Toughness, Emotional Connection, and Male Depression
But this issue of toughness, expected to be part of the male identity seems to be a larger issue which may lead to some men spiralling down the dark stairwell of male depression.
Heidi, Will, and Woody's interview with Wayne Schwass on Male Depression
I was prompted by the interview Heidi, Will and Woody had with Wayne Schwass. It is a worthy topic that they're highlighting and promoting. The central theme this is is one of emotional connection and social support.
Emotional connection apparently means men can value strength of character, what they believe people expect them to be, you know the stereotype of the strong and silent man, but have the wherewithal to connect with their social network, and then have the perspective to seek help at any instance where they slip down the slippery slope of mental depression.
For me, I am not entirely convinced by the male stereotype. I do seek physical strength, tactical combative ability, and mental toughness. I train and test myself constantly. Over the last thirty or so years, I challenge myself during so many opportunities, facing down my innate fears. However, as an individual, I am not ashamed to say there are issues which push me to seek help from physiotherapists and doctors. I mean, if you need to seek legal advice, do you shy away from this? Same thing.
Over the many years of being married, the positive of being married to a very understanding and emotionally healthy spouse is that I myself am also better at understanding what negatively affects me emotionally. And when I do, I am also able to help myself improve. It's not a final destination. It's how to be aware that you need some distance from the stress, some quiet time, a way to recreate, and to manage your total emotional well-being. It could be that it is important to be candid about the last time you, as a man, cried. But really, it is to ensure you continually manage your overall mental and physical health.
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