Thought

Profile picture for Now&Me member @nowandme

Now&Me @nowandme

Verbal emotional expression and vulnerability is often seen as a sign of weakness for men in our society. In households where we grow up hearing “Ladke rote nahi” (Translation: Boys or Men don’t cry), it is essential now, more than ever, to start talking about men’s mental health in India 💁🏼

Today, we have with us Arjun Gupta on board to answer all your questions under the theme of ‘Men’s Mental Health’ 🤗

About Arjun Gupta (He/him)

Arjun Gupta is a mental health author and psychology writer. He is currently pursuing an MA in Psychology from Ambedkar University, Delhi. In his undergraduate dissertation, Arjun worked on the ‘Experience and Expression of clinical depression in men and women of India’ 📑

Feel free to ask him any and all questions aligning with the theme without a smidge of hesitation before 2nd May 2022 (Monday) 💐

Asking questions shows strength, not weakness.
🧡 Ask away and stay informed! 🧡 #mentalhealthawarenessmonth

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Profile picture for Now&Me member @knightofsteel
Profile picture for Now&Me member @dukesilver006
32 replies
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Anonymous

Since mental health is highly misunderstood in India, where parents know or care jack shit about it… How do we make them understand that it’s real and not just a “phase” or a “mood”

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Profile picture for Now&Me member @knightofsteel

Arjun Gupta @knightofsteel

Parents often fall for the normalcy bias where they think that because they managed to overcome their version of hard times, other people will eventually do that too no matter how serious the problem is. Even if it is a mental illness, caregivers often fall for this bias thinking everything will be okay eventually. One way to tackle it is to make people aware of this bias and make efforts in engaging in dynamic and honest communication. Sadly, not everyone gets the privilege of that form of communication.

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Anonymous

Thanks Arjun!

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Anonymous

I am a 23 year old girl who never went to a regular college. Not because my grades weren’t good but because my patents (specially my father) wanted me to pursue a professional degree. Initially, I was resistant to study that but later I got interested into it because I had spent a considerable amount of time (years) in pursuance of that degree. However, now that I am 23 and achieving that degree seems quite likely to happen, I realise that in blindly pursuing some degree, my social life has taken a toll. Having an anonymous poetry page(200 followers) with almost zero knowledge about the art is not called socialising in real terms. During my internship and completing the Final level of the course that I am pursuing, I thought that I will be allowed to have a musical instrument for myself from the money that I earned initially. Not to pursue career in music but just to relieve my stress but I wasn’t allowed on the pretext of being distracted by doing this. So, I found random platforms as a way of self expression but it’s tiring for me sometimes. My debit card stays with my father. God forbid if anything happens to him, I won’t even know about the money that I earn. I am sometimes left with almost no enthusiasm to work hard or pursue degree or earn anymore.Sometimes I even felt a need to commit suicide once I obtain the degree that papa want me to have. Why after obtaining degree? Because it feels more like a moral obligation now. Moreover, my late mother also wanted me to have that degree( just because papa wanted). 5k for a Ukulele that too out of the money I earned seemed too much to them. I am fearful that eventually I may end up being a cold hearted person.
It’s not that I never tried to understand their viewpoint. Being middle class people monetary security is something that any parent will naturally think off. But one thing that pisses me off the most is that my father generally end up being duped by people. For his own time pass and the pursuits that he like he can end up wasting more than 50k. No one can question him or else he will get rude. But 5k or even other necessary expense for my education seem too much to him. Yeh doglapan kyun? He can do anything even when it’s so stupid that even a high school student wont do that. I on the other hand can’t even try something logical. This is something that I will keep on hating for eternity. But I also don’t want that kind of hatred in my heart. He prepares breakfast and dinner daily since the last year. It’s really kind of him. But sometimes he ends up saying that he has to make food for me or else I may talk falsely of him in public.He says this when not even for once I have dared to speak wrong about him in public until now. Even now it’s anonymous. Does it even matter? I have been an asset to his image till now and still all he cares about is his so-called image. If by chance I gather enough courage to die in future, out of anyone on this planet he shouldn’t be surprised. In case if he fails, I will laugh at his failure because that’s the personality he ended up developing in me.

Profile picture for Now&Me member @dukesilver006
@dukesilver006

Hey so sorry for what you are going through.
I SWEAR you won’t believe this but I have a friend who’s father did exact same thing. He had total access to her bank account and debit card was with him and he was a strict man.
She is good at artwork.
Hopefully it’s the same professional degree we are talking about which you are doing.
We were in our Final Course but then had a break in our friendship for some years and during that period I do not know what happened or how she managed and convinced her father but now she runs an art business.
All I would like to say is Please do not loose hope. Please do not think about doing anything to yourself.
If you need to talk about this do let me know.
Please take care.

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Anonymous

I have a same feeling right now i’m in the last year of pursuing my degree

Profile picture for Now&Me member @dukesilver006
@dukesilver006

I would say you did it till here just give a bit more and try to finish this. : )

Even I had like cleared my initial levels easily but I had many attempts in my final but eventually cleared it.

Wishing you all the best and try not to put too much pressure on yourself. You can do it.
Take care. : )

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Blue @pizza_coffee

Can we talk in private?

Zak Puckett @ztothephour

I wont disrespect you by pretending i know what your situation and surroundings are like. At 33 i learned what hate felt like. I have the freedom and intelligence but lack the discipline you have. I havent found anyonr who knows the right way to do life, we all just gather the what not to do’s. Your young and you know it, i know the nothing that matters, your fear of bittering is a respectful fear. I believe the stronger we fight that notion more foundationally sound we become on ourselves. Ive also found the opposite measure, its crazy to set aside all logic to follow a feeling. I cant convince you but i tend to understate things. Struggle has proven to make the best humans. This might sound silly but its a way i hold onto hope: its all out of context, i’m still alive. We like to say everything happens for a reason, honestly i hope not. But i know how we go through things is how we measure ourselves. If you prefer the comedic approach, imagine the depth of your poetry and music youll be able to write later. Could make it all worth it. Realistically its a maybe. Realistically i think thats enough. As long as you stay you, you wont regret it

Profile picture for Now&Me member @dukesilver006
@dukesilver006

Me?

Blue @pizza_coffee

Disagree…no offense
This 23yo girl has it under control…i agree with that…she knows what’s troubling her and she’s going her best to deal with it

She has it better actually,from what i have seen…people with similar situation as Hers,lack self confidence

She is afraid she will lose her empathy…she still looks after her dad’s insecurities…like what the society will have to say and what her dad thinks of her choices and wishes

I personally think it’s her dad that needs help…nobody should be THIS dependant of social norms and requirements of society

What his daughter thinks of him and how she feels should Trump whatever the society has to say

And about discipline…when people reach to the level of becoming suicidal, discipline,money,love,career… everything goes straight down the drain

What’s the point of living If you don’t have the will to keep going?the spark that wakes you us in the morning,the sense of adventure and thrill,the happiness you feel when you do something that excites you…is beyond imaginable

Emotions are necessary… that’s what makes us himan… without emotions,we are nothing but bodies going through motion…soulless… almost dead-like zombies

I truly appreciate what she’s doing…she is one of the strongest people i have witnessed

Just from her one concern,you can tell so much
Strong will,
Determination
Empathetic
She’d do anything for her loved ones even at the expense of her own peace of mind and herself
She protects what’s her

In my eyes, that’s admirable

Not many people has Guts to overcome suicidal tendencies

Blue @pizza_coffee

the anonymous girl who posted this

Profile picture for Now&Me member @dukesilver006
@dukesilver006

Oh cool!
Sorry! 😅

Zak Puckett @ztothephour

Idk, seems like we agree. You presented it much better for sure. Either way dont worry about possibly offending me in this case, i only tried to acknowledge that when we get close to going cold, thats the hardest part to remember any of our why’s in the first place. Im more than certain neither one of us brought anything new to the table. Ive been turned away wheni could of used someone try… clearly i turned out a lil wonky, i dont know ifni out me back together right. Im a rambler, my apologies, im noy trying to make this about me. Its actually awesome that you jump on me, i appreciate it. Givrs hope, its roughnout there

Blue @pizza_coffee

It wasn’t about jumpin you or attacking you…i simply pointed out my take on this particular post… sweetheart, everyone has it tough…nobody has everything… nobody’s ever satisfied… there’s always gonna be something that we want,that we lack… nobody’s perfect…even i am a lot more than just a_lil_wonky… I’m pretty sure at times,i go full-on-bananas
Everyone has their negative phases

What i know is… everyone and everything will bring you down when you’re feeling negative,trust me…even breathing will give you negativity

So what i realised is…you gotta look at it a different way…even if you ain’t feeling that good…you gotta be positive…only then will you attract positivity from the world…law of attraction ain’t no sh!t
When you’re down,you gotta have to pick yourself up…you will HAVE TO lend a hand to yourself… because believe me…when you get out of your phase on your own… there’s no stopping you!

Zak Puckett @ztothephour

Lol this happens to me often enough, forgive my metaphorical way, i was thanking you for stepping in, i dont feel attacked and if I did, it doesnt matter, i believe in this case. I have a person issue with politeness, nothing here. However i think we say the same thing. This elaboration makes our ideas that much more similar. Also, dont challenge my subconscious, he will go hard on proving just how wonky this honky tonky can be. I had a manager once tell me “its hard to get fired here”. Dude!!! Dont let me hear that, thats a challenge. He laughed and i tested limits over the next 6 months… i wasnt always this way…

Blue @pizza_coffee

Dudeeee
Wtf
I didn’t understand a word of what you just said!
My gosh!you…you do you

Zak Puckett @ztothephour

Yeeaah i know. Im difficult to operate. shrug i dont know if i would fix it if i could. Would you believe me if i said ive improved? Lol food for drought?

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Anonymous

Okay so the thing is my bf doesn’t share his feelings with me and not with anyone else…i tried to ask him so much but he says I just like to keep it with myelf and not to bother other but I care about his feelings and that’s the reason I ask him everytime but he never tells me about his issues after convencing he tells that too after days…so why does he do this?

Profile picture for Now&Me member @knightofsteel

Arjun Gupta @knightofsteel

There are two schools of thought in the psychology literature about what your bf is going through. One says that he doesn’t express his emotions because he cannot understand and label his experience. This phenomenon is labelled as normative male alexithymia (Levant, 1996). While the other school believes that men don’t express their emotions due to the strong cultural influences which encourage and reward boys who are not outwardly expressive. (Balswick, 1998)

Personally, from the research experiences I have had, I subscribe to the latter view. My social influences have taught me since childhood to not express my emotions. I doubt it was any different for your boyfriend.

There is something you can do though. Emotions, eventually, cannot be suppressed forever and so they come out in behaviours, instead of words. (Addis, 2008) Look out for some non-verbal cues instead of constantly looking for verbal expression. You could have signals which mean specific things. For eg. in one of my research interviews, a woman was concerned that her husband did not love her because he would not say ‘I love you’ to her often. That’s when she told her husband “If you want to tell me you love me, squeeze my hand three times.” Since then the husband would randomly go to the woman, hold her hand, squeeze it thrice and leave, repeatedly.

It doesn’t have to be the same but you could give something like this a try. Hope I could help a bit.

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Anonymous

Yes but he doesn’t tell when he is sad I get to know from his actions and behaviour that he is sad or something is bothering him but doesn’t tell me the reason for it how to get to know that? If I ask repeatedly he gets angry

Profile picture for Now&Me member @dukesilver006
@dukesilver006

Learnt something new. Thanks Arjun.

Blue @pizza_coffee

I think you should try to be patient…all we need is somebody to be in our corner,to have our back…we humans,we are wired to get attached

If you can just give him the assurance that you’re there, you’re not gonna leave no matter what,i think eventually, he’ll start opening upto you without even you trying

Once he truly feels that you’re his safe place, somebody he can rely on… he’ll yearn for you… you’d become the first thing that comes to his mind when he feels troubled

Trust! it’s a beautiful and powerful thing that can be hard to earn…but once you have it…even your subconscious mind will look for that person you trust…

Zak Puckett @ztothephour

Hes not done deciding where he stands, it can hurt when people hear the wrong one. It doesnt come up to me to share until the end. He’s consistant acrosss people so you shouldbt be worried, you can still ask, but dont push, backfires

Blue @pizza_coffee

Hey this was a good idea…maybe you can do something like this on the next Gmeet-up

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Anonymous

Mard ko dard hota hai, aur thand bhi lagti hai :P

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