The dog I never wanted
So… I suffer from depression.
That’s probably the first time I’ve ever really put those words on a page. I also have only just started to deal with my depression with the help of a professional this year. You see I have had spirals of depression, or at least acknowledged depression, since my late teens. But due to the stigma and the belief that I would be seen as weak I never saw anyone about it. This is one of my greatest regrets because here I am now, in my thirties with a wife and kids, facing yet another spiral that seems to be taking forever to get on top of.
Why write all this now? Well over the last few months other guys around my age have confided in me their struggles with depression. This is a real concern because some of them only have admitted to it once I had. The other thing that we share in common is that none of these guys would fit the stereotypical masculine male persona. They are all white collar guys with long term girlfriends or wives and kids who would rather take a coffee over a beer and work on a computer than a car. Obviously I am being a bit general but I guess what I am saying is not only are these guys suffering from depression but in some respect they are also potential victims for not being the true Aussie Male.
Now I know there are organisations out there that offer help to everyone of all works of life, some who even focus on men, but what I’d like to see is the stigma around depression removed and for guys like me to be able to talk freely about how they feel without being ridiculed for not being masculine enough. The stigma around depression is changing and that’s great but I honestly believe that until men are accepted for who they are and not how masculine they are the barrier to talk about depression and anxiety will always exist.
The black dog has followed me and many home, but it’s time to send it on it’s way.