It was only when I finished the Marathon des Sables and was wondering which fresh windmill to tilt at that I saw the light. What men need is: New Stuff. Many middle-aged men tend to throw themselves into ever-more crazy races and tests of physical endurance.
Less than 80 years ago pink was a 'man's' colour. It was considered masculine as it was a more decided and strong colour. Pink was only associated with girls in the 1940's. That means we've had electric shavers longer than we've had the belief 'pink is for girls'. And, it's not only colours, it's materials too...
It is logical that developing pathways of support for this young man and thousands like him could change the life chances for both father and child. In turn, that would bring cost benefits to service providers like local authorities, as well as creating a positive social value in breaking the negative cycles we have seen for so many years.
Brené tells this story to highlight the expectation that us men can never fall off our white horses, for fear of appearing to be weak. That the experience of shame--that feeling in the pit of your stomach that you're not good enough, bad or broken--is felt viscerally by all of us, and that for men, it's the appearance of weakness that is the biggest cause.
I don't think I was ever not basically a feminist. The femands (that was a genuine typo but I'm keeping it in) have never seemed unreasonable to me. I do think the extent to which I felt involved and the degree to which I appreciated the problem have both changed for the better this year, and these changes have much to do with twitter.
We all experience feeling wounded. Yet women tend to verbalise and process pain much more efficiently, as women have each other to confide in. Women are also 'allowed' to feel emotion, whereas men are socialised to be 'tough' and to push away any pain, instead of acknowledging it.
In looking at the setting up of other Suicide Crisis Centres, the Select Committee may recommend that the GP becomes a central part of the care within them. I hope they think very carefully about the consequences, if they do decide to recommend this.
I don't want my sons to share the programming which has crippled me. I don't want them to grow up in a world which victimizes boys for showing weakness and which treats mental health issues without compassion.
As so-called 'daddy makeovers' continue to rise, the word from surgeons suggests this may be nudged by the decline of the hipster. The once popular bushy-bearded 'hyper-masculine' (or 'lumbersexual') aesthetic is falling out of favour, replaced by the more sleek and sculpted adonis that graces the covers of men's fashion magazines.
This summer, around a rather large Chinese takeaway, I spoke to my family about how I tried to take my life. Between me and my dad, plus a few tears, we talked about the pain this event had caused all of us. It was the first time that many family members listened to this story and it was the first time we spoke about it so openly.
As a male psychiatrist, I'm very aware that our language is peppered with clichés that discourage boys and men from expressing emotion. If we talk about how we feel we may be told to "man up!" or "stop acting like a girl!".
We trip ourselves up all the time with the idea of role models precisely because we encourage young people to be more like someone else and not themselves. There are lots of troubling issues with this over-simplification of social development. Not least when our chosen role models do something we deem to be out of character or, even worse, morally reprehensible.
My life is now also inextricably linked to sheds of a slightly different kind - Men's Sheds - shared workspaces bringing older men together to stay healthier and happier for longer. Important work given that over 75% of UK suicides are by men, with the figure in Ireland even higher at 80%.
Given that erectile dysfunction is a common side effect, not only of depression, but also sometimes the antidepressants used to treat it, are we piling on to laugh at an issue that is just a further cause of shame and embarrassment to people who are already struggling in life?
On March 4th 2009 my Dad left the house, walked 15 minutes to a busy road and stepped in front of a lorry. He died on impact. I was 18 (a month off 19) at the time and that was the day that changed my life.
I'm going to have to reign it in the coming years... my boy doesn't need a blubbering mess of a dad at his school plays. Or maybe that is exactly what the boys of the future generation need? To teach them they can be emotional if they want to be.