Psyche is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.
How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.
How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.
To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.Show less
Ever feel like "WTF IS GOING ON IN THIS HEAD?", "Big boys don't cry"! How many times did you hear that growing up? Crying is associated with weakness, men are suppose to be brave. Crying is for women and homosexual men. From a very young age men are encouraged to hide their emotions, and the masculinity of those who do show their emotions is often questioned. Did you know that...
- "In the UK, men are three times as likely to take their own lives than women. In the Republic of Ireland, men are four times more likely to take their own lives than women."
See, very little people will come to you and say, "I'm suffering from mental illness" and one of the reasons why, is because most of us are not doctors, we're not out here diagnosing ourselves. Its very hard to explain what we don't understand ourselves. One thing I can definitely say is that in the African culture, or for even black people in general, mental health is seen as a 'white people thing'. I'ts something that is ridiculed and made fun of. The stigma is real, and it all comes from ignorance. Which makes it even harder for black men to express how they truly feel. Men in general don't talk about how they feel and have trouble expressing themselves. Therefore, why suicide rates are higher for men.
How many times have you boys been asked "well how are you?" and you felt like saying "I'm not good, I haven't been feeling well lately, my mind is playing tricks, I don't recognise myself anymore, I keep drinking, I almost overdosed, can't stop gambling, I haven't slept in ages, I feel like life is worthless, I don't have a future, I'm not okay" but you actually responded with "fine, thanks! You"?
Some of you might be really alone in this world and have nobody to rely on, others have but don't feel like you will be understood or helped. Others just don't want to bother anyone with their issues and worry them. These are things all you guys go through!
So what is mental illness? Mental illness is anything that affects your mood, your thinking and behaviour. There are different types of mental illness and it has nothing to do with 'being crazy' or an 'attention seeker'. Just like you get a cold, the flu, broken arm, a deadly disease and any other physical illness, your mind can get sick too! Let me give you guys examples of mental illness:
- Anxiety disorders
- Eating disorders
- Addictive behaviours
Right, so because having feelings is a natural human emotion, you don't have to think you're automatically mentally ill when you show negative emotions. But, however just like anything in life, if your constantly feeling negative emotions then you should start to talk about them and consider getting professional help. You may think, "yeah Mariah very easy for you to say that," and you're right, it's easier said than done. But if you break your arm, you don't sit at home and wait until it heals on its own do you? Well I hope you don't anyway HAHAHA. You'd go to the hospital!
Let me guess, you're embarrassed? Confused? You don't think people around you will understand? People will laugh? Nobody cares? Everyone is better of without you? People will tell you to "man up"? It well get better with time? People are the reason you feel like this in the first place?
What does being a man have to do with how you feel? Remember that before your a man, you're a human. HUMAN. You define what being a man is to you, not your friends, not the media, not girls, not society. I see you guys looking like snacks on my timeline! But do you guys feel as good as you look?
See the thing about the broken arm is that when the incident happens, those around you can help you and tell you that you'll be fine, even look after you until you get medical assistant or even tell you to "man up" and be brave! But if they're not doctors, they can't give you the actual help you need. And that's where the problem is! People think that seeking professional help for mental illness is reason for embarrassment, but ask yourself if seeking help for any other illness is a reason for embarrassment or is it common sense?
So if you're asking yourself, 'why me? Why do I have to be mentally ill and feel this way?' Well just like any other illness, there are several factors, it can be something environmental, cognitive, a negative event in your life, it can be biological. There're so many things that can cause or lead to mental illness, so the problem is not you, definitely not. So when should you consider seeking help? Here's a list of a few symptoms of mental illness:
- If your thoughts are very confusing and you can't concentrate lately.
- You're constantly worried, with fears, everything is negative or always feeling guilty.
- You don't like hanging out anymore or doing the things you love.
- You're always tired and you're finding it hard to sleep.
- You find it hard to relate to other people and their feelings.
- Reality is confusing for you, maybe you hear voices or see unusual things.
- You're constantly drinking alcohol or taking drugs.
- You're eating habits have changed in a strange way.
- You're sex life has gotten strange.
- You feel constantly angry and have many violent episodes.
- You think about harming yourself or killing yourself.
If you're feeling these symptoms, or something else constantly and they're affecting yourself, your relationships and daily routine... its time we go see that broken arm and fix it! And now don't be thinking, "Oh they're going to give me tablets and that's me going crazy for good", "everyone will feel sorry for me now, and look at me different" or "now everybody's going to think I'm going to kill myself so they won't leave me alone." The help you need is there, in all sorts of ways, that don't include medicine, once you seek help, you will realise that. The only thing you need to be is honest. Tell them how bad that arm hurts. Mental illness does not get better on its own and can get worst with time. Just like an untreated broken arm! Find out more about diagnosis and treatment by clicking here.
Boys, the things that I listed above they're all normal human things, but when they start to affect how we live, they're illnesses that need to be treated. Of-course having supporting friends, faith, family, doing positive things and all that help to make us feel better, but if you're suffering from mental illness all these things are not the exact help you need, because your mental illness is beyond your control and those around you. And that's what we need to accept.
IT CAN DEFINITELY BE TREATED AND GET BETTER. TRUST ME.
LIFE IS NOT OVER.
If you're feeling low because you're being bullied because of your appearance, sexuality, class or any other reason. These people envy you, nobody that is truly confident is going to make you feel bad for who you are. Happy people mind their business. Anybody that feels so bothered with you to the point of bullying you, has inner issues. Anybody that doesn't accept you as you are is not worthy of being in your life. People don't have to understand or agree with you to accept you, that's the power of true love and respect. Now I don't mean doing bad things and expecting people to support you. No, I mean being your true self.
If any of your friends are acting different, even changed their appearance is a strange way, or your noticing things that have you worried about them, try to help them by giving support and encouragement. Make sure they know someone is there for them, although you can't force them to seek help, you can try and even go along with them. In cases of self harm you definitely need to do something and call urgent professional help, even if they say it won't happen again. You never know when there wont be a tomorrow. Check on your strong friends too! Mental illness can affect anyone no matter who they are.
Big boys cry... gangsters have feelings!
Go take care of that broke arm!
After reading this article if you feel like ending your life or hurting yourself. Please seek help.
- Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.
- Call your mental health specialist.
- Call a suicide hotline number—in the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).
- Seek help from your primary care doctor or other health care provider.
- Reach out to a close friend or loved one.
- Contact a minister, spiritual leader or someone else in your faith community.