Why Men Have to be Able to Speak about Depression Openly

Did you know that depression is the main cause of death among men aged 50 or less? The percentage of men killing themselves has risen from 63 percent in 1981 to stunning 78 percent in recent years. It looks like being a man is now more difficult than in the past. This figure is frightening even more when you know that it is not men who are predominantly diagnosed with depression, but women. This means that men are not prone to seeking help when they need it. Why is that the case? Well, simply because in today’s society it is expected of men to be “manly.”

It looks like men feel the pressure not to open up to their friends and family members about what is troubling them, especially if the illness is invisible. Therefore they tend to sweep their depression under the carpet and pretend like everything is okay. As a result, depressed men do not receive the treatment they need and instead resort to self-medication in the form of alcohol, drugs, gambling, promiscuity and other addictions. This claim is supported by cold hard evidence – 80 percent of men in the United Kingdom are dependent on alcohol while 67 percent of them consume it at “hazardous” levels.   

To sum up, the society should not bully men into going silent about what is troubling them. Men should be able to talk openly about depression and suicidal thoughts. As a result, many lives will be saved if proper treatment could be provided to those who need it.  

Photo attribution: Philip Capper

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