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Author Topic: Sucking it up, and being a man.  (Read 284 times)

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Offline Belly

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Sucking it up, and being a man.
« on: August 11, 2014, 11:23:02 AM »
I had my first panic attack at age 12 while in Gatlinburg with my grandparents. I developed GAD in 1999 after my grandfather died, and since that time I have dealt with both, suffered from both.

I am 35 and married, We have no children, which I am thankful for, because worrying about me and my wife is enough for me to handle. I do not in any way handle stress well - I never have. My wife for the most part has always been supportive, but she does not suffer from either of these, and doesn't completely understand, which isnt her fault. It is what it is.

My wife is very independent and strong. I do my best to put on this strong exterior of "the man" ... and it is one of the hardest things I have to do, every day of my life.

It is hard being a man, and having mental disease. No matter how much we read, or are told that "its okay to show your feelings" the truth is that it isnt always. Women look at men differently when they appear weak, or get emotional. No woman wants her man to be like that. My wife tells me it is okay, but I can see in her face, just beyond the surface that it bothers her.

When I am feeling stressed, and at my breaking point, I take a shower, sit in the tub and sob. I do this, so my wife will not hear me.

We travel to London in 3 weeks, and I am terrified about the flight. That long, over nothing but water paralyzes me. When I have brought this up to friends, they look at me as if I am joking, or am being ridiculously silly. One has even said, "my 4 year old has flown with us to Germany, and she was fine." What a great thing to say to someone who has just confided in you about their fears.. tell them that a child handles it better than they do.  If I were a woman, I feel like I would have all the support and comfort in the world. But because I am a man, I am expected to suck it up because.... well, I am man.
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Offline Lunatone

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Re: Sucking it up, and being a man.
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2014, 11:02:52 PM »
Slow down there. You're missing something important. No one who does not have a panic disorder can even begin to imagine how it feels. Its literally impossible for them to get it. Sure most people have had a panic attack, but few end up in a disorder. Its very different from a single event, which is what people get confused about.

There are numerous resources out there to help you get the comfort and assistance you need from loved ones, and I suggest you look into them and take what they have to say to heart.  Because chances are, they just don't understand the scope of the problem.

http://www.sandiegotraumatherapy.com/emdr-articles/terrell-panic-disorder.htm

http://panicdisorder.about.com/od/familyandfriends/a/supporttips.htm

Those two sites are pretty good, at least as a starting point.
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Offline StoicSteve

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Re: Sucking it up, and being a man.
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2014, 05:43:18 PM »
I can understand your frustration, Belly. It was a bit of an identity crisis for me when I started to experience anxiety as I was the "tough kid" who got in fights in high school, always the one you could count on for a good time. Then, the anxiety caused me to go into myself and isolate.

So I tell you that not to hijack your thread - but to try to illustrate that I once identified "being a man" as drinking, partying, fighting, and f....ornicating.

It sounds like you are making some assumptions about how your wife views you. They may be correct. Part of this anxiety ride is that we often jump to that negative and worst conclusion. But what keeps you from taking her at her word that she really is okay with you and everything that comes along with you? Is the something that you see just beyond the surface really coming from her or is it something you may be projecting from yourself?

I can't answer any of these for you. I can only tell you that I feel you. Even though I am much more comfortable with who I am, anxiety and all, there are times I still feel the conflict with "how I am supposed to be" in terms of gender roles.

Just a last bit that really helped me years ago. Someone told me - Be careful what you tell yourself about yourself, be careful what you believe about yourself, and be gentle with yourself.
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Offline Jeff27

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Re: Sucking it up, and being a man.
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2014, 12:15:16 PM »
I totally hear ya man. I'm too worried ill "die" at this point but I feel this tension too where I'm not supposed to be anxious if I am a man. And I read the stats about how more women are affected by anxiety than men.

But it's important to recognize that it's a human condition, not one that is specifically gendered.
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Offline Julie A. Cook

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Re: Sucking it up, and being a man.
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2014, 05:37:02 PM »
I feel your pain, but I am a woman, and I have been told to "suck it up" too.  Particularly by my husband who doesn't get this disorder at all.  Oh well.  SOmetimes "sucking it up" is good.  It doesn't let you wallow, and you  face your fear, go on quietly, and eventually start believing that nothing bad is going to happen to you.

Hang tough as you recover, and you will.  It takes a while.

Best,

Julie
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Online TyeDyedButterfly

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Re: Sucking it up, and being a man.
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2014, 11:51:08 AM »
Being a woman with it is hard too we are expected to raise the kids, do the laundry, cook , clean and a lot more then some of us work or did work and we still had to do it all I know I did and I was dealing with anxiety but nothing like what has hit me over the last 13 years now I lost a lot and I did get somewhat better then back to being bad and I also have Physical Health problems and I am scared and I am disappointed in myself over everything and this is hard on my Husband but he goes on with life just without his wife but he knows I am not well but I never hold him back I want him to live and be happy .  I was so stressed from taking care of everyone else I fell through the crack and everything in my life caught up with me and down I went and then everyone I helped ran for the Hills and said hurtful things and made horrible comments and those things only hurt me more. 
  Society doesn't believe or want to know anything about us that suffer it is Taboo or just being weak or lazy etc... Bullcrap I am sick of that so I shout it out to people and let people go and just do my best I want to get better but with my physical health it makes it harder to deal with anxiety and panic.
  I need a good support system and a new therapist which is hard to find when you can not leave your home. I use the site and other online sources and I do take meds but they aren't working.

Just do the best you can to get you better and know if you wife loves you then she will help you it isn't any different then any other illness I don't know why people think we should hide and feel ashamed because we are not feeling well and it is hard to deal with so stand strong and reach out for help okay and I hope your trip goes well !

Men have tear ducts for a reason and it is okay to use them. God knows your pain give it to him .
Peace
Tye
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PEACE, LOVE AND HAPPINESS !

God is Good all the Time! All the Time God is Good! :)

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