Men are taught, directly or indirectly, that in order to "be a man" one must be powerful, dominate, and self-sufficient. While this view of masculinity may have served a purpose at one time, it is important to understand how this rigid view currently impacts the emotional well-being of boys and men. Some of the traditional signs of depression consist of sadness, worthlessness, and excessive guilt, but this may not fully capture the experience of boys and men. Depression can also be seen as excessive fatigue, irritability, and anger that is self-medicated by drugs and alcohol. The use of substances to self-medicate masks the underlying depression symptoms, making it harder to detect. We often address the aggressive behavior, missing an opportunity to help boys and men recognize their emotional experience and learn ways to effectively express their needs. Men typically do not seek out therapy because many believe it makes them weaker. When in fact knowing yourself improves your ability to relate to your children, significant others, and co-workers. Seeking out therapy can be an empower experience that unlocks your ability to reach your full potential.
Helping Men to Help Themselves