9+ reasons why men won’t discuss their mental health:
It’s Men’s Mental Health week (15th -21st June, 2020) and my brother comes to mind. He lives with bipolar disorder and it breaks my heart seeing him struggle. So for him, I’ve chosen to repost this article Learn why men won’t discuss their mental health.
The Priory (A Private Care Group 2015) commissioned a survey in 2015 to uncover men’s attitudes to their own mental health. It concluded that 40% of men won’t talk to anyone about their mental health. Some of the reasons given were:
- Some say they just deal with it, or they’ve learnt how to ignore it
- Many would say they’re too embarrassed to admit to it
- They’re afraid of the stigma
- They don’t want to burden anyone i.e. wife, partner, best friend
- Some don’t want to admit they need support or don’t want to come across as weak and
- some say they don’t have anyone to talk to
- They don’t feel comfortable even talking to their GP, worried they’re wasting their Doctors’ time
- Afraid if they mention it, they’ll lose their job or their partner
- Worry that by displaying their vulnerability, they’ll lose the respect of others.
Mental illness is ‘living hell’
Mental illness is at best, very unpleasant and at worst, it’s absolute hell. In the western world, it’s a major reason for people having to take time off work. Yet many men still don’t like to admit to their bosses that they’re stressed or that they have a mental illness, they’d rather invent some other excuse.
As a mental health nurse, I had the honour of working with hundreds of strong and amazing men. Each had their own humbling story about how they got to where they were, and I shed tears on more than one occasion. However, despite all the care and support in the world, some patients just couldn’t hold on — I know of many male suicides, and it never got any easier to hear.
Fact — There were 6,507 suicides registered in the UK in 2018, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Three-quarters of these deaths (4,903) were among men.
Why the problem with men and their mental health?
Does it come down to the way men were brought up and the messages they learned at home or in the playground? “Don’t be such a cissy” or “You big girl’s blouse”. These are dated and dysfunctional responses to little boys and we have much to do to change all this.
Men need to understand that mental illness isn’t shameful or a sign of weakness. It’s a real and common medical issue, and everyone who suffers deserves help.
Sometimes men cover thing up by using subtle language like they’re down the pub with a pal and say “Oh, you know what it’s like, sometimes you just want to be on your own” instead of “I feel really down, can I talk to you?” Perhaps they snap at their partner “You wouldn’t know how damn hard my job is” when maybe they mean “I feel like I’m being picked on at work, can we chat about it?“
Furthermore, tho’ more women are diagnosed with mental health problems, men are less likely to seek help. They’re also more likely to commit suicide, mainly before the age of 50. Because men don’t like to admit to having a mental illness, they’re not accessing mental health services, and so — they go undiagnosed and untreated.
Some symptoms you might notice
Mental health signs and symptoms can vary, depending on the diagnosis, and can affect your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Being able to recognize and accept the signs that you or someone you know might have a mental health disorder is the first step. Symptoms might include:
- Extreme mood changes of highs and lows — different from your ‘normal’ mental state and for more than two weeks
- Hopelessness, or anhedonia (a loss of pleasure from things that used to provide enjoyment)
- Confused thinking, unable to make simple decisions and reduced ability to concentrate
- Significant low energy, tiredness, or problems sleeping, constantly waking up early i.e. 3-4 a.m.
- Constant restlessness, can’t sit still, fidgeting
- Detachment from reality (delusions), paranoia or hallucinations (hearing voices or seeing things that other people can’t see).
- Excessive fears or worries, or extreme feelings of guilt/shame
- Unable to understand and relate to situations and to people – might come across as confused when they try to interact
- Inability to cope with activities of daily living i.e. not eating or drinking (non-alcoholic) enough and inability to tend self-care
- Displaying excessive hostility, anger, or violence — masking underlying physical or mental disorders
- Changes in alcohol or drug intake — they could be self-medicating
- Withdrawal from friends and activities
- Major changes in sex drive
- Suicidal thoughts and ideation
While lots of people have some of these symptoms some of the time, it’s very different to mental health symptoms. With depression for example, your GP would expect you to have a cluster of symptoms, all at the same time and for more than 2 weeks.
How to help a man experiencing mental illness
Are you or someone you know experiencing mental illness? Are you having suicidal thoughts? Would you know what to do?
- You can be there for them, just listening and I know this is hard but — don’t interrupt, listen actively (for more on listening skills see here).
- Tell them they will get through this, they will stay safe and these thoughts will pass.
- Ask if they’re having suicidal thoughts and if so, do they have any intent i.e. do they have a plan and the means — if they do, you need to call their GP or other professional. *Asking if someone is suicidal will not make them go and do it! And stay with them ’til help arrives
- Do not give advice if you’re not a trained mental health professional, you might give the wrong advice. Instead, offer information and signpost them or take them to the appropriate services.
- Try not to ask them why they feel depressed/anxious/suicidal — it’s not helpful right now and all you’ll likely get is a list of reasons — think on, what would you do with all this?
- Try not to offer platitudes, rather reflect, paraphrase, summarize. You’ll get more if you ask open-ended rather than closed (yes or no) questions. And don’t be scared about silences or filling the gaps.
- Let them know they’re not a burden and tell them that you’ll get through this together but — don’t make promises you can’t keep, if you let them down, that might make them feel worse.
- Tell them they’re not alone; many others experience mental illness and lead fulfilling lives — they have good jobs and are contributing towards society, they’re married or dating, they have good social lives and they’re able to carry out their activities of daily living.
What more can you do?
- Explain that some mental illnesses are a result of chemical changes in the brain — it’s not about being weak and failing — at times we live in a hostile, stressful, demanding and right now, a scary world.
- Some symptoms of a mental illness mimic physical illnesses at times, such as headaches, general aches and pains so they must see a GP to see if there’s any underlying physical problems that need treatment.
- You can’t force someone to access professional care, but you can support them in making an appointment with a mental health professional and you can offer to go with them?
- If someone has self-harmed or is considering doing so, take the person to the hospital or call for emergency help.
- Don’t make throw away statement such as “You can’t be depressed, you’ve got a nice car, a big house etc.” If a man says he’s feeling anxious or depressed — trust me, he is!
- If you think someone is showing signs of psychosis and they’re paranoid, try to remain calm, give them reassurances that they’re safe with you and that no harm will come to them — stay with them — only if it’s safe to do so! Otherwise, be aware, stay safe and call for emergency help immediately.
So how can we reduce this gap and improve men’s mental health?
Hugh Martin, founder of counselling service Man Enough, says the first step is to encourage conversations within organisations – such as sporting clubs, groups and workplaces – making space available for men to talk about how they’re going.
More than that; we need to be teaching our children about men’s mental health, emotions and how to manage or cope with them.
Let little boys know it’s okay to cry if they’re hurt or sad. Show them pictures of different faces, showing anger, smiles, laughing, shy, happy and sad – get them to point to a face that will explain how they’re feeling right now. Never tell them “big boy’s don’t cry.”
Would you be able to help a man who’s experiencing mental health problems? What’s your experience of men and their emotional difficulties? I’d love to hear your comments and I’m happy to answer any questions.
You may find the following articles useful:
- Anxiety in men
- Reading a previous post 19 free mental health apps just for you here
- Or Tips to help with your anxiety and panic attacks here
- Attending a self-help course in person or online
- There’s A powerful new mental health book featuring personal experiences from men and their partners urges men to open up – not ‘man up’. Big Boys Don’t Cry? contains 60 individual anecdotes from men working in a diverse range of careers from lawyers, postmen and soldiers to construction workers, Big Issue sellers and elite sports stars.
Related: Men’s mental health Monday. The science behind serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin and endorphins (1). 76% of suicides are committed by men (2). Men and mental health (3).
53 thoughts on “Find out why men won’t discuss their mental health”
There have been some good public awareness campaigns, like Movember, and hopefully those are having some positive impact.
I love that Movember, all the men and their taches. We also have the Change Movement and Stamp out Stigma going round all the Premier league football stadiums in the UK. It’s getting better here in the UK. Thanks for your comments Ashley.
It must be incredibly exhausting always putting up a tough exterior, or at the very least, ignoring the things that can help.
40% in the survey said they won’t talk about MH? That is high number. Mental illness doesn’t discriminate. I’ve always worked with men and women, never had any gender issues. In some of the wards there were more men, in the other there were more women. Like when I worked in the field of addiction, that was almost exclusively male. In psychosis is was equal and with the elderly is was more women but that is because we used to be a women psychiatry. I think men maybe don’t talk that easy but they send other signals that something is off. ‘Boys don’t cry’ is the worst ‘advice’ ever been given!!!
Thanks for commenting Kacha. That was only a small survey but I’m sure the figures are still really high.
I’ve always worked with both too, and give me men any day lol. I find them easier to work with but I also loved the challenge working on an all female ward.
Yeah, I’ve found men tend to display anger or aggression as opposed to saying they’re depressed. I suppose, again, it’s up to us women to show them that a mental illness is not a sign og=f being weak.
The boys’ dad used to say ‘get up, you big girl’s blouse’ (when they were 5 or 6) and away from the boys, I got so mad at him.
You got me interested in the topic. Would you mind if I would post about the subject too? (one day, don’t know when the muze will strike me!)
Oh, yes! Of course. I’d be delighted Kacha. And anytime you want to do a Guest post for me 🙂 We write about similar things so there’s always a place for you on my blog x
I know about the Guest post, just today I was thinking about it! I will write it, I’m sure about that, I just feel like my journey isn’t ‘that far’ behind me to give a nice overview and that is what I want it to be. But I’m coming closer to that point.
If you would like to write a guest post on my blog, you’re very welcome! x
Love it! Whenever you’re feeling up to it. And I’d love to guest on your blog. Let me know what you’d like – fun personal experiences, serious stuff? xx
I do not censor and I give you a ‘carte blanche’. I trust your judgement completely! x
Aw, thank you Kacha x
I’ve always felt sorry for men because of the societal expectations, and even I’m guilty sometimes of having the same expectations of men. The male brain is a huge mystery to me, and not one that I understand. A lot of guys I’ve known were self-absorbed or passive-aggressive or wallowing in constant self-pity (whether justified or not). I’m thinking about all the guys I’ve ever known going back to high school. I totally agree that something needs to be done to change the male-focused “toughness” teaching. It’s ridiculous. Like, I was watching this episode of a TV program, and the college guy was mad, so he got aggressive with his friend on the basketball court, and it wasn’t his friend he was mad at. I really pity men for how they’re not supposed to just say how they feel, or to admit that they have feelings. I’m quite happy that I’m female for that reason (among other reasons). You give good tips for how to handle men in crisis!! I don’t think I’ve ever been in that position, but I hope I’d be helpful!!
Oh crikey, me too Liz. I’ve had male friends saying they’re so confused these days “women want strong but sensitive men!” They want their man to look after them but they don’t want to have to look after their man.
No wonder they’re confused.
Oh, I get you about the differnet types of men – I’ve got the t-shirt 😉
I love the way my sons’ love their girlfriends and vice versa. The girls individually tell me – “He’s the nicest man I’ve ever met.” I used to feel for my younger son when he was late teens – I used to say he was too old for his age (in a nice way). His girlfriends at that time wanted the big strong man and because he was sensitive towards their needs, I think they found him too ‘soft’, if you know what I mean.
Oh, I think that if ever you were in that position, you’d manage it fine Liz. You’ve got great people skills, Caz x
The world is beginning to accept mental health challenges without stigma. For men it is still what it was. We don’t expect it because a man is viewed as stronger. When they’re normal and human must like everyone in the world. Thanks for sharing. And helping reduce the stigma and make it possible for men to reach out.
Love, light, and glitter
We’re slowly getting there and like I mentioned in another comment, in the UK, even football clubs are promoting mental health awareness. It’s just the men to learn how to reach out 🙂 Thanks for your comments Eliza. Caz x
I think with more awareness and acceptance they will reach out more for it’s safer too, and the messages they’re taught in youth with world perception shift will shift. And that will also absolve some mental health struggles for they’ll be taught healthy ways from younger. Really I think all schools need to teach health, safety and skills to all kids. You don’t need to say what could go wrong but teach the skills to deal with anxiety. Teach grounding methods. Etc etc. Prevention is the best cure… of course it won’t prevent everything but also dealing with things earlier is better too. Anyways I’m rambling.
Love, light, and glitter
Oh my word Eliza, you hit the nail on the head – I’ve been saying forever that shcools (or other professional services) need to educate our youngsters early on. And no you’re not rambling. Really valid points and thank you. Caz x
It’s so sad that men feel like they can’t be open about their mental health. Great post!
Thanks Pooja. Hopefully, we’re getting there, what with all the campaigns. I suppose it’s going to take a while for the older generation of men to get on board and reach out if necessary. Caz x
Great post. I’ve brought up two boys on my own so they’ve had a mainly female upbringing. Their dad is very Victorian in his views and when my youngest developed OCD at about nine years old, told me that “he never did it when he was with him” and “it was absolute rubbish and he should just man-up and get over it”. It made me so desperately upset and angry at the time, but he simply wasn’t prepared to step away from his previous views and understand and help this poor little boy. Boarding school for some kids is the worst possible start in life and the boys’ father is testament to this. I put some of his lack of understanding, education and lack of wanting to re-educate himself down to that. Katie
Aha Katie. That “he never did it….” just had me throwing my head back and remembering my boys’ dad doing similar! Mine din’t even have that old schoolboy education – it was that North London Macho thing 😉 and the same, not wanting to educate himself. Us women have a bit more to do lol. Caz x
We sure do!! X
This is the very reason I blog! To try and open everyone, especially men, up to the idea that mental health needs to be a discussion made often! Awesome blog!
Thank you Tim. I get it — men especially 🙂 I love your blog too, and peeps, it’s worth popping on over there to Tim’s Blog. Caz x
Thank you so much
Hey, you’re welcome.
The belief that we have to fight our demons alone is a very damaging one. Women also pick up this belief, but it’s pushed much harder on men. I wonder how many men have given up because they thought that the persistent problems they faced meant they were too “weak” to overcome them when maybe they just needed a little support.
I dare say, it’s not easy for lots of women too. If they weren’t brought up with any emotional intelligence or effective communication skills. Though, research, personal and professional knowledge , it’s more difficult for most most to open up. And yes, the suicide figures are telling. Thanks for commenting, as always. Caz x
This is an excellent post! I think a lot of the reasons why men don’t as often discuss or seek support for mental health can be applied to women too but it seems far more pronounced in men, because of how ingrained the societal notions have been over the year. Macho men, weak women. Way too many stereotypes that need to continue being knocked down. Really good suggestions too, especially number 6 – I think restating what someone’s said and reframing are helpful rather than platitudes and open ended questions or prompts rather than ones where yes/no can be used are also important for getting dialogue flowing and reflections happening.
Really nicely done with this, Caz.
Thank you for you supportive comments, as always Caz. I agree the stereotypes in society are definitely a barrier and it’s still something we constantly need to revisit. I do think the younger generation, yourself included, are much more open and accepting toward mental health, emotions, communication etc. I really do think that kids should have lessons in developing emotional intelligence Caz?
Great post! It is so true that men tends to hide their feelings which may lead them to suicidal attempts if left unresolved… All the suggestions are so helpful specially in my job as a School Nurse designate. I can definitely apply it to my students having personal issues that are usually observed in their performance.
Hi Sam, glad you find the suggestions useful. Of course, we need to do all we can to notice early onset of mental illness. Getting a diagnosis and treatment early on can help stop the descent into a lifetime of mental illness. Caz x
Its the “tough guy syndrome.” I think most men have it. All the men in my family have it. 😕
Mmmm, I do think so 😉 x
Thankfully, this is getting more attention, but we still have a ways to
When I struggled with intrusive thoughts at first, I absolutely struggled with #4 and #9.
Thank you for sharing Brendan. I can only imagine how you must have struggled. I hope you’ve accepted support now and I wish you well. Caz x
Thanks Caz. I’m doing much better now, thankfully. But when I struggle with intrusive thoughts, I thankfully have some mechanisms to help me get through those times.
That’s so good to hear Brendan. I’m glad to hear you have some mechanisms to help you. I know how difficult it can be and I too have my therapeutic ‘toolbox’ that I dig into whenever I feel the need. 🙂 Caz
I remember a bit of how difficult it was for me to get help in the early years, which is after my initial psychosis nos diagnosis. It was difficult to think I just couldn’t wish it away. 🙁
I grew up with a lot of those toxic playground messages. And I also didn’t really have a positive male role model. (My dad was around, but I didn’t spend a lot of time with him because of his work schedule, and he was fighting his own set of demons at the time.) Now I don’t mind talking about it, but I don’t really have anywhere to go for help, especially these days.
That sounds awful Greg. Urgh! I could scream! And it’s a shame your dad wasn’t around much. Look at what he’s missed out on, more fool him. Ah, his demons! I had them too but as adults we have to keep this from our children, it’s not fair on them.
What about doing some online advocacy for mental illness ‘Greg’, it might fill some of your time and you might meet people to chat with.
In the meantime, you take care.
My dad’s experience is a lot more understandable knowing what he’s been through and what his relationship with his father was like when he was a kid; specifically, it was nonexistent. Dad grew up with a single mother, and his father remarried an LDS woman and started a new family and became very involved in the LDS church and staying in that little bubble. Also, that side of the family just is not very warm and fuzzy and close in general. And Dad had a lot of issues related to drugs and alcohol in his 20s.
I’ve been in and out of therapy all my life, to some extent, because I was having really bad meltdowns/tantrums/whatever you want to call them in school as a kid, in addition to my family dealing with things related to my dad being newly in recovery. There is a key aspect of my childhood therapy experience that affected much of my childhood which I have edited out of my blog. We can discuss it privately if you want, but I don’t know how much it has to do with this conversation.
My health provider has a very closed network. As an adult, I started seeing a therapist in 2015, but he left the network soon after that, and I didn’t really like him anyway. The next guy I saw for a year and a half, about every two or three weeks, and he was good, but then he retired. The next therapist I got, I think it was early 2017 when I started with her, I feel like she understood me well, but her schedule filled up to the point that I could only get an appointment once a month, then it became once every 6-8 weeks, and she has a little kid and whenever he would get sick and she would have to cancel, it would end up being at times over 3 months in between appointments. I filed a grievance, and the people who look into that denied my request for more frequent service because it was not a life-threatening condition and her notes indicated that I did not do a good job of following through with her suggestions. Her suggestions usually included things like meditate on positive messages, make a bulletin board of positive sayings, keep a journal, things like that… I’m so overwhelmed with life in general that it feels like more stress than it’s worth to make time for that, because that takes away from time I need just to handle all my adult responsibilities and get enough rest.
I was also going off and on to a drop-in therapy group about interpersonal skills, run by this same health care provider. Sometimes it was helpful, but sometimes the whole session would be taken up by people having trouble communicating with their spouses, which was mostly not directly helpful to me. But then that shut down because of COVID19.
I could try asking for a new therapist. I don’t know if they are taking any new patients or offering appointments at all right now because of COVID19. And I think ultimately, the real problem is that I don’t want help. The way I live my life makes perfect sense to me, and I’d rather blame all my problems on living in an environment where I can live my life in the way that makes sense to me. But, of course, that most likely does not actually exist, and learning to accept things is part of being an adult… but it makes me angry having to accept things that don’t make sense.
And, of course, this whole discussion is also tied in with that of whether or not the US should adopt a government-run health care system like most countries in Europe have. With me usually taking the side of small government, lower taxes, and people taking responsibility for their decisions, I tend to lean against that. (And I also don’t like discussing politics on the Internet, because I tend to run with crowds who are hostile to my positions and beliefs.) I could get a better selection of therapists by switching to a health care provider that isn’t so closed, but that would cost me more out of pocket because all available health care plans have increased in cost beyond the share that my employer will pay. But with a government-run system, taxes would be higher, so I’d still end up with less money at the end of the month. And with my past experiences in therapy generally leaving me less confident that I will ever be living in the world I want to live, it doesn’t feel worth it to spend more money on my mental health. But, of course, on the other side, I wouldn’t have any money or good health coverage at all if my mental state deteriorates to the point of getting me in trouble at work…
I’m sorry to hear of your dad’s experience ‘Greg’ and I feel for you, having to experience that as a child. It wasn’t fair on you and is it any wonder you had ‘tantrums’ and such like at school. Again, that was so unfair, having to deal with adult problems when you were a child. But I get where you’re coming from cos many of us had to deal with the same – adult problems on children’s shoulders.
I get what you mean also, about group therapy stuff, where some people need more than others and they take up all the time. I went for group therapy for 12 weeks and I was so glad when it was over.
Like you, I’ve had a couple of therapists that I just couldn’t work with and tbh, they shouldn’t have been in the mental health care profession anyway.
I hear what you’re saying about healthcare in the US. Here, we have our wonderful NHS but the waiting times are long. I know my sons and a few family members paid £80 to see one guy who apparently is excellent. I dare he’s got many of his ‘clients’ via my sons lol. They don’t need to go now but they would go back if the felt it necessary.
Like you’ve said now tho’, you don’t want ‘help’. Great 🙂 So why not look for likeminded friends online? You’ve ran with hostile crowds now you need to change that. Make friends who have similar outlooks on life Greg. Keep trying and stay safe 🙂
My problems at school weren’t directly related to the adult problems at home.
To some extent, maybe it would have been better if Dad had spent time with me and taught me guy stuff and taken more of an interest in my life. But mostly it was just because I was bullied pretty much constantly and had no friends. I would sit there and take it and take it and take it; there was no positive influence in my life to counter all that, and no one ever taught me how to fight back (and I’d get in trouble anyway). Finally, every once in a while I’d reach a breaking point and blow up and hit the bullies and sometimes throw furniture, and I’d get in trouble for it, but the bullies themselves, nothing would ever happen to them, because no one cared about boy-on-boy bullying in the 80s.
The problem with finding like-minded friends is that I don’t fit neatly into boxes, and in these divisive times I feel rejected by both sides. I have my friends with similar Christian beliefs who disapprove of my secular music and fantasy games which, in their warped world view, are of the devil, and I have my friends with similar hobbies who are extremely hostile to my Christian beliefs and my political views. And with the way the culture is here these days, people are becoming more and more divisive. (Now that I think about it, my inability to relate to other Christians probably has more to do with the fact that most Christians my age are married parents of school children and teenagers, not the type of people to socialize much beyond the parents of their kids’ friends. But I certainly do know a few Christians who disapprove of all secular music and fictional universes with stuff like magic.) For much of my 30s I was involved with swing dancing and blues fusion dancing; the dancing itself is fun, but I met so many very outspoken people with lifestyles and beliefs very strange to me (along with people who took the actual dancing way more seriously than me and rejected those who weren’t as serious about it). I’m thinking I might have to unfollow or remove a lot of those people from social media, particularly the ones I never see or talk to anymore. I hate removing people from my life, because I remember what it’s like not to have friends, but maybe it’s something I need to do…
My Dad wasn’t around and I hated him for that! I believe that if he’s even shown his face once in a while, people (men) wouldn’t have intimated or assaulted. He went on to have five more children who are, of course, adults now. I know tham and like them and the eldest, I love – we are good pals and we get to whinge about dad lol
But I obviously don’t know what it feels like for a boy then man not to have a father figure. My brother had that and again I think he hated him too. neither of us went to his funeral.
I feel for you with the bullies and yes, I too lashed out sometimes. That was great cos they never bothered me again.
Wow, are the Christions so Godly they don’t like certain music – or most music I suppose?
The swing dancing sounds fun, I love watching them perform. You could still go back, just for fun. And now you might meet differnt people – not from the 80’s lol.
I don’t mind outspoken people, I’ll listen and take away what I lke in the person and what they say. Everyone’s entitled to an opinion and it’s best not to argue over their beliefs.
If you’re thinking about removing people, think hard. Maybe write down pros and cons of removing them. Join other sites where you can make friends Greg – that will give you something to do also – researching sites where you’ll meet people who have similar interest. Go on, give it a go and let us know how you get on 🙂 Caz
My dad has definitely done a better job trying to connect with me as an adult. Toward the end of the time I lived in Jeromeville, I came home from work one day to a phone message; it was Dad, saying that he was at a trade show at the convention center in Capital City and that he would meet me at Dos Amigos by my house for dinner (that trade show was the same time every year, and I think this was the last year I lived in Jeromeville, so that would have been January 2001, I was 24). That was unexpected, but it was great. I moved back to the Capital City area in January 2006, and the tradition of seeing Dad every year when he came up to that convention continued until he retired. After I bought the house, he started staying with me on that trip too. And we would usually go to a basketball game on that trip too, either the pro team, the UJ men’s team, or the UJ women’s team, whoever was home during that week. Dad didn’t stay retired; I think working long hours is part of the way he deals with those demons. But I still don’t feel as isolated from him as I did as a kid (and of course I didn’t quite understand those feelings as a kid, because that was the only life I knew).
Evangelical Christianity in the USA is certainly an interesting subculture. The well publicized heavy drug use of hippie-era rock musicians led to a backlash among some in the Christian community, that that kind of music led children to worship Satan and that kind of thing. They took the Bible passages about not being influenced by the world around you to the extreme and started saying things like all music with guitars and drums is of Satan. And there are still remnants of that thinking today. Evangelical Christianity started to become a little more trendy in the 90s, right at the time I really came to faith (that’ll be coming soon in my blog), and that was also when the purity movement was really big. With me coming of age in that time period, not really knowing what the world was like in general, I got a lot of mixed messages about what was and was not okay. I have lots of interesting stories about that which will be coming later in my blog, as well as what will be the back story prologues if I ever do another continuing story blog about my 2005 travels.
These days, the pendulum seems to be swinging in the other direction. It’s now trendy for Christians to call themselves Christians but still openly be engaged in some blatantly un-Biblical behaviors and lifestyles, and act like it’s no big deal. And these people are also overly critical of certain positions and beliefs I identify with. I wonder if these were people who, like me, were hurt by the stuffiness of 90s purity culture, but reacted by rejecting more of that than I did.
But like I said, I’ve been trying for decades to find people like me, and I’ve come to the conclusion that they just don’t exist. Really. The culture around me is just too divisive, and with me not fitting in either camp, both sides reject me. People with my beliefs don’t have my lifestyle and hobbies, and people with my lifestyle and hobbies don’t have my beliefs. I’ll never fit in completely, so I just have to learn to grow thicker skin and know what to hide from whom.
That’s good to hear that you got to spend some with your father.
Evangelical Christianity, wow! I know America is big on church and Godliness. My sister in Houston does all that praying malarky at mealtimes. Ha she never went to church in the UK.
It’s certainly not for me either! Some of my cousins are Jehovah Witnesses – ha, and you want to see what they get up to! Like I said Church is not my thing but it’s okay that’s what others do. Each to their own and all that.
None of us will ever have the perfect match Greg, it’s just not possible, so we all have to give and take a bit 🙂
It’s a little hurtful that you refer to it as “malarky”
Ah, sorry Greg. I’m sorry and I never intended to hurt you, and I’m glad you let me know.
I was referring to my sister’s ways. It’s the way we speak coming from Scotland and it obviously doesn’t translate that well in any other language/country. Because even tho’ she doesn’t go to church or ‘believe’ as such, it’s all for show. It’s like her malarky, not anyone else’s. I hope you know I would never mean to offend.
Agree! One of the biggest problem in our current society reside in the fact that men have a very hard time talking about their feelings creating a whole lot of issues for themselves and the people around them. This statement seems overgeneralized, unfair, and a tad offensive; but it is actually backed up by a lot of studies. My eldest daughter Maya put her blogger’s hat on and wrote an article dealing with this important societal issue. I was very impressed with the way Maya tackled this sensitive issue: I am bias of course because she is my daughter after all, but judge for yourself. I guarantee you it will be time well spent https://authorjoannereed.net/men-feeling-shitty-its-not-just-you/
Thank you for commenting Joanne and yes I read your daughter’s article, an interesting and informative post,
Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to comment. Glad to hear Maya’s article resonates with you