Mind Campaign- Get it Off Your Chest

MEN!  What do you think of this?  There have been many similar campaigns that have been largely ineffective, so I wonder if this one will have any impact.

In other news, don’t breed.

Edit: Don’t want to write a new entry; just to say I am very behind in my e-mails so give me a couple of  days to reply.

25 Responses

  1. I’m currently on the other side of the world so had to google this.

    Any initiative designed to get people thinking about mental health is probably a good thing. But why bring gender into it?

    Perhaps men are a bit crap at talking about their feelings but mental illness is not gender specific, the stigma connected to it affects men & women equally & going to see a doctor about mental health problems, is surely initially embarrassing & distressing for anyone, regardless of their gender.

    There probably does need to be more consideration of the different ways in which men & women experience mental illness but I worry about the effect of dividing symptoms into typically male & female categories. Will the male patient who is “acting out” be judged more ill than the one who is just quietly going crazy?

    Also does this report actually get anything done. Rather than fine tuning the mental health system & increasing an already burgeoning bureaucracy, shouldn’t governments be increasing access to things like actual treatment, housing, social security etc, for the mentally ill?
    Oh sorry I forgot what universe we were living in for a second there.

    Apologies for the rambling reply but I’ve only had about 3 hrs sleep a night for a couple of weeks. Off for a walk.

    P.S. I am actually male.

  2. I’m too taciturn to express myself on the matter. Anyway, all the cement I’ve injected into my upper lip makes talking difficult.


  3. In regard to the “don’t breed” article, I’d have to agree with the author’s conclusion. It is cruel and unnecessary to inflict even a slight chance of mental illness on one’s children. That’s one of the reasons I had myself surgically sterilized a few years ago.

    This may all all smack of eugenics, but so what? Eugenics is a neutral science. Those who practice it are the ones who inject good or evil into the equation.

  4. A ‘Comedy Night’ would depress me, that’s for sure.

    • Cant seem to get the hang of where to write just trying this one somebody please let me know if this comes out anywhere

  5. Men and women tend to communicate differently so i don’t see the problem with having different strategies to help deal with MH issues for men versus women. I only eventually talked to someone because my marriage was going south – which says it all 😀
    The whole ‘don’t breed’ thing is total bollocks – where does that get you to? Abortion because you realised there was a mental illness somewhere in your family? Or maybe anyone who isn’t perfect shouldn’t breed either? Halletosis? Asthma? Slightly annoying laugh? Best get yourself sterilised then!
    Good post as always!

  6. The “don’t breed” article tells us an age-old truth – that people who write for student magazines are frequently narcissistic, immature twats who will seek to go out and write something deliberately controversial and offensive in order to fuel their self-centred attention-sharking. Next week “Deborah” will probably be trying to drum up support for her new Punch the Kittens campaign.

  7. With men and depression, part of the problem is purely linguistic: they think depression means “feeling sorry for yourself”, a state that might be cheered by gorging on chocolate or purchasing new shoes. I know one man who seems to suffer periodic depressions, but he’d never call them this. Far as he’s concern everyone else in the world’s irritating him and need to get out of his way! (Rest of the time he’s mostly attitude-free …)

  8. The don’t breed article is stupid as not all mental illness is passed on to kids.
    It took me many years until i had the courage to talk to my GP about my mental health problems. Being a man i tried to deny i had a problem until it was so bad that i had no choice but to get help.
    It is a fact that men are crap at talking about how they feel and even now i struggle to talk openly to my pdoc or cpn.

  9. I think the topic is probably best approached from a more compassionate direction as opposed to what I just read.

    I do believe that we should think about such things, and evaluate the potential risk.

    There are many children in this world who are perfectly healthy physically, but are without parents – of the mentally ill type or not.

    I have a friend who’s sister works with autistic children, and they believe in not separating these children from other non autistic children – but integrating them. They are finding that children who are exposed to autistic children at that age — seem to have a far greater capacity for compassion. They start to develop nurturing skills.

    Only ignorance breeds some of the horrible viewpoints that we read.

    All that to say, that maybe a child with no parent…. raised by mentally ill parents – might result in a far more compassionate child, and maybe even resulting a more compassionate adult when grown.

    There are many wonderful stories of children who when exposed to the worst that life has to offer, emerge with an understanding of humanity that sometimes gets lost in the ideal world so many are blessed with.

    Some people might translate what I have said above as a statement on teaching “tolerance”. That is ignorance as well.

  10. In terms of the male getting off his chest article.

    Is it possible that we might learn from the Bonobos monkeys ? I rather like their solution much better than the spilling my emotions on the floor.


  11. Yeah, I am sure women have it really an easy time spilling it to the GP…
    Woe to the manly men who are not able to hide their suffering from the world !


    I am a man too, most of the time.

  12. …on the other hand there is nothing that irritates me more when a psicologist gives for granted -since I am a man- that I would not voice my feelings or my distress… why in the name of sweet jesus should I be there in the first place then? to moan internally?

  13. My family has generations of mental illness and generations of contribution to the community. You don’t know if or when illness will strike or if or when you will recover. In between stays in asylums, my grandmother was a successful businesswoman. My father is a successful public figure with more than sixty years of contribution to society after leaving school. I have paid many years of tax and national insurance and have also done a great deal of charity and community work.

    There are many people without my experience of psychotic illness that haven’t achieved a fraction of what I have, and there are many mentally ill people who have achieved an awful lot more.

    When people wonder what someone with mental illness can contribute to society, I say look at Lincoln, Churchill and Bondevik, all of whom successfully ran countries whilst experiencing mental illness.

  14. The idea that people should not have children because of the possibility of a slightly increased chance of passing on vulnerability genes is ridiculous.

    If we apply such forward thinking elsewhere:

    “Statistics involving men in New Jersey prisons convicted of sexual abuse, found that over 95% of the men, were in fact abused themselves.”

    Should we therefore prevent sexual abuse victims from having kids, to prevent the possiblity that they could go onto abuse them?

    Lots of things that are worthwhile doing in this life have inherent risk. We can’t live life whilst being consumed with theoretical risks, otherwise no-one would do anything, out of fear of hurting someone else.

  15. I don’t see the point of not breeding. Except with schizophrenia, and perhaps with bipolar, there’s very little genetic component in mental illness.

  16. And even those are worth ‘breeding’ from. There is a whole stack of evidence showing that that ‘genetic component’ can be beneficial to the first degree relatives of diagnosed S’s and BD’s. If I link, it’ll get ate by the spam filter, but I can find you the research articles if you like.

    Why on earth do you think it’s survived?

  17. Sorry, didn’t mean to sound so tart. I’m away to bed. Take care all. Dx

  18. Men ought to cry, but proudly.

  19. Re: Mind

    I have always thought that just spitting out numbers is never a good idea as it can misrepresent things. And this is no different. I’ll just go through by numbering the bullet points:

    1) In this economic climate, everyone is justified in feeling low or worried. Such things don’t necessarily point to mental health issues, but can (and regularly do) come from other things.

    2) Men would account for greater number of suicides because men tend to use more violent means to do it. For instance, women tend to use pills, etc, whereas men tend to toss themselves off balconies or use firearms. One clearly has a better prognosis over the other.

    3) Define “feeling low”. Honestly, that term is going to mean a very different things to different people. Feeling low for that long might be normal or very very abnormal depending on the definition used.

    4) This only becomes an issue when the problem not being talked about is a big one. So, we end up in about the same situation as (3). How do we define “problem”? It could be something along the lines of, “my friend won’t talk to me because…” to “I’m about to loose the house”. The latter should probably be talked about, but who really cares if the former is? It really isn’t that big a deal as long as one isn’t overly sensitive. Such things tend to work themselves out over time.

    5) I find this number actually quite low. I would imagine that *anyone*, regardless of gender, would feel embarrassed to ask for help with a mental issue. That low number is probably the product of men not wanting to admit being embarrassed over anything and thinking that it’ll never happen, among other things.

    At any rate, that’s just one guys opinion.

    Re: Don’t breed

    I wonder what this “Deborah” would say about the plethora of other ailments that have a genetic basis. Breast cancer runs in the family? Don’t have kids then because if you have any girls, it’ll be cruel to predispose them to that.


  20. I agree that men have difficulty talking about there emotions. I was brought up in the british public school system, we never discussed how wefelt unless it was positive. For example I was petrified of being hit due to constant bullying for two years I never told a soul. some 30 years later I still do not talk about negative emotions. The only way round this has been to create alter egos one gay one female to describe how I feel. I cannot resolve my fear with my hetrosexual role as martin. In my mind if i did so i would be hit/raped. Life really can be a very scary place in the imagination.

    And my ‘mental illness’ is mainly a rational reaction to miscontsrued realities, we never see the whole picture, likewise we can never communicate the whole picture so you appear ‘mad’ ‘angry’ or wierd dis-ease is a better description than illness I think. Also once you are in the system the only way out is to lie. Morally ambiguous I gues but as a society it is a bummer.

  21. As someone who suffers from a mental illness I feel that I should know a lot more about MIND and what they do.

  22. […] media in “still run by twats” shocker By zarathustra, on May 11th, 2009 Thanks to Seaneen for pointing out this controversy over a column written in a student magazine. A controversial […]

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