips for survivors of abuse
Taylor has written about his experience in reading, and putting in to practice, some of the information from Alex Korb’s book The Upward Spiral.
Alex Korb (the author) chooses to approach depression in The Upward Spiral using the most cutting-edge knowledge available on depression… and then making it simple to understand. Oh, and with a good bit of humor!
After he thoroughly explains the mechanisms behind depression in the first part Alex then breaks down all of the most effective (and free) treatments for depression. Towards the end he does have a small section on seeing a specialist if a person’s depression and/or anxiety is bad enough, but he doesn’t mean to suggest that everyone needs to see one. Just that it can be another effective tool.
Have you read or put into practice some of the advice given in this book? What was your experience with it?
The Upward Spiral: An Amazing Tool For Depression Self-Treatment
How can parents and other adults help children and teens living with undiagnosed, untreated PTSD find the help they need? An understanding of the symptoms of PTSD is a good place to start. Some of the symptoms in children and teens are the same as those for babies and toddlers. These include hypervigilance, emotional distress when reminded of the initial trauma, fear or avoidance of places that remind them of the event, nightmares, and other sleep issues.
But other symptoms are more common in children over the age of 3 and into the teen years. Today’s focus is on those symptoms.
If your child has been dealing with adversity, it’s probably a good idea to keep an eye out for the signs of PTSD and get them the help they need at an early age. It beats letting it go on for years and years and then having them try to get help as adults!
8 Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Children and Teens