I am a man, I think that is obvious. At times, I consider myself to be strong, tough, and resilient. I thoroughly enjoyed playing football in college and absolutely got kicks out of leveling a quarterback. Running through tons of pain is actually a hobby I truly enjoy. I do believe I can throw down if needed :) I am not afraid of human beings. I do not fear much. I enjoy bungee jumping and love that fast air blowing past my face while safely leaping off of a 170ft tower. See, I do have my moments of toughness! Does that mean I don’t have emotions? Does that mean I don’t feel down at times? NO!!!
I do not consider myself as someone with an ongoing depressive disorder. However, I have experienced a couple of moments in life that I would classify as a true major depressive episode. Though it has not happened in several years, I have felt it. To me it was very physical and physiological. It was emptiness. I felt confused. I could not focus. Life seemed to be on top of me and I had little hope. Did thoughts of no longer living come to my mind? Yes. Did I entertain those thoughts and come up with a plan? No. But I did have serious questions. During these times I isolated myself from everyone. I could not listen to any music. These moments seemed to have caught me by surprise. However, looking back there were actual triggers.
My goal of sharing this with you is not to convince you that everyone has experienced depression. Rather, I want depression in men to be more easily discussed. I want the facts to be out there. I am one happy dude. I love life. I experience each day as a true adventure…. but it still creeps up on me if I am not aware.
Awareness is essential. Talking about the reality of what is going on for people who are experiencing symptoms is imperative. Avoiding the subject is quite frankly reckless. In fact, you want the truth… I’ll share it. I believe that avoiding the fact that we, as men, don’t experience depression is the actual weakness. Acknowledging that it happens and facing it head on is the toughness I have grown to respect and appreciate.
I am going to spend the next 14 days focused specifically on what I call, “ManPression.” This is a term that has been used here and there but not in the way I will use it. This is more than being sad because your team lost. This is truly feeling real symptoms related to depression. Now wait, you might think you (or some man close to you) doesn’t cry a lot so this is not depression. Great thought… The truth is that depression can come in sooo many ways and is usually expressed through shortness, anger, and physical complaints in men. There is even more to it than that.
The good news is that I am not just going to share some cutting edge info on the subject. I am going to share tips and innovative ideas to help you recognize it, do something about it, and heal from it!