May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and even though the U.S. has observed it since 1949, this feels like the first when we’ve seen so many prominent men share their personal stories about depression, anxiety, and the effects upon their lives. And, as is so often the case, we turn to Deadpool as an important cultural metaphor.
Deadpool is about as arrogantly confident as a human can get, who’d just as soon level you with a withering insult as with one of those katanas across his back. But he’s not as indestructible as he’d have us believe. He’s got a number of soft spots. He wears a mask to hide his deformed face. He wears red so no one can see him bleed. And it turns out, his portrayer Ryan Reynolds suffers from anxiety, from “the lighthearted ‘I’m anxious about this’ kind of thing … to the depths of the darker end of the spectrum, which is not fun.”
From athletes to action heroes, men as seemingly alpha as Dwayne Johnson are stepping out from behind the curtain of the great and powerful to let others know that biceps cannot protect against depression, abs are no match for anxiety. While their physical prowess may make them appear more than human, in reality they face the same struggles as mere mortals and need support accordingly.
What can the rest of us learn from the honest bravery of these men? For starters, we can stop wearing the masks of stoic stereotypes that treat mental health issues as a weakness to be ashamed of, and find the strength to put our real face, our best face, forward, whether that is discussing our own experiences or being present for those who need us most. Men and mental health are finally getting the attention they deserve, but that only happens after you let your loved ones see you bleed.
IN THE NEWS
Did you know this has been Food Allergy Awareness Week? It’s not too late to get some helpful tips and information to help kids (and adults) dine safer.
Summer (b)looming doesn’t mean the school year is over. There’s lots of learning left!
“With bringing up kids, it’s not what you say, it’s what you do. They don’t pay attention to your words, they pay attention to your actions.” – Chris Wallace
“Children, the great man said, were notorious thieves of time.” – Michael Chabon
“I want them to be happy. I want them to have a sense of humor. I want them to be interested in things. I want them to be compassionate about other people’s plights. Because that’s the thing, you know? You have to have some sort of empathy.” – George Clooney
A new study shows sharing music with your young kids can lead to a better parent-child relationship later in life.
Instagram is blowing up with pictures of couples enjoying the sense of humor they had before they had kids.
Abusive parenting can be a cycle, but it doesn’t have to be. There is help.
- Aaron Yavelberg discovered the “Sanctuary that Parenting Provides Children Seen in a Church’s Sturdy Survival.”
- Everything changed for Shannon Carpenter when he realized the “HOA Bylaws Insist That My Children Mow. That’s How I Interpret Them.”
- “I Weep for the Future,” writes Adam Cherepski, and his reason may surprise you.
- Chris Lewis shares some advice in “How to Teach Your Daughter Healthy Coping Mechanisms for Stress.”
- In “Who Will We Be?” Carter Gaddis wonders what future are we choosing for our future.
This Sunday is Mother’s Day, and for those who will be celebrating the moms in their lives, it can be a pretty big deal. Our buddy Stewart Reynolds (whom approximately zero people have confused for Ryan) knows what we’re talking about.
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