Men and mental health : I have been... - Mental Health Sup...

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Men and mental health

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I have been thinking a lot about men and mental health and the difference in how men handle things. I must preface my thoughts with the clarification I am talking about men as they are in Australia and there may be big differences between men in other countries.

For too long people wouldn’t name mental illness for what it is. They would say, “He likes a drink a bit too much”, or “He gets the wobbles occasionally”. It’s changing now and finally men can say they are unwell and it’s with a mental illness. There are still and I guessing always will be, people who say flippant and insensitive things like, “cheer up”, suck it up buttercup” etc etc.

So let me say it loud and proud. I struggle with mental illness. I am not ashamed of it. In fact I am proud that in spite of having a pedophile father and brother, and a Mum who committed unspeakable violence against me, I am still here.

I have been married 35 years. Given to philanthropic causes all over the world, retired at 55, house 4 families in a charity my wife and I started and mentor young people, without hiding my own journey.

Mental illness has sought to and almost succeeded in taking my life, but it will not win.

Don’t wear shame men. You didn’t ask for this affliction. It is not your fault. You are a living testimony that we might get kicked down, but like Rocky Balboa. We get up, bruised and bloodied, but up we do.

9 Replies
hypercat54 profile image

This is a great post and thank you for putting it up. The suicide figures in the western world for men is horrendous and I wish they would all forget their male ego and seek help. I also wish they would realise it's not a sign of weakness or a flaw in them. x

Stilltrying_ profile image

Brilliant post and thank you for your contribution. People don't always reply on here. That does not mean that your post is not of great significance and I hope that many have read it and understood. Well done on your struggles and I hope you find this a welcoming community. x

kenster1 profile image

a few more guys on here than in times gone bye.its good that we can open up more and not be judged.i would say I feel comfortable opening up on here as I don't want to hold back on my makes me feel better.

Suzie40 profile image

I really appreciated reading this post. There is a lot of investment in the UK on adverse childhood experiences and the effects it has on people's mental health when they're older. I suffered violence from abusive and alcoholic parents and I definitely regard it as the main contributor to my poor mental health now.

in reply to Suzie40

It never ceases to amaze me how it’s very easy for people to measure that the passage of time should mean we can forget what happened in our formative years. I am very disturbed when I hear parents tearing their children down verbally or worse, physically. Parenting is one of the hardest jobs in the world but it’s also one that demands great responsibility.


I know how you feel a while ago we visited Perth Western Australia and I found the men of visited families were as men were in the UK before the wars where men were men and you had to stand and remain positive you were sad to say unable to show any feelings. It always seemed to be a false way to act especially when ill.

My family were not nice my father was of the old school, where my mother had feelings only for my Sisters. It was a relationship of control and lack of any positive expectation,

Tomorrow I bury the last of my Parents, I have no interest to go, although I am frightened not to go, what will others think when most know what a nasty bit of work She was. So I can in ways understand how you must feel in the broadest way possible.

Consider now you are on your way to a more positive place in your life. I feel will I heal when the coffin is locked down, will a new decade produce a more expectant future I wish to know, now I still have hope.

The need to heal and proceed through my final years await. I now consider a new awakening.

We need, both to push ourselves onward and upward, Suicide is a mugs game. Make your plans and move on


in reply to

Wow. I am sorry about your Mum Bob. As a Pastor I have conducted lots of funerals and to me they speak more about a persons life than anything else. I will never forget going to a funeral of a lady whose son is in my church. There were 8 people there. 3 sons and 5 people from my church, there to support her son. The funeral went for 20 minutes. It was so sad.

She was an unpopular, nasty lady by all accounts and her funeral pretty much affirmed that. I think funerals are for the living, not the dead. I don’t believe the dead have any idea about their funeral. Whether you go to the funeral is your call and you have to do what is best for you.

I tend to take the long view with funerals. I decide how I will feel long term about whether I attend or not. May God give you wisdom and healing as you press forward

in reply to

We went to the Funeral Ozrick33

We stayed at the back of the chapel away from those who have did me a great deal of harm in the past. We even sold our old family home because of all the negative feelings, I just did not want to get involved, my Sisters are as bad as my Mother so I had made the break five years ago and have generally been at peace. When one of my sisters arrived the other day to tell me about the loss I was more angered that the Council had let out my address when it was agreed it was to remain secret. We felt violated that our peace had been interrupted after so long. The problems with family have been going on now for over fifty years, we had made the moved and grieved then. We had been advised by my CPN to make the break several times, We were brave and passed onto a more positive time in life.

I have said goodbye and will not have any sadness. I went and put at rest my past, that is it. I now need to lick my wound and I hope I will now be left in peace. It may however be interesting what has been said at the wake, I might phone an Uncle to find out however personally they can leave me alone


in reply to

Well done Bob. I didn’t suggest whether you should or shouldn’t go because it’s such a complicated situation and you know the situation better than anyone. Over the years I have conducted many funerals where people didn’t go and they generally end up regretting it.

You have handled this very well. Unfortunately you have no control what was said at the wake. People will form their own opinions, whether they know the facts or not. I am impressed you have determined to set boundaries around the toxic relatives. I am civil with my brother but raping me has disqualified him from me allowing him to get close. And I no longer feel any guilt about that. Well done Bob. Proud of you.

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