Men do cry: one man’s experience of depression

An article on Guardian

pic credit: Dave Homer

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/feb/22/men-do-cry-depression-matt-haig-reasons-to-stay-alive

EXCERPTS

“ …It’s one of the deadliest diseases on the planet, often still shrouded in a sense of shame. And for men under 35, suicide following depression is now the leading cause of death. Novelist Matt Haig recounts his own experience of suicidal thoughts and the long path to recovery… “

“… I am not anti pill. I am pro anything that works and I know pills do work for a lot of people. There may well come a time where I take pills again. For now, I do what I know keeps me just about level. Exercise definitely helps me, as does yoga and absorbing myself in something or someone I love, so I keep doing these things. I suppose, in the absence of universal certainties, we are our own best laboratory. If you are a man or a woman with mental health problems, you are part of a very large and growing group. Many of the greatest and, well, toughest people of all time have suffered from depression. Politicians, astronauts, poets, painters, philosophers, scientists, mathematicians (a hell of a lot of mathematicians), actors, boxers, peace activists, war leaders, and a billion other people fighting their own battles. You are no less or more of a man or a woman or a human for having depression than you would be for having cancer or cardiovascular disease or a car accident.

So what should we do? Talk. Listen. Encourage talking. Encourage listening. Keep adding to the conversation. Stay on the lookout for those wanting to join in the conversation. Keep reiterating, again and again, that depression is not something you “admit to”, it is not something you have to blush about, it is a human experience. It is not you. It is simply something that happens to you. And something that can often be eased by talking. Words. Comfort. Support. It took me more than a decade to be able to talk openly, properly, to everyone, about my experience. I soon discovered the act of talking is in itself a therapy. Where talk exists, so does hope. …”