Depression in men

A short and sweet blog post today

 

Depression in men is so overlooked. There are much less resources for us, most articles I come across are written from a female perspective with little input from men. I have even read articles that say men suffer from depression less. Bullshit! We are less heard and there is a much stronger stigma for us for reaching for help; somehow seeking treatment makes us less than men. When women speak out, they are brave, when men speak out, they are complaining, they need to be strong and keep it together. It makes me feel frustrated and angry at the time; as if our pain is less. We are in pain too, you know, we just aren’t allowed to express it publicly. I’m trying to change that. I want to encourage other men to speak out about depression and I hope some day to maybe create a support group for men with depression or a website or something because we need help too

The dangers of sharing on social media

I was thinking about sharing mental health struggles the other day and the anxiety of being so public. I wonder why I share so much and if I am being judged. Sometimes I regret what I share.

 

But another thought came up and that was the fact that these days, we have very little privacy and it isn’t just our friends and family who are reading our posts. Anyone with the right software can access our social media ( even if we make our posts friends only as opposed to public)

 

We live in a judgemental world and the stigma about mental illness is still very strong and empathy is weakening in our society and there are consequences of sharing too much, beyond our social circles.

 

Something I had never thought about was employers. In their screen process, they hire ‘third party companies to scan social media accounts of potential employees ( which is a gross violation of privacy by the way) And if our social media activity is less than favorable in their eyes ( ie sharing information about personal mental health struggles, it can ruin our chances for better jobs.

 

I find this tactic to be immoral and upsetting. I realize that everything we put on social media is public but it in a sense this is all our personal space to express ourselves to connect with others. Employers checking our social media is the real life equivalent of them breaking into your house, looking at your photo albums, reading your journal, spying on you when you are out social; it;s just wrong and creepy and totally invasive.

 

That being said, despite that, I will continue to speak out about my struggles because I know it is helping people, I want with all of my heart to end the stigma and I can’t do that by being silent or fearful of a judgmental, ignorant world. I know I am helping people and this is my calling and if it means someone in a third party spying company may see it so be it. I’m just trying to make the world a better place and I’m proud of it and if I am judged, than I’ll be judged. I am who I am. ❤ ✌

 

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Writing for NAMI

I just happened to be on the NAMI ( National Alliance of Mental health) website and I saw a section where people could share their stories in 800 words or less ( Only 800 words, come on!)  This is what I am going to submit. I think it is short sweet and to the point. What do you think?

I refuse to stay silent about mental health and how it affects me.  I was paralyzed by the stigma all of my life I started speaking out and talking my depression/anxiety openly online. Through my writing I have been able to reach so many people. I remember when I first started sharing, I heard “You are not alone” and it was such a powerful statement because I had felt so alone all my life, I felt ostracized and made to feel that my mental illness made me inferior to others. “You are not alone” soon became my motto.  When I share my struggles and my story, not only do I get the support and love I need but someone else is helped as well by reading my words, it’s a powerful feeling to go from feeling stigmatized, mocked, alone and helpless to finally being a voice for others and getting support back as a result, it’s a responsibility that I don’t take lightly.  I have a mission through my writing to break the stigma of mental health and I have to face my own fears and  anxieties about sharing my struggles. How much should I share? Am I sharing too much? What are my friends and loved ones going to think about me being so open? Will they judge me? Well so far, the amount of  positive support poured in has been more than I ever could imagined. So, for anyone afraid of speaking out about mental health, there are so many people who need to hear your voice, you have no idea the people you’ll be able to reach by sharing your story. Even if you don’t get a response or feedback, people are listening and taking what you say to heart. Don’t be silenced, be a voice for the voiceless.  And never be afraid to ask for help.  My name is Dave and I am mental health/disability advocate, a writer and one determined person, I won’t give up and neither should you.  I am honored to be an advocate and hope to reach as many people as I can.  I would like to get involved with NAMI somehow and I guess this is a good start!

Depression doesn’t discriminate

Depression doesn’t discriminate; it doesn’t give a fuck about the color of your skin or how much money you have or who your friends are ( if you even have friends at all)  Depression doesn’t care if you are a man or a woman or a child  or  you speak another language or you’re mute or if you’re like me ;talk a mile a blind. Depression doesn’t care if you’re straight or gay or transgender or have no preference at all. Depression gives zero shits if you are a democrat or republican or a socialist hippy atheist living on welfare. Depression doesn’t care if your employed; unemployed; living on the street or a yacht.  Depression doesn’t have a look; the happiest guy in the room could be battling depression every day and you’d never know it.

No one is immune from depression and it is not your fault; it isn’t a character flaw; it’s a chemical imbalance and no one asked to get this. That being said you can take steps to manage your depression; meds and therapy are a start. Reaching out to others when you are lonely is another wonderful way. Writing is a perfect example of getting your feelings out. Taking care of your body ( exercise exercise exercise!) will in turn help your mind and calm some of that anxious energy ( it works, i know)  Depression sucks and I say all this because I suffer from it and I hope by being open about my depression I can help others.  I hope that I can show people that by ending the stigma of depression; we can get the support we so desperately need and hopefully gain some understanding from others. Because damn is my depression back and damn do I feel lonely.  I say all of these things to myself because it makes me feel better and the best way to express my feelings is to write, you know; sometimes it’s the only tool I have.  As I said earlier depression is terrible but I don’t have to let it control me. And I hope someone reading this takes comfort in the fact they are not alone; we can get through this.

Good night,

Davie

You can’t snap out of depression

I have one annoyance as I begin to share my writings on my blog. Some people make comments such as “stop writing sad poetry” or “just be positive”. I don’t like anyone dictating to me what I should write or how I should feel. You know sadness; depression is not something you can just turn off like a faucet; it’s a struggle for so many people and they never talk about it about because well meaning yet uninformed people tell them ” Just be happy” It’s less about our feelings and more about the fact that when we talk about mental health; it makes a lot of people uncomfortable; my response is so be it. I am choosing to share less about my struggles on Facebook but post on my blog which feels safer; but every so often you get a cheery person who comments and you say that yourself that they don’t know any better; and it takes all your energy not to make a snide remark when someone pretty much says get over it. I hope we can get a point where the general population is educated about mental health but I’m not holding my breath.