Hello all, welcome back! Today’s post is a bit serious and depressing but I feel is an issue that is a bit of a taboo in society…. male depression.
After witnessing first hand the effects of depression, one thing I can’t get my head around is the social concept that man can’t appear to be “depressed”. Daily, I see blogs (predominately by females as that’s just who I tend to follow) about people’s journey through depression, anxiety etc and I find it incredible, seeing the support that is shared amongst the blogging community (and in fact society as whole) as people start to realise the true impact of mental health. Finally, it starts to become a more approachable subject, people no longer mind talking about their medication or their recovery -however this has it’s limits.
I won’t go into too much detail but a few years ago a family friend lost their life to depression, it was pretty devastating and shook my family, particularly the males. I’d never seen my dad cry before until the day we found out and to me this was pretty weird, having been brought up to be expressive of my own emotions. Had he not been sad before or had society just taught him that to cry was to show weakness?
Every day we here the casual phrases “man up” etc. but when it comes down to it people are not as accepting of mental health issues among men as they are women and therefore they don’t seek help. According to the Good Samaritans in 2014, the highest category for suicide was among males ages 45-49. How many of these men felt that they couldn’t ask for help even within their own family?
Above is a video (Source: WHO) my friend used to describe depression and I think it hits all the main points head on about depression, it’s symptoms and coping mechanisms. The more we talk about this subject the less of a stigma it has.
I am taking my time off revision (which BTW, is going very badly) to rant about something that has really pissed me off. After reading the post by Lottiethinks which highlights everything wrong with this situation I decided to rant. As anybody on twitter may have noticed, the latest trend has been the defacing and graffiti of the Protein World campaign for a “beach ready body” and has lead to the protests and petitions for the fitness company to remove their adverts, branding it “body shaming”.
As one of millions of teenage girls who relies upon the media to set the standards of societies expectations of women, I can only agree that this advert not only sets unrealistic standards for Women’s body (although the model herself has claimed that she has a healthy diet and agrees that people should accept their own body) but shames those who don’t already look that way. I did believe that we were finally reaching a milestone in society, in terms of body image acceptance and it’ great seeing so many people passionate about this petition.
However what I believe to be more distressing is the manor in which the company has responded to it’s opposers . The twitter page for the company (@ProteinWorld) and it’s supporters have backlashed, naming the disapproval #FATACCEPTANCE claiming that people who do not agree with the campaighn must, themselves be unfit and overweight. Personally, I categorise under the “underweight” category at the GP surgery (yes, I am one of those annoying people with a fast metabolism, sorry!) and may look more similar, physically, to the campaign model than I’d like to admit, but here I am, as angry as any decent feminist about these comments, because body acceptance isn’t about one body type, surely that’s the point? By retweeting tweets such as that below, the company has chosen not to just shame those that oppose the body image they has chosen to idolise ,but to target feminists in general, this I believe to be a step too far.
What’s more, the company have chosen to retweet and comment, mocking protesters by thanking them for extra publicity ( if you’re reading this and STILL would like to try their products , go ahead but I wouldn’t by any means say that these protests have put the company under a “good” spotlight).
I believe that the company itself (although having gone about it the wrong way) are not to blame for this backlash. This is a wider issue of society having reached a point were people HAVE began to accept everybody’s bodies ( only recently has their been news of new Plus size models hitting the runway) but the media and archaic idiots are refusing to move with the ever-changing society, have regressed us back to where we began.
So this is something a bit different to my usual posts, but here I am, nearly at the end of my first year at Uni with a few words of advice for all of you.It’s been a crazy year and I’ve had loads of ups and downs but I honestly recommend Uni to anyone who considers it.Here is some of my advice:
Try something new (trying to avoid sounding cliche here).There is a ridiculous amount of options available to a fresher, from the nudist society to badminton club.My biggest regret of fresher’s week is not signing up to anything, although I have attended some slightly embarrassing but fun Yoga sessions. Nobody at Uni knows who you are so it’s your opportunity to be whoever you want to be. It doesn’t even have to be a society, try making a recipe you’ve never tried or dye your hair, these are the years for trial and error!
If you’re not happy, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. This is the advice I would be screaming at myself a year ago, if I could. I hated my old accommodation halls as I didn’t get on with the people. I spent months being miserable and having nobody to hang around with but one day I emailed the accommodation office
inquiring if there was a possibility of moving flat and BAM my whole Uni experience changed. I now live with all my best friends and couldn’t be happier. I am also changing course next year as this one wasn’t quite right. Just because you put down one course on UCAS doesn’t mean you’re obliged for life. It’s OK to try around with different things, they can’t expect us to get it right every time! There’s always someone to talk to to find a solution for anything.
Expect things to go wrong – everyone thinks that everything is going to perfectly but no, you WILL burn your toast, you WILL miss a lecture and you WILL spend too much money. but it’s OK 🙂
Don’t rely on your friends/Boyf- This sounds so harsh but it’s true.If you’re lucky enough to have people you know go to your Uni, don’t expect them to be there 24/7, you HAVE to make some new friends by yourself. Also it’s inevitable that you’ll grow apart from some friends back at home, everyone has their own life. I keep in touch with about 3 of my old friends who make the effort and that’s normal. Some people I know base their decision of uni (eg where) based on their relationship and I think that’s silly, if you trust your relationship enough you’ll be fine.
HAVE FUN, You’ll experience things that make you think “what a waste of the whooping 9k we are paying to be here” but it WILL be the best time of your life. 3am trips to MacDonald? A picture of you kissing the ugly guy in a club? Terrible memories of a sambuca-fueled night? Frying pan ping pong?It’s all part of the experience!
Oh, you should probably get some work in at some point too.