As many of you know, I read a lot of articles on abuse and mental health in an effort to share them on the News and Reviews site, or the various social media platforms. Given that, what I’m about to say may just be a result of a random coincidence and not a pattern, but I’ve seen in on multiple occasions recently, and it bothers me a great deal.
The thing I’ve seen is an article that goes something like this:
- Men often don’t get help for depression and other issues.
- We should make it easier for them to get help.
- We should encourage them to get help.
- After all we know men are often perpetrators of violence, so it’d be better for the rest of us if more of them got help and maybe were less likely to be violent.
It’s almost as if the authors of these articles, in order to keep in good with their audience, must explain why they are writing to support something good for men, by basing it on it really being good for other people. A mea culpa of sorts. “Sorry I’m writing something positive about men, but it’s really about what’s good for us too”.
The problem I have with this, and this whole ideology, is why do we have to do the right thing only because it’s actually good for my particular group. Why can’t individual men be encouraged to get help and find healing because they are inherently worth it? Not as an identifiable group, but as individuals, as your brother, husband, father, cousins, friends, etc.
In fact, I think this is something that any survivor or anyone dealing with mental health issues needs to feel. Yes, it’s great to let them know that they are not alone, but we aren’t one mass group that is all the same. We are each individuals, with our own stories, and our own connections to those around us. I want each one of you to heal not just because it’s good for the world, or it’s good for the society I live in. I want you to heal and succeed because you deserve that. Just you, as an individual person. I’m tired of people trying to lump people together and deciding what is or isn’t valuable or even moral about them as a group. That’s kind of what got us into the messes we see in society now, whether you want to talk about seeing children as property, or all women as sex objects, or minorities as inferior. Those were all based on seeing individuals as nothing more than the group they belonged to.
You, and everyone else, for that matter, are more than that. We are all individuals and as individuals we have value. The reason we need to encourage anyone, of any gender, to get help is because these issues impede them from seeing their own value. There are more reasons than just that, but they are just extras. They’re icing on the cake, not the main course. If they didn’t exist, it would still be worth doing.
That’s why men need to be encouraged to get help, because their lives are worth it. Period.
Have you seen articles like this? Have you heard conversations like this? Can we ever get to a point where people are individuals and not the sum of their group identities?