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Manic Depressive Illness- Why are Men Afraid to Admit they have a Mental Illness?

Posted Aug 12 2011 5:11pm

This is not based on a scientific study or statistics, rather it’s an observation I have made. For the last month I have either been in a psych ward or a partial hospitalization program. In each program, women have out numbered men almost 3:1. Most of the men in the psych ward were there for detox, not mental health. And the men that were there for mental health refused to participate in group therapy (I was in the psych ward for 5 days and attended all the group therapy sessions, only one other guy participated, but that was because I bugged him to come with me. He would constantly complain that he was bored, so I dragged him along).  When I was discharged I was put into a partial hospitalization program for manic depressive illness  and addiction. Again, there were only a few men attending the program.

It’s really sad and frustrating that men seem to be afraid to admit they have a mental illness (and if they ask for help, they are deemed deficient). Our society is to blame. Men are taught at a young age to not show emotions or ask for help. They are supposed to be macho, brave, courageous and emotionless. Because emotions are a sign of weakness.

It’s all a bunch of bullshit!

There are a lot of men in our society that need help, but are deathly afraid to ask because that is not the “manly” way to function. I just don’t fucking get it. I don’t understand how men would rather ignore their problems in favor of acting like the perfect male.

Am I less of a man because I cry? Am I weak because I asked for help when I could no longer function on my own? Am I pathetic because I admit that I suffer from a mental illness? I don’t feel different, or deficient, or less of a man. In fact I feel empowered because I did seek help and because I did break down in tears.

I’m going step down from my soap box and open this discussion up so that other people can have a chance to answer this question: Why are Men Afraid to Admit They have a Mental Illness?


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