It’s Time The Bipolar Writer Talks to Men About Men’s Mental Health

Photo by Daniel Brubaker on Unsplash

I have something that has been on my mind for a while. I have hosted two “Community Mental health Discussions” on Zoom, alongside a fellow blogger. I am a moderator for a discord chat with the same name. One glaring thing has become clear during these chats. None of the bloggers or mental illness sufferers that are men have expressed interest in becoming a part of the conversation. I ask myself, why is this? Guys we have to have a talk.

“Men’s mental health and mental illness” discussions should not be a separate thing. Still, it’s becoming clear that either I am doing something wrong and not being inclusive to all members of the mental illness community . Or that guys in the mental illness community would rather sit behind the scenes. For me, I think it’s the latter, but that defeats the purpose of why the community together can end the stigma surrounding mental illness.

I get it to some degree. “We’re guys we are supposed to be tough.” Hell, I have been the type of guy that said that guys just don’t do mental health. A common sentiment, but I decided the folly of that way of thinking. I now come from the school of thought of being authentic in what I write. I want to implore guys to become a part of the conversation.

Photo by Nathan McDine on Unsplash

I love the idea of this picture because it often said that “boys don’t get sad.” That is where things tend to go. There is this macho attitude that guys don’t cry, and I am here to say that is not true.

Mental illness is this thing that can control you. As someone who deals with Bipolar disorder, I deal with the extreme levels of depression and mania. I cried the night that of my first suicide. I cried when I lost my mom. I have been in such a bad state of depression that I cried about the mess that was my life. It was liberating. It comes to the eventual next step, and we need to talk about why this idea has become the norm of guys don’t cry.

What I seek is to start a dialogue here within the confines of this blog post. I have and always be authentic when it comes to this blog. I want to bring light to men’s mental health because it’s important to me as an advocate. What I am seeing is that men are not willing to be a part of the conversation.

I am hoping that this blog post will ruffle some feathers and that men will call me out and say I am wrong. Challenge me on what I am seeing! That will be the perfect thing. I want to see what men think about what I have said because we have to end the stereotypes that come with men’s mental health. Let us have a real conversation!

If you would like to join my “Community Mental health Discussions” Zoom meeting then please reach out guys to let your voice be heard. I also open it to all members of the mental illness community. The Zoom meeting is this Saturday at 2pm.

Always Keep Fighting

James

You can visit the author site of James Edgar Skye here.

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Photo by Matheus Ferrero on Unsplash

27 Replies to “It’s Time The Bipolar Writer Talks to Men About Men’s Mental Health”

  1. One thing I am getting tired of hearing is when people will believe that it is society telling a man to “never cry” or “always be tough”. It is as though these are the sorts who believe these are teachings by a social realm, when what is this “social realm” besides something of our own making?

    I once heard the words, “We may blame Heaven for our fate, but Hell is a device of our own construction.” Meaning, we are not controlled by what is around us. In fact, we CREATE what is around us. That is, it gives us the opportunity to control something of ourselves, or of our own environments, that were constructed by our own hands.

    It’s to say that it is never a man who is taught by society to never weep, or always be tough. It is, in fact, true that men tell themselves those words.

    Men are not pressured by others to be this way. They pressure themselves to be this way. I am a man, myself, diagnosed with Bipolar 1, and I admit this. As a writer, I do not let this illness control me. In fact, I control it, and use it as an essential part of my writing.

    If we are to continually say that it is society that teaches us to be certain ways, when such is not true, then what do tear down? The only thing we can “tear down” is ourselves, our reflection, being the environments around us. Everything we’ve created, that surrounds us, is merely a reflection of who we are.

    Through “tearing down” the environments, we tear down ourselves. If we created a palace, a cathedral, and tear it down, we are tearing down a piece of ourselves.

    Why give up or forfeit the responsibility of being able to control what we do? The environments around us… they can be controlled by us, though in the comprehension that they are a reflection of again, who we are.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I’m willing to join. 🙂

        It would be nice to talk to someone else about these subjects, rather than talking to myself, like I usually do. Lol.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Great post! I grew up around a lot of macho guys and I understand this mentality that boys don’t cry.

    Unfortunately, I think that stigma against mental health among guys is partly why we’re seeing so much anger and rage in america today.

    I think mental health is important for everyone, regardless of gender.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I feel the same way but there is still an inequality that I see. The stigma I a part of it but I think together as a community we can begin to chip away at the idea of the stigma. We need voices from all walks of life including men.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. This is an important subject. I partly grew up in a culture where conditions like depression still aren’t widely recognized as “real” — that affects the women, but the men even more so, because we’re supposed to be tough as you’ve described. But when suicidal thoughts become a daily occurrence, how can you be denied help? We shouldn’t be afraid to talk about these things. Thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I unfortunately have another commitment at that point (tomorrow at 2 PM). But I definitely agree that the topic of men’s mental health isn’t discussed enough, speaking as someone who’s been through struggles with intrusive thoughts before. (I’m also hoping the post will ruffle some feathers.)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi James – very well said! I work in a male dominated profession (aviation) where the topic of depression and anxiety is very much taboo! Sadly I think this stems from a much larger cultural problem of men having to ‘be a man’ or ‘man up’ ie don’t show your feelings because that means you’re not a man (or you’re being a pxxxx!). I’ve always been a sensitive soul but I taught myself to cover up my emotions as a way to protect myself from ridicule as an adolescent. I believe that this, in no small way, contributed to depression later on in life., Changing this harmful narrative is going to take time – but in time I’m sure it will. I believe it is already beginning to and you are proof of that. Be proud and keep faith with what you’re doing. Keep fighting the good fight. Thanks James.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I am so glad someone is talking about such issues, specially barring the lines of gender while doing so. Being a person who has battled, mental health issues in the past, I know how the first initiative of talking can help. So proud of you and your attempt! Keep going strong! Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Brilliantly put! I’m glad I’ve had male friends open up to me recently, but after years of hurting themselves, locking things away – well trying to.

    Sharing this. I hope a few do challenge you, I love a good debate!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Agree! Powerful and insightful article. One of the biggest problem in our current society reside in the fact that men have a very hard time talking about their feelings creating a whole lot of issues for themselves and the people around them. This statement seems overgeneralized, unfair, and a tad offensive; but it is actually backed up by a lot of studies. My eldest daughter Maya put her blogger’s hat on and wrote an article dealing with this important societal issue. I was very impressed with the way Maya tackled this sensitive issue: I am bias of course because she is my daughter after all, but judge for yourself. I guarantee you it will be time well spent https://authorjoannereed.net/men-feeling-shitty-its-not-just-you/

    Liked by 1 person

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