DEPRESSION, SHAME, FEAR, FAILURE! We know these all too well.
“Seventy years are given to us! Some may even reach eighty. But even the best of the years are filled with pain and trouble; soon they disappear, and we are gone.” – Psalm 90:10 NLT
Six million men will be diagnosed with depression this year; many millions more will go undiagnosed, knowing they suffer but are unwilling to seek treatment. The suicide rate for men is higher than women, and that number is skyrocketing at alarming rates. But, since 1999, women suicide rates are also increasing.
I, Coach Ben, came close to being one of these statistics in 2008, and by God’s grace, He sparred me. I know this issue very well.
“God made man simple; man’s complex problems are of his devising.” Paraphrase of Ecclesiastes 7:29.
I, like many men, and maybe a lot of women, ask themselves this question so often, “what will others think of me? “What do they think of me as a man/woman? Do I measure up in their eyes as they see the choices I am making? What will they think of me if I fail? How do you rate what I do?”
Over time, we have come to believe that for us to show weakness in any area of our lives is shameful. Perhaps, the idea that to be “surviving of the fittest,” is a major cause of some of this shamefulness. We men don’t show or even know how to express our emotions because we are “weak” if we do so. Underlining all this is our TRUE SELF. And so, we do EVERYTHING we can to hide our fears and faults. If we believe we do not have what it takes to be a man–that we are not adequate and we do not measure up–it invalidates our sense of manhood.