What it’s like to be a man who suffered with depression in silence

I was in denial for ages, trying to cope and pretend everything was okay, I was falling apart inside.

I’d let years of name calling and bullying push me into such an insecure mind-frame that I didn’t know who I was anymore. I’d put off any sort of social event, keep myself to myself.

It’s so easy to sit back and think that everything is perfect. It’s easy for someone to pretend everything is okay and that they can cope, when in reality they are suffering – suffering more than you will ever know.

I guess I was too scared to admit that something was wrong, too scared to ask for help.

I’ve never been the ‘manliest’ of men – I couldn’t even tell you how to be one. I’d always try to fit in, but it would never work.

I would constantly question myself, “Why me? What have I done to these people?”

“Why me?”

Did they really know me? Did they know how they were affecting me?

All of the questions would be flying around.

“Should I speak out about it?”

“What would happen if I did?”

It has never been considered ‘manly’ to open up and talk about your problems. What is ‘manly’ anyway?

I couldn’t take it anymore, I needed a way out. I feared that I may harm myself or others. I knew deep down that it was not healthy to be like this.

I plucked up the courage and pushed my embarrassment to one side and went to see my GP. If I’m honest I knew that I should’ve done it sooner.

“I wasn’t even sure what my GP would say”

I wasn’t even sure what my GP would say. Would he believe me? Was this just all in my head?

I spoke to my GP about the way I was feeling, I was embarrassed but I just powered through and got my thoughts and my feelings out there, in a slightly funny way I felt liberated, all of the things I had been holding in were now not so secret anymore.

In the end, I was diagnosed with depression.

It’s horrible to think that someone can be so unhappy with their own life that they feel that it is not worth living anymore. This shouldn’t happen, but it does. More than we think.

It happens because they believe they’re alone. They can’t see any form of light at the end of a very dark tunnel, all thoughts are negative ones.

Something had to be done, if it was considered ‘un-manly’ then so be it.

Males, all of you out there suffering in silence… don’t. Put your pride to one side and do something about it.

It’s okay to talk, its okay to be honest, we can’t just put on a brave face and hope it goes away.

Words By James Conlon

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