Generally speaking, it seems to me that men have it pretty good in this world. I also know that generalization is dangerous. There are many adult-men struggling in this world that suffer from some form of stress and anxiety along with other severe disorders. Those men probably get the least sympathy of anyone struggling with some sort of affliction. It feels like the consensus of opinion is that men always get first right of refusal, more respect, more opportunity and reinforce their dominance regularly. So, who cares about their struggles?
We all should care about men’s struggles, just as we should all care about the struggles that are facing humanity all over the world. The men and women serving our country in the military can return home with severe PTSD. First responders, doctors and social workers see, on a daily basis, the worst sorts of struggles people face. Many men work in these fields, and over time consistently witnessing and experiencing trauma wears on even the strongest man’s mind.
Like everyone else, men can be born with and bear mental illness throughout their lives. Many disorders, typically associated with women, are also something that men struggle with. As an example, according to the CDC, 1 in 9 women in the United States deal with postpartum symptoms at some point in their life. According to PostPartumDepression.com, 10% of new dads deal with depression during the postpartum period and 50% of the fathers whose wives get postpartum become depressed themselves.
Tony Reali, a sports broadcaster on ESPN and a GMA correspondent with an effervescent tv personality, even wrote a blog on the ADAA.org website about his own postpartum depression.
And I was/am head over heels with Francesca, of course. My wife would go/goes on long international trips and I’d be on solo-ish duty for weeks. No Sweat! I was happily capable and blissfully, mind-numbingly happy.
And then I wasn’t. I was scared. I was invaded by the most frightening thoughts.
I called a hotline and THEY PUT ME ON HOLD & CALLED ME BACK 2 HOURS LATER. I can laugh about that now, but C’MON!
Now, fact is: that hotline exists. That hotline helped me. The information available online on anxiety and postpartum manifestation is extensive: http://postpartum.org/services/dads/signs-of-ppd-anxiety-in-men/
So guys, we know you struggle along with women. We know mental illness affects all of us. It is not easy to throw yourself into the turmoil of the world each and every day. It is not easy to empathetically listening to other people’s problems when you, yourself, are having issues and nobody seems to want to sympathize with you. If you are a man struggling with stress, anxiety or any sort of mental disorder, don’t let it spiral out of control. Do something about it.
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