Boys do cry.
Boys don't cry. Be a man. Man up. The messages are endless and relentless and we've heard them since before we could speak. The thing is, boys do cry. We might not show it but the pain is still there inside, even if we won't admit it. We need to learn how to reach out and talk about it.
Unhealthy coping behaviours like over-working, over-exercising or over-indulging often mask male depression which can go undiagnosed with devastating consequences. Men might downplay psychosomatic symptoms, joylessness, fatigue, insomnia or compulsive behaviours like alcohol or substance abuse, not wanting to admit to themselves or others that they might be depressed. Men are less open to discussing their feelings by forcing self-control and trying to just tough it out. But ‘man up’ can lead to ‘man down’ where guys are unable to cope and end up isolated, lost or suicidal, with no-one they feel secure enough to turn to. Male suicide rates are so high because men don’t reach out and then resort to harsher measures.
Don’t let it get to that. If you feel down or unmotivated or unnecessarily angry, you may need to look at some earlier issues that have led to coping methods that no longer serve you. Talking to the right person could be a vital step towards working through what’s holding you back or getting in your way. It could get you back on a path towards healthier behaviour and more rewarding relationships. Depression improves with medication and/or counselling so it’s important to reach out to your doctor or mental health professional. It's a sign of strength to ask for advice or seek help when you need it. Don’t tough it out boys, you may be in need of a good cry.