To Cry Or Not To Cry…That Is The Question
This week we are talking about Men’s mental health. It’s about time we make this a common topic of discussion. Each and every human on this earth has a brain that tries it’s best to coordinate body functions and helps aid in communication and thought process. Without access to the brain, the rest of the body begins to fail in various ways. Yet we still have not come up with a way to make healing it a priority. Instead, if your brain is not functioning at it’s best capacity you’re meant to keep that a secret. Your brain is hidden behind your skull and shouldn’t be talked about. It’s fine to say that it’s aching with physical pain but the idea of mentioning that it’s having some form of mental pain is taboo.
Women are stereotypically said to tell anyone and everyone what’s on their mind. However, a man must never discuss the thoughts that pop in to his brain unless they are related to success and sex. Is that all men think about? Success and sex. No, it’s not. There are worries, questions, relationships, embarrassment, and insecurities tangled amongst other emotions and thoughts.
What happens if you were to take a 20 oz tumbler and fill it with 40 oz of coffee? Well, it would overflow of course. Hot steaming liquid would cascade out of the cup towards your body and scald you. You will likely require treatment and bandages. Everyone would be able to visually see your wounds and would offer their condolences and offer support if needed.
But what if you are to face a difficult situation in life. You are filled with emotions. So much so that you erupt with anger or sadness. People will become uncomfortable, avoid you and may begin to ostracize you. This causes internal wounds. Not just from the initial difficulties but from the lack of support from others. You will feel alone and may begin to contemplate drastic ways in which you can end these feelings.
Men are constantly bombarded with the notion that they must remain strong and never appear weak. Humans are soft squishy beings. Why should your gender identity define whether you’re allowed to cry or not? Men have relationships and worries. They face judgement and consequences just like women. So they should be able to express themselves with a variety of emotions.
“Among Canadians of all ages, four of every five suicides are male. In the UK, men are around three times more likely to kill themselves than women. In New South Wales, Australia, suicide has overtaken car accidents as the leading cause of death in males since 1991.” (Men's Mental Health, 2021)
It’s also important to note those that have sustained a brain injury due to illness or accident are often left out of the mix of mental health statistics. Some brain injuries are left undiagnosed or are diagnosed much later after the accident or illness. This leaving a percentage of people without the ability to recognize that help is needed until sometimes it’s too late.
So what can we do to help? Make it a point to ask your male friends and family how they’re doing. Make mental health a common thing to talk about. Emotions and feelings should be discussed regularly. Crying should be looked at as normal. It’s a normal reaction to things that upset us. Just because a man shows that he has emotions does not make him less of a man.
If you identify as male, how do you relate to this topic? Do you find that it’s hard to express yourself without judgment? What can you change in your life to be more comfortable with sharing your feelings?
If you need support with mental health we have a wonderful team waiting to help. Contact Relationship Matters Therapy today to book your appointment!
Works Cited Men's Mental Health. (2021). Retrieved from Toronto Canadian Mental Health Association: https://toronto.cmha.ca/mens-mental-health/