My Man is Depressed

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I think my man’s depressed but it’s difficult to talk to him about his feelings. Every time I try he just clams up or changes the subject. Yesterday he shouted at me to leave him alone. He never usually shouts and he’s obviously feeling very low. I’m worried about him.
Anonymous

Answer
Some men grow up believing it’s not macho to talk about their feelings. They are brought up to believe that feeling emotional is a weakness and unmanly. They believe it’s weak and unacceptable for them to cry or talk about their feelings; that they have to be strong at all times. These beliefs are deeply ingrained and are passed down through the generations, usually father to son. Men don’t know what to do if they get depressed because they feel so guilty and ashamed of themselves. When we try to get our men to talk about their feelings we need to understand these things and take a very careful approach. They need to feel absolutely sure we are not going to judge or humiliate them. Some men may need a gentle push towards getting some professional help.
We also need to make sure that our own little boys grow up knowing that crying and talking about feelings is normal and acceptable.

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