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Local Men Share Their Mental Health Struggles and How They Changed Their Lives

June is National Men’s Health Month. It’s time to raise awareness to get healthy and stay healthy. And this time, it’s mental health!

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Many studies have found that men are less likely to seek mental health care than women are. Plus, they are more likely to suffer from mental health issues, such as depression. Furthermore, men are three times more likely to commit suicide.

“Self-care is what makes me smile: not just outside but inside. So it could be coming here to Elevation Nail & Spa and telling Ms. Mariel I want a manicure or get my toes done. Taking that time to play my favorite music,” said Colby Boone.

Boone says self-care is the key to manage his mental health. He underwent years of trauma and depression, which went undiagnosed and untreated.

Bone said, “Age 7, sexual abuse. Age 13, molestation. Age 15, witnessed my first homicide. Age 16, attempted suicide for the first time. Age 21, praise God for the last time, attempted suicide and survived. That led to being in therapy for 8 months. Cognitive behavior therapy is the form where I actually saw that it was something more that I was dealing with. It was a disorder that was underlying these different behaviors that I had done through life.”

Brandon Morrison said, “Typically, men are supposed to suck it up and keep it moving.” He started dealing with anxiety and depression during his college days.

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Morrison said, “My frat brothers have seen me at my lowest from a panic attack and I’m on the floor and they’re on their knees right beside me rocking with me until I’m done.”

He explained, “It was more so, ‘They’re going through something, pray for them.’ And so you did, and things didn’t change the way you wanted them to.”

A clinical social worker with Amethyst Consulting and Treatment Solutions, Jaren Doby, said, “In being in therapy, a man has to trust the therapist. A man has to be open, be vulnerable. And that’s something that turns a lot of people away.”

He explained that men are quite slow to acknowledge a mental health problem and much slower to seek professional help.

Doby said, “There are a lot of men that I’ve been able to work with that say ‘Hey, I kept it quiet because I didn’t want my boss to know.’ I see a lot of depression. And it’s for various reasons. We’re talking dissatisfaction with their job status, socioeconomic status.”

Nevertheless, the stigma has been fading, thanks to celebrities who have opened up and encouraged people to seek help, such as Brian Wilson, Prince Harry, Terry Bradshaw, Dwayne Johnson, and Kevin Love.

Doby noted, “Men are definitely starting to open up more and take the opportunity to share what it is that they’re through.” Boone, who wants to be a therapist, said there are effective ways to open a conversation for men.

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