Good mental health is crucial. We all need it to survive, but there are a number of reasons why men are less likely to speak up about mental health issues like depression. For many men, struggling with their mental health means suffering in silence. Stigmas around acknowledging mental health struggles and old-fashioned ideas of masculinity often play heavily into men’s reluctance to seek help. Today, we hear from The Bro Therapist, Kyle Sommers, about his experiences of working with men and some of the red flags, coping methods, and responses he has seen in his clients. Find out how exercise is sometimes used to escape painful feelings, why sport is often so important to young men, and how anger can mask depression, and hear Kyle’s advice for helping men buy into the idea of therapy. He also has some suggestions for starting conversations about mental health, helping men better understand themselves, and fostering emotional awareness in their sons, as well as breaking the dangerous stigma that exists around masculinity and mental health. Tune in today to hear Kyle’s advice, success stories, and a whole lot more!
Key Points From This Episode:
“From a very early age, many men are taught to remain in control for a lot of different reasons. We embrace this idea of being in control by substituting those emotions that are uncomfortable, that make us feel out of control, those very vulnerable emotions, and we substitute it with emotion that is powerful, in control, and [we] feel like [we] can do something with it.” — Kyle Sommers [0:07:25]
“Irritability is a common symptom of depression. With men, they oftentimes will find themselves taking their anger out on others. It doesn’t have to be rage – criticism even, where they are criticizing others, or overly negative and pointing out someone’s flaws.” — Kyle Sommers [0:19:21]
“Men – especially men who are not comfortable with their emotions – they like to use catchall phrases like stress.” — Kyle Sommers [0:24:24]
“For therapists that want to work with men, you need to be straightforward in your description. I think a lot of guys are looking for that instruction manual. They want something that is a little bit more concrete and something a little bit more structured.” — Kyle Sommers [0:39:49]
“Any messages that perpetuate toxic masculinity narrative need to go away, that men are supposed to be this way. Men are supposed to be strong and in control. It does no good [for] their mental health. A man can be ‘in control’ but still have a sense of self and better understand themself and be okay with being vulnerable.” — Kyle Sommers [0:47:45]
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
You can listen here on our website or through the links below. However, we highly recommend subscribing so you can automatically receive each new episode. To do so, click one of the subscribe options below.