This post isn't just for the nice guys out there, heck it's not just even for guys. It's for anyone who is living with depression - either in themselves or someone they love.
I think as a man, I often used to equate depression with the feminine. It was just about being sad, blue, teary.
I've certainly known men (both in therapy, and my outside life), who viewed being depressed as a character flaw of a sign of weakness.
That's why I am writing this blog post.
I was reading tonight when I found out one of my heroes, Bruce Springsteen, has fought a long battle with depression, has seen a therapist since 1982, and been on anti-depressants for almost a decade.
For me, Bruce has always been a mythical male figure - the poet warrior - fighting, driving, drinking, wooing women, pondering life and it's pain. To read about him and his father moved me.
It also reminded me of a list I have kept in my head, of other men - men we'd all look up to as "manly men" who are finally opening up about their battles with depression. Men such as....
Terry Bradshaw - the Steelers QB and now Fox football commentator has gone public with his battles with depression. I saw him interviewed once where he described winning the Superbowl and feeling....nothing.
Buzz Aldrin - he was the second man to walk on the moon. Astronauts tended to "the best and the brightest" and Buzz was one of them, a fighter pilot who served in Korea.
Jerry West - the man whose silhouette IS the logo of the NBA.
Musicians, writers, athletes, actors, and just regular men - plumbers, police officers, accountants, teachers - all have experienced depression, and been helped by therapy and/or medication.
And I have, too. That's why this is important to me.
The symptoms of depression in men can be different than in women. Here's a list of them of them from a good article on male depression:
If you think you or someone you love is suffering from depression, please see a doctor or a counselor. It doesn't have to be that bad.
I wish you the best. Sincerely, Peter Hannah MA LMHC