I think crying is one the most natural things I’ve ever witnessed and experienced. It’s something you do when being sad, angry, happy or stressed. I guess there are more emotional states you can link to crying. But somehow we are taught, that crying is being weak.
So you must be wondering why I do blog about the whole crying thing, right? I’m a man who suffers from depression. I cry a lot and I’m not ashamed of it. Not at all. But people around me and especially society tells us that crying is a sign of weakness. That it’s okay for women to cry, because they are considered more weak and that when men cry, they are like women: weak. I hate this stigma or sentiment. I really do. That’s why I blog about crying.
I read some stuff online about men and crying. I suggest you refrain from looking into any comments on such articles, because there are loads of people who say hurtful things about men who cry. But the thing that shocked me the most, are the consequences of that stereotype that ‘real men don’t cry’.
Sarah Coghlan, Country Director for Movember UK said the following: “Men and boys face unbelievable pressure to live up to an archaic stereotype of what it means to be a man, and in the process they neglect their own mental and physical health” It’s so shocking and true that we men have to live up to this standard of masculinity, because otherwise we aren’t perceived as real men. I think it’s bloody bollocks that we have to have an uniform concept of men or women. Why can’t we just be ourselves and why is it that we have to be defined by a common idea of a person? It really frustrates me.
But the most shocking thing are the consequences of this stereotype. Mind UK conducted a study which revealed something rather serious. 80% of the men suppress their anxieties, rather than letting their feelings, emotions and anxieties out. Experts have said that crying helps you with these emotions and can give a sort of relieved feeling. It’s so shit that we have this idea of how men should be.
Media plays a huge part in this all. Every time a famous man or political male figure sheds tears, the whole media jumps on top of it. Shaming that man for not being a proper man. What even is a proper man?! I mean emotions are normal, shedding a tear doesn’t make you any less of a man. Oh it really pissed me off. Especially as the media influences society and the widespread debate about men and their emotions isn’t taking a very positive turn. The social expectations of men contribute to the much higher numbers of suicide amongst men than with women.
I’m not saying I can change the whole stigma or the social expectations. The media is far too powerful for that, but I can make a beginning. I want to raise awareness for men. It’s okay to not feel okay. Your feelings are valid and if you have to have a cry or a proper sobbing session; let it all out mate. You are strong, you are going to get through it. We are all important in this world, crying doesn’t make you less of a human. Both females and males cry, it’s natural.
I just want to say that it’s okay to talk about your mental health and to have a cry. You are not changing into a weak person if you admit that you suffer from mental illnesses or mental health issues. You are not a weak person if you have a cry when something bothers you. Not at all, it makes you one of the strongest persons on this globe.
You are not weak, you are not going to be perceived as someone with other sexual preferences, you are not ruining the masculinity. You are being you and that’s all that matters. It’s time to stop bottling everything up because society tells us to do that. It’s time to treat men and women as equals in every aspect. Your feelings are valid and you are loved, always.
I’m a 24 old male suffering from severe depression, generalised anxiety disorder and compulsive obsessive disorder. On average I cry once a day, have a proper sobbing session once a weak. I’m still here despite all the negativity, I’m still fighting every day. I’m strong. As are you. Shine on you diamond, you deserve all the love in the world.