Addiction, grief, Homeless

We need to talk about men and mental health

Let me start by saying that I didn’t know the man. I only watched him on TV and have no understanding of what his life was like, but for anyone to think that suicide is the only answer is just sad to me.

The other day as I was carelessly scrolling I saw in my news feed that Billy Miller had died. Unless you’re a middle aged woman who was raised with a grandmother or mother watching soap operas you probably don’t know who he is. I, however, fit into that category and had quite the crush on his Ritchie Novak character when he was on All My Children. Of course he was the bad boy and did horrible things, but he was hot and made the show fun.

When he took over the role of Jason Morgan on General Hospital I was both heartbroken that the real Jason wasn’t coming back, but somewhat excited to see Billy again. I am strictly an ABC soap watcher and I know he played a Billy on another soap on some other channel, but that’s none of my business. He did a really good job in the role and the writers actually did a great job of rewriting his character when Steve Burton came (he had a twin… cuz of course he did). I was sad when he was written off and then when he was replaced, though I do love Cameron Mathison and what he has brought to the role, but this is not supposed to be about my old lady appreciation for soap operas.

The other night when I was laying in bed scrolling my feed I saw that Billy Miller had died. I was surprised. He was a young guy; only 43. He had a decent career, and all of his soap friends were Xing messages about their love for him. He was wicked attractive and seemed, on the outside to have everything going for him. I wondered if it was an accident, or you know… a sudden heart attack or stroke which seems so common today. Maybe it was an accidental overdose. I know from experience they can how many people are afflicted with that horrible disease.

The next day I read about his battle with bi-polar disorder. It was a little surprising to read about. There are other actors on the show who have been open about their illness, and a lot of celebrities today have come out in order to spread awareness, but I didn’t know the man, and to be honest I don’t usually look into the actors’ personal lives because that can sway my opinion on their characters, but still he always seemed so happy.

I guess that is the point of my writing. I finally heard that he killed himself. “They always seemed so happy”, is something often said about those who end up committing suicide. I don’t know if they are good at hiding it, or if people just don’t bother to really pay attention. After you always hear about people looking back and trying to figure out if there were signs, but that seems pointless.

In the US men make up 75% of all suicides, while in Europe it is more like 80%. However men are half as likely to seek mental health treatment than women. These statistics are obviously correlated, but why is a bigger question. Are men not seeking treatment and therefore just deciding to kill themselves? Are men seeking treatment but being told by both society and more than likely the feminist psychologist who they seek treatment from that their problems don’t really matter because they are some sort of oppressive class that needs to apologize for how they treat everyone else? Are they just diagnosed and handed a bottle full of pills and told that will make them feel better? If that’s the case men are also dying from drug overdoses 2-3 times more than women. This may be the reason why almost twice as many men are homeless compared to women.

Men are constantly being told that they need to talk about their feelings at the same time being told that their feelings are invalid and that the things that they care about are evil and the patriarchy. Men talk about how they feel useless because they lose or can’t get a job and can’t provide for their families. They feel emasculated because they can’t find a woman worthy of marriage. They feel pathetic because they aren’t living up to their vision of what they feel their lives should be. Then they are told that they have no right to feel these ways. That they should take a back seat to the woman’s needs. That they shouldn’t even try to “subjugate” a woman by marrying her and “forcing her to have his babies and be a slave”.

When in a relationship men are constantly getting flack if they want to spend time with their friends over their wife and kids sometimes, and yet women can’t wait for their girl time. Women spend hours on the phone with friends or when they become moms they spend hours in the playgrounds or at coffee shops with their friends setting up playgroups for their kids.. men work, and when they want to do something with their friends in their spare time the are guilted by the woman for not being home.

Men are told they are stupid. They are told their opinions don’t matter… today they are told they are born evil just because they are men. It’s like the new version of “original sin”. There’s nothing a man can do to be considered a good person in some eyes, and when they ask for help they are “helped” into more misery by being told by society to aim for the frivolous. They shouldn’t want relationships or kids, they should want a revolving door of women, then they are told by society that they are evil for using women.

If they do get married they have no real rights. If the woman cheats and divorces him then he loses half of his money and possessions. If the couple had kids they automatically end up with the ex wife, that is if the ex allowed his children to be born in the first place and didn’t murder them in the womb. Men have no “privilege” in the eyes of family court, and yet they are constantly labeled oppressors for wanting basic respect.

Women have loads of problems navigating the world, I’m not trying to deny that, but people have to realize that men do too. Too many of our brothers, sons, husbands, and fathers are losing the battle. They are killing themselves, overdosing, or just ending up in jail because society has turned their backs on teaching them what it really means to be a man, and if we’re not careful it’s going to spread to women not understanding what they bring to the table as well, and all of society will crumble.

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