“It’s only as scary as you make it. Reach out to somebody. Get that therapy session set up.”
Since the pandemic, mental health has been front and center which is a great silver lining. It has long been on the back burner with a stigma attached to it. Finally it is getting the attention it deserves.
Recently I attended a fundraiser where a well-known local TV personality, Steve Carlin, was the keynote speaker. He shared his personal journey with mental illness particularly depression. This was a story of which I did not know, but he has shared it publicly in the past. He described how hard it was for him to seek help because he thought he could solve the problem–get out of the darkness–by himself.
Did you know middle-aged men are more likely to die by suicide than any other age group?
Unfortunately, our society has hurt men for generations in many ways with false messages such as:
- Males need to be strong.
- Being vulnerable is bad and another sign of weakness.
- Boys and men don’t cry.
- Showing emotion is a sign of weakness.
These were some of the messages Carlin said he struggled with until he saw “the light.” He sought help and encouraged everyone in the audience (particularly males) to do the same. Carlin stated that everything in his life–personal and professional–improved once he had the help of a therapist where he learned coping mechanisms.
Carlin recently announced his retirement. But he can evolve into something else that fulfills him as a healthy person. His notoriety magnified his ability to share his story widely. There is no doubt he has helped numerous people and will likely continue to do so.
I believe vulnerability is a strength for everyone.