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For crying out loud, big boys should feel free to shed some tears
Every day, the world is becoming more and more depressing, especially with changes in technology and new ways of life. Apart from social media, which is making the youth get depressed, I want to talk about depression and suicide among men. The Covid-19 pandemic has only made things worse with many men losing their jobs and businesses closing down.
Let me share a post by one Dayan Masinde titled “Men and suicide.”
I agree with him that most men equate their worth to money as does society. Therefore, if one has some issues with cash flow they feel worthless. This makes many men to start living in isolation and end up having negative thoughts. Most men would rather talk about things that are competitive and lack emotions like sports and politics.
They meet fellow men, who are equally running away from reality, to argue about sports and politics. This is the main reason men have members’ day in bars and clubs as they want to run away from their thoughts. Many men will say the bar is where you will be able to console yourself by letting it out with the hope that your fellow men will understand. Others even shed tears when they talk of their problems.
This strange behaviour, as Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe says in his book, Things Fall Apart, men should not show emotions. Boys are taught that tears are for girls. So men grow with that and even during funerals they cry quietly or in hiding.
Apart from money, another major cause of depression in men leading to suicide or violence is relationships. Men really get hurt when cheated on or left by their spouses yet when it is them who do it, society accepts it as normal. Even during domestic quarrels, it is the women who prevail and cope better emotionally. Ladies will easily confide in their best friends and pour it out while a man will think that talking about his problem is a sign of weakness. That feeling of being stripped of heroism.
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Most men, who watch a fellow man commit suicide, cry because they feel they have let a fellow brother down. When a struggling young man grows up knowing that men surrounding him dealt with their pain through suicide, he might easily opt for suicide too.
The men ahead should offer examples of hope to the young men and teach them to conquer inner battles by conquering their own inner battles. Teach them African traditions where suicide was not allowed and anyone who committed it was never given a respectable burial.
Men tend to easily come together in moments of crisis but lasting solutions are found when men consistently come together even when the crisis fades away or when there is no crisis at all. Men should learn to check on each other and not to assume that one is avoiding them because they have made it in life.
It is a fact that the greatest fear for majority of men is vulnerability. Men fear being vulnerable so they prefer to hide their emotions doing physical activities such as SUVs, fetchy women and palatial houses and want to acquire even more wealth so as to earn the respect of fellow men.
This way, a lot of men end up self-destructing with or without money since they are not attending to the emotional needs that make them human. As Nelson Masinde advises “men, we need to heal by desiring healing. Once we heal, we can help fellow men and the society to heal.”
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