There have been periods of my life where I have been completely empty, devoid of any purpose or motivation. I muse over whether my life is worth living. I want to stay in bed. I don’t feel like getting out of bed and facing the day. I can’t be bothered to wash or shave. I spend time wallowing in self-pity.
I’m fortunate to have people close to me that recognise the triggers and try and drag me out of my despair. Once I can focus on an activity, I’m generally journeying out of the darkness.
Men aren’t used to asking for help. We are the ones that are supposed to remain strong, the ones that hold it all together. Any visible display of weakness shows us to be less than a man. At least, that’s the perceived message we receive.
And so it means that hurting men remain silent, not seeking help, refuse to talk or even verbally acknowledging our struggles.
1 in 4 women suffer from depression while the statistics say that 1 in 10 men suffer from depression. Most experts will acknowledge that depression in men is underreported and undiagnosed. As men, we aren’t encouraged to talk about the way we feel. Any suggestion of feeling low and we are likely to receive responses such as ‘Pull yourself together man!’ or ‘Snap out of it.’ Statistics also suggest that 60% of female Domestic Abuse victims have depression. There are no statistics available for male victims.
As a man I have bottled up so many emotions and feelings. I am learning that it’s good to talk. Part of me wishes I could have unburdened myself earlier. Maybe I would be in a better place now.
Men don’t tend to visit their Doctor as often as they should. I fall into this category. The only time that I would visit the Doctor’s Surgery was when I moved house and needed to register with a doctor. With hindsight, I know that I have been in a depressed state for many years trying to regulate it myself.
Sometimes, we do need help and I’m learning that there is no shame in asking for aid. It doesn’t come naturally to me. Finally I went to see my Doctor and spoke with him. He prescribed me with Antidepressants. Are they helping? Its early days and I don’t really know but I shall keep taking the tablets.