Sometimes you might hear the terms mental wellness or mental health and think they mean the same thing. While they are connected, they actually mean two different things. What the difference? Mental Wellness is your overall mental wellbeing, and everyone has it! Mental wellness is when people can recognize their abilities, cope with typical stress, work and function well. In order to be mentally well, we have to take care of our minds just like we do the rest of our body. Just like we may get a cold, flu, or other temporary illness, sometimes our mental wellness struggles for a little while depending on life situations.
Sometimes, when you are struggling with mental wellness and things don’t seem to be getting better, it may be a sign that something more may be impacting your mental health. It may be a sign that some additional support may be needed and checking in with a professional could help. Just like going to see a doctor for high-blood pressure. They may suggest lifestyle changes like changing diet, exercising first to help, but they may also propose a maintenance medication to help keep you healthy.
Doing things that make you feel good, happy, or meaningful will increase your mental wellness, resulting in an increase in your mental health.
Sometimes life can feel overwhelming and we all experience it-stressful jobs, financial concerns, conflicts with partners, worries about kids, just to name a few. The difference with men is that society conditions men to be the “strong ones”, the ones that people lean on, but even the “strong ones” need someone to lean on.
No matter what you are struggling with – stress, depression, substance use, job issues, relationship problems or family turmoil, free and confidential support is available. You are not alone and talking to someone could help save a life.
Learn more about men’s mental health at these websites.
- HeadsUpGuys.Org– Health strategies for managing and preventing depression
- Mantherapy.org– Therapy. The way a man does it. Think differently about your mental health
- Movember– Go beyond small talk. Can you spot a bro who is feeling low?
- National Institute of Mental Health– Men and Mental Health
Research shows that men are less likely than woman to have conversations about mental health or seek support that could help them. It’s time we normalize these conversations about men’s mental health and acknowledge the experiences of men. We are grateful to these celebs who are challenging male mental health stigma and talking about mental health and/or their stories of struggles and survival. Read about them here:
Terry Bradshaw (former NFL football plater): The former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback suffered frequent panic attacks after games. He was diagnosed with depression in the 90’s.
Larry Sanders (former NBA basketball player): The Milwaukee Bucks center, left the NBA to spend time addressing his mental health struggles with depression and anxiety.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (former professional wrestler turned movie star): “I found that with depression one of the most important things you could realize is that you’re not alone. You’re not the first to go through it… I wish I had someone at that time who could just pull me aside and [say], ‘Hey, it’s going to be okay.’”
Stormyz (grime artist and musician): “If there’s anyone out there going through it [depression], I think for them to see that I went through it would help. Because for a long time I used to think that soldiers don’t go through that. You know? Like, strong people in life, the bravest, the most courageous people, they don’t go through that, they just get on with it. Like any person I admire or look up to hasn’t felt like this. They just pick themselves up, you know what I mean and that’s not the case… So for me it was like this is what I’ve dealt with… I felt it’s important for me to let people know that.”
Wil Wheaton (actor, writer, television personality): “One of the primary reasons I speak out about my mental illness, is so that I can make the difference in someone’s life that I wish had been made in mine when I was young, because not only did I have no idea what Depression even was until I was in my twenties, once I was pretty sure that I had it, I suffered with it for another fifteen years, because I was ashamed, I was embarrassed, and I was afraid.”
Trevor Noah (television host, political commentator, comedian): “One of the best things that helps depression is work, and socializing with other people and connecting. Because when you work you find purpose.”
Wentworth Miller (actor and screenwriter): “I would say what others have said: it gets better. One day, you’ll find your tribe. You just have to trust that people are out there waiting to love you and celebrate you for who you are…In the meantime, the reality is you might have to be your own tribe. You might have to be your own best friend. That’s not something they’re going to teach you in school. So start the work of loving yourself.”
Jon Hamm (Actor): “I struggled with chronic depression. I was in bad shape. I knew I had to get back in school and back in some kind of structured environment… I did do therapy and antidepressants for a brief period, which helped me. Which is what therapy does: it gives you another perspective when you are so lost in your own spiral, your own [stuff]. It helps.”
Kid Cudi (hip hop artist): “My anxiety and depression have ruled my life for as long as I can remember, and I never leave the house because of it. I can’t make new friends because of it. I don’t trust anyone because of it and I’m tired of being held back in my life. I deserve to have peace. I deserve to be happy and smiling. Why not me?… Its time I fix me. I’m nervous but ima get through this.”
Ryan Philippe (actor): “I think people fear being stigmatized or treated in a blanket fashion, which is sometimes the response to someone who says, ‘I struggle with depression’…But really, depression could manifest in a thousand different ways depending on who it is. I don’t think there’s any reason not to talk about it. We can help each other cope and give tools that we learn along the way.”
Ryan Reynolds (actor): ”I tend to get pretty depressed and I have some issues with anxiety and things like that. [I exercise every day] otherwise, I start to get a little bummed. For me, it is more psychological. Exercise is a means of expelling those demons.”
Wayne Brady (comedian and TV host): “It’s difficult for men in general, I think, because of just the way that we’re raised… We feel any of the negative emotions or that dark cloud settle on you, and you feel like you need to cry out or speak to someone about it, and, ‘Nope, I’m not gonna do that, because I’m a man.’ … What kind of man would I sound like if I told somebody, ‘Hey, I am so sad. I’m cripplingly sad. I can’t get out of bed. I just feel empty. Help me’… I’d be [seen as] some sissy. I’d be soft. That’s what you’re taught. That’s how you were programmed. And that’s what kills us.”
Bruce Springsteen (singer, songwriter, musician): “I have come close enough to [mental illness] where I know I am not completely well myself. I’ve had to deal with a lot of it over the years, and I’m on a variety of medications that keep me on an even keel; otherwise I can swing rather dramatically and . . . just . . . the wheels can come off a little bit.”
DeMar DeRozen (NBA basketball player): “It’s one of them things that no matter how indestructible we look like we are, we’re all human at the end of the day. We all got feelings . . . all of that. Sometimes . . . it gets the best of you, where times everything in the whole world’s on top of you…It’s not nothing I’m against or ashamed of. Now, at my age, I understand how many people go through it. Even if it’s just somebody can look at it like, ‘He goes through it and he’s still out there being successful and doing this,’ I’m OK with that.”
Dan Reynolds (singer, songwriter): “I’ve finally resolved a lot of these issues in my life… This has been the first time in ten years that I can say I have no depression. Sadness? Hell yeah—it’s included some of the saddest times in my life—but no depression. I’m stronger than I’ve ever been.”
Kevin Love (NBA basketball player): “I know it from experience. Growing up, you figure out really quickly how a boy is supposed to act. You learn what it takes to “be a man.” It’s like a playbook: Be strong. Don’t talk about your feelings. Get through it on your own. So for 29 years of my life, I followed that playbook.”
If you or someone you know is in crisis, it is important to seek help immediately. No matter if you’re struggling with depression, substance use, relationship problems or family turmoil, free and confidential support is available. You are not alone and talking to someone could help save a life.
Crisis Hotline: 24/7/365: Dial “988” on your phone
Coleman Crisis Services: 24/7/365: Call (330) 452-6000
Crisis Text Line: Text “4hope” to 741-741
Click the arrow below (>) on “Mental Health Resources” to learn more about each of these services.