In recent months, notable pillars of traditional masculinity, including NBA players DeMar DeRozan and Kevin Love, and muscular action heroes Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds, have publicly addressed their experiences with anxiety and depression. While I would never wish either on anyone, I was glad to see them talk about it, and use their platforms to show that men’s mental health is a serious issue that needs to be discussed, especially by those we perceive as too tough to do so.
The impact of their actions on fatherhood is especially important. Dads are shaping modern conversations about masculinity and men’s mental health, and they are determining the collective lessons for the future, for their children, for their sons.
These celebrities are modeling the idea that acknowledging personal struggles does not make a man weak. Rather, their speaking out challenges the outdated definition of manliness as detached stoicism or brawn over brain. Their courage to defy the silence surrounding men’s mental health has inspired others to speak up and seek help. . . . Some studies suggest that anxiety may be genetic, which is my biggest concern, and the reason I maintain an open line of communication with my boys, 15 and 12, about it. They know I have reasons for what I do, and that most people are fine in situations when I am not. I want them to know that it is okay to talk about my anxiety without embarrassment, despite the fact that I’m secretly filled with it.
To read the rest of the article from the Washington Post, click here.