I think what Michael says here is massively important, and is killing men all around us every single day:
“As his son and a physician, how could I have missed that my father was depressed? When we think of depression, we often imagine a sad, mopey individual dragging their feet?—?the human version of Eeyore. But that is a misconception. The face of depression is not always a frown, but often a smile. Depression is far more prevalent than we realize, affecting one in 13 Americans. And for men, masculine social norms encourage restrictive emotionality; they often have greater difficulty expressing their feelings and finding words to express basic emotions. Restrictive emotionality is associated with greater depression and can worsen the effect that stress has on a man’s mental health.”
We have a picture of what depression and anxiety looks like. Recently, I went looking for some new stock images to use alongside of my blog posts here, and I struggled to find images that expressed depression or other mental health issues that weren’t photos of white women sitting alone looking sad. It’s almost as if no one else gets depressed, but that’s not the case. It’s just that visually, when we think of depression that is what we see. We don’t “see” men, people of color, or anyone just smiling through it. Those images don’t remind us of what depression looks like.
So we miss it, often. And people suffer and some of them die. We need better pictures. We need better options for different kinds of treatment, and we need professionals to recognize the problem.