I want to talk about male depresson
Updated: Jan 30, 2019
Everybody says men need to do a better job of opening up and talking about depression. I think we talk about it plenty. The problem is you're not listening and you don't know how. We talk about it, but every time we do; we get belittled, shrugged off, or ignored.
Get over it.
What do you have to be depressed about?
You're being sensitive.
You’re over emotional.
and my favorite; “You should talk to somebody”. Mother fucker I’m trying to! Talking is the verb, you're the noun. A conversation is currently occurring on the subject of depression. In which I feel I am currently in a state of. I AM talking to somebody about it. Yet you dismissed me by saying I should do the thing I’m doing. Its like getting hit with a water balloon when you are dehydrated.
Is it men's fault for not opening up and confronting their issues? People even use language like men are incapable of such things.
Do men not write heart wrenching literature? Do men not make dramatic, beautiful films? Males have shown time and time again that not only can we express emotion, some have demonstrated mastery over the skill to express it.
Its easy to assume that because men aren't talking about depression, that its because men are the ones who aren't listening. I disagree, my own mom shows extreme awkwardness in regard to any type of emotional expression coming from a male.
In our first conversation in over a year. I told her about a recent show I had, a girl approached me afterwards and told me that she had been going through the same thing in her life, that I had talked about. It was causing her a lot of grief and depressed symptoms of her own. Somewhere in my words she found the ability to look at her situation in a different perspective.
“You made my life easier.”
That is my favorite, proudest moment in stand up comedy. Maybe my life. Comedy has always been that thing for me. The thing I can go to when I feel like I have nothing. There a lot of comedians who have made my life easier. Through their jokes they told me “I know what you're going through because I’ve been through it too.” “Look at me now, I'm laughing about this and so are you.” On that day, I got to be the comedian who made someone else’s life easier.
She got choked up when she told me, I got choked up when she told me, I get choked up whenever I think about it. Writing this, I’m choked up about it. It had been my dream since childhood to grow up and be one of those comedians that could really help people, and I fucking did it.
Ten years spent in open mic’s and empty shows. This was my kingdom come, to me its the moment I became a real comedian. Instead of just a guy that does open mic’s and says obnoxious stuff on social media for attention.
I told this to my mom, she said:
“well, you've always been sensitive.”
what the frick, mom.
No “good job” or “atta boy”. Nothing about going on stage and being able to talk about a difficult childhood (That she is partially responsible for). Just sensitive. Nothing about working hard being dedicated and having my dream come true. Just sensitive. I was so proud of myself. Sensitive.
I know I'm sensitive. I choose to get on stage and express my feelings about difficult times in my life to rooms full of strangers. This isn't about who is sensitive. I know I am. This is about my artwork affecting someones life. Why can't she comment on that instead of my emotions?
I didn’t think there was a way to make that situation negative but she found it. How the hell am I supposed to talk to, or trust anyone with a conversation about my depression, when my own mom cant even have a conversation with me about being happy.
As a performer I see time and time again, men getting rewarded for pouring there heart out into a microphone or canvas. Under the pretense of art, an emotional man is idolized, by men and women alike. However if that man attempts to express himself verbally in a 1 on 1 conversation, he will be ridiculed.
There are countless extremely sappy love songs that men have written, one of them is probably your favorite song. But how did you react the last time a male friend tried to open up to you about a difficult break up? You probably said something like:
"get over it, there will be more."
"Plenty of fish in the sea."
"drink it off."
"You'll have another one in no time."
"You will feel better in time."
"if it wasn't meant to be, it wasn't meant to be."
"bummer, she seemed cool."
Its a fucked up cycle. You're depressed, you do research, you learn that talking about things is one of the best things you can do. You pick a person that you think will be receptive. You open up to them. They say something extremely cold. You're even more depressed than you were before, because prior to the ill fated conversation, you at least had hope. Now you don’t even have that anymore.
Now I'm being told to not only be receptive to women's feelings but also express my own. As a guy I think we all feel somewhat similar, but I'm not sure, because we cant talk about it, because we don't know how, because we were never taught, because when we were young we were ridiculed for it, now we are ridiculed for not.
That's only part of the problem, just because we are being told to open up and talk more doesn't mean anybody is actually prepared for the realities of that. I don't want to drink wine and sniffle about some bullshit. I want put some whiskey in me and beat the fuck out of my broken washing machine with a sledge hammer while I yell all the things I want to scream at my shitty supervisor, or my broke ass car, or my life not being where I want it to be. a
If you ask an MD. the best way to treat depression, they’ll tell you medication.
If you ask a Psychologist, they’ll say cognitive behavioral therapy.
If you ask a personal trainer, they’ll say exercise.
My mom will make you pot roast and cookies, and assume everything is okay.
traveling, art, DMT, meditation, reconciling estranged friendships, learning a skill, chasing a dream, getting a pet. There are a lot of things you can do that will help you deal with depression symptoms and depressive thoughts. In my opinion, do what works.
People have strong opinions about treating depression, at the end of the day the bus driver will try to sell you a bus pass, and the bike shop will try to sell you a bike. It’s up to you to decide the best way to get home.
Hell one time a suicidal guy sold everything he owned cashed out every account, quit his job and partied in Mexico on a cocaine and orgies bender. He had intended to rage until he died. After his third FFM three way he realized life isn't so bad, and changed his mind.
Luckily for me, diet, exercise, creative outlets, my dog, traveling, and great friends are very effective weapons against my symptoms. You may be a different story. You have to find your own weapons. For me talking helps. Finding the people I could talk to about it was difficult but I have them now. You can’t find your team by not talking about it. You may have a few shitty interactions on the way but I think its worth it.
One of my buddies, started as a coworker, we became friends by making jokes together about how our lives seem cool but we are actually a mess, and we solve our problems with booze. Eventually we stopped making jokes and just started talking about it. Both of us drink way less now and are in much better places physically and mentally.
I made this post because, I think men do need to speak up more about mental health, and seeking treatment. Its not taboo. You're not weak. In fact it takes a lot of strength to look at yourself honestly, and make a decision about you need to improve. That's some Sun Tzu Art of War shit.
If I’m going to say my fellow man should do something, then I should be the first to the plate. I fight depression, everyday. I don’t ignore or it. I attack it. Sometimes its worse than others, but because I acknowledge its presence I can make its presence smaller. Talking about it helps me. Whether that be in the form of stand up comedy, a blog, or something else I wrote. Or just talking to the right people about it. Expressing it in some way helps me a lot. I think it will help you to.
Lets get a conversation going about this. It starts with one. If you're not ready to talk about depression, share this article in your social media and let me be the one to bring it up in your friend group. Instead of saying “hey guys I’m depressed”, share this and say “what do you guys think of this post, is this author right? or is he an emotional lady-boy?” I’ll take the heat on this one if it helps.
I’m including some resources down at the bottom. Let me know in the comments what works for you. I travel, write, paint, and hang out with my bulldog. For some reason making people laugh makes me feel like a million bucks.
The guy who went on a hooker and coke bender in Mexico
Seriously worth the read. ^
Facts about treating depression
#2.There is a very strong placebo effect in depression treatment. The average person in a clinical trial does just about as well on placebo as on medication—a 40 versus 48 percent reduction in symptoms, respectively, based on a major review.
I thought that was super interesting. ^
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