“Act your age not your shoe size!”
They exclaimed seeing water drop from his eyes.
John wore a size thirteen in men’s,
Little did they know he just lost two friends.
He gasped for air but received none
He no longer had plans for the long run.
He watched from afar at the scene of the crime.
He arrived to see his best friend die in no time.
“Stephen, Stephen!” He cried out in pain.
He wanted to run yet he couldn’t move, just remain.
He looked at the ambulance to see Stephan’s love
Caroline, the woman John thought the world of.
A month ago he told her “I’m in love with you”
But she loved Stephan and John knew.
It was a secret they held saying it was a slip of the tongue.
Now he stood by as the paramedics said “Blood is filling her lung!”
Today he’s lost in the past and cannot not breathe
While the others laughed not knowing what’s underneath.
John felt like he was going to collapse.
They continued to taunt him as though men couldn’t have panic attacks.
A man thirteen or thirty can fall apart,
After all even the toughest men have a heart.
I wrote this in hopes of increasing the awareness of men who suffer from mental disorders such as anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder or any other problems that disable them not necessarily physically but mentally and emotionally. So many men have suffered through great tragedies rather it’s something they’ve seen on the battlefield or anything else. However, I would also like to stress that nobody has to go through some terrible experience to feel depressed or anxious.
One of the huge problems men with anxiety disorders encounter is that they don’t seek help. Men are more likely to attempt to drone out their feelings and find unhealthy ways of coping because they’re less likely to seek help than women are. This can be due to a fear of losing their pride considering “real men” don’t deal with these sort of problems.
Having men and teenage boys suffer in silence because the way society perceives them is ridiculous. According to NIMH “A large, national survey of adolescent mental health reported that about 8 percent of teens ages 13–18 have an anxiety disorder.. of these teens, only 18 percent received mental health care..” And “Anxiety disorders affect about 40 million American adults age 18 years and older (about 18%) in a given year”. This is not an uncommon problem yet such a small amount of people who are affected get treatment. Kids are still forced to present in front of classrooms full of children when it makes their knees weak, men are still forced to act like it’s all fine.
I’m not saying women have it easy, they’re twice as likely to suffer from many anxiety disorders. But, I’ve heard people say thing about anxiety and depression like “That’s just for teenage girls.” And it’s not acceptable.
If you have a sibling, parent, uncle, aunt, friend or anyone else you know who you think is struggling from a disorder please offer support. Look into it, learn how to address someone when they’re having a panic attack, learn what can help them, encourage treatment. Many people have good intentions but make the victims of anxiety disorders feel worse. Don’t make your loved one feel like a mistake, do everything you can. You could very well end up saving a life.