Episode 271: Men’s mental health awareness month

Many people know that May is mental health awareness month, but did you know that June is men’s mental health awareness month? We felt like this was such an important topic that we dedicated an entire episode to the mental health of the men in our lives. We’re discussing statistics and studies along with suggestions of what’s helped Neil and how he’s incorporated mental health measures into his life.

Deseret News article on men's mental health


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 So I didn't know this until. I think this morning I read, I woke up and read an article that June is men, men's mental health awareness month. Did you know that? I did not until you told me. So the Deseret News just did a story on this TikTok brings awareness to men's mental health awareness month. And the minute I saw that, that headline, I thought, well, that's really cool because there's definitely a huge need for talking about men's mental health.

And so maybe we just start out with that with like the stigma and why. Um, to me that stood out as like a, something that is so needed in this world today. What's your perspective on that? Well, that's, yeah, initially that's kind of my thought is like men's specifically, not just a mental, cause there's already like a mental health month, right?

Right. Yep. But men's mental health, obviously there's enough of a need to focus on that due to statistics to, you know, whatever data we have that would suggest that there's. Um, this is a major issue with men and we need to like raise awareness to it by means of having an entire month just solely devoted to men's mental health awareness.

So it makes sense to me, I think just coming from the standpoint of being in a family with six boys and you just, and I, and I've heard this so many times that I know that my experience isn't. I Like a lot of people that I've been around or just gone and been in, I've been in a lot of like men's groups talk about is kind of some of the concepts or ideas that socially men hold or society holds about men, which is kind of strong, silent, Don't talk about feelings.

Don't talk about emotions, you know, toughness, um, don't lead on any vulnerability or, or talk about anything that you're struggling with. Cause that's a sign of weakness. I mean, some of these are some of the attitudes and beliefs that I think that we've adopted as a society or like created within, you know, men's society.

And, you know, obviously it comes from a, you know, The old like hunter gatherer protector kind of sense, be the strong one and lead and leadership and all these different things, which like, obviously those are all good things, but I think when there's a total lack of, or a massive lack of. The ability to talk about feelings or emotions or be vulnerable or talk about like where you're really at and what you're really dealing with, it closes people off to being able to get help or process things appropriately or, or realistically, right.

Or, um, gain access to, you know, if, if there is like a needed medication or Counseling or whatever, a lot of those things are perceived as being like, Oh, you're weak or like, it just be tough or tough it up or be stronger. You shouldn't need that. So I think that that would make sense to me why there would be a need for like a men's.

Mental Health Month. Yeah. And one of the episodes that just came to mind was the one that we did with Cam from Bam. bams Barbecue. Yeah. Oh, really? Cool. He is so good. Good dude. Yeah. He talked about A DHD and brought some awareness to that and about how when he finally got a proper diagnosis and medication that helped him, that he felt like a normal person for the first time in his life.

And I think about that and I think about how he was. labeled in school as like a screw off or like wouldn't listen or I can't remember his exact, you know, the exact labels that were used, but just kind of that he was this like nuisance that he was like not a good kid or whatever. And then when he finally got professional help that helped him to see like, Oh, there's not something wrong with you.

You're not screwed up. Like your body just needs a little bit of help. Your brain needs a little bit of health and help. And to me, I think that when we can think about mental health as like brain health and not just, I even think that sometimes mental health can kind of sound like, Oh, you're mental. Or like, there's something wrong with you where.

There's a little bit more grace, at least for me, when I think about it as like brain health and that it puts it on almost like an equal level as heart health or something like that where it's like Oh, you didn't do anything wrong. This is just how your brain is and, and let's talk about it. And you know, mental health can come and go in different waves of, you know, how healthy you are in your brain health, depending on different circumstances and times of life and what you're going through.

But I think that, you know, as I've watched you change and grow throughout the years, I feel like a lot of your recovery experiences have led you to adopt things that have overall helped not just your recovery, but mental, your mental health in general. And so I'd love to talk about some of those things.

I know you're super big on dailies and I feel like one of the biggest shifts I saw in you was when you started to make it a habit to reach out to people, which was kind Um, I feel like a lot of men don't do that. They don't just like call up their buddies and just chit chat on the phone. I mean, for that matter, I don't even do that very well.

And I think it's because we have social media and we have Instagram and be real and all these things where it feels like you're connected to people, but scrolling and seeing like what somebody was doing on their stories or on their be real or whatever doesn't mean you're actually connecting with that person and finding out what's really going on with them.

But you do a really good job of that. So. I mean, I'd love for you to talk about that and then maybe like how, how it was when you first started. Like, was it awkward? Was it like, you know, what was that like? Yeah, well, I think that's such a key element for me and I've been like, at this point, I've been doing it for so long, like, I mean, I'm, you know, started doing this maybe 13 years ago, 14 years ago, when you say this, reaching out to people and just kind of, Without really having like an intent other than just talking about where you're at.

And in that moment, right, when I call somebody a friend or whatever, it's just kind of like, Hey, at this moment, how are you doing? And it's not just like a, you know, grocery store checking out with, you know, with my drink and pack of gum. Like, how are you doing? It's like a legitimately like what's going on, you know, good, bad, indifferent.

And a lot of times catching someone or being caught at a random moment, it's really fascinating to see where people are actually at, what's, what they're really faced with, how they're actually feeling when you get. And understanding with the person that you're calling that there's, you're going to be, it's an, it's a safe conversation.

It's an honest conversation. Um, and there's no need to, to kind of give like a blanketed, fluffy answer. Um, so yeah, I started doing this and this was something that I learned when I started going to meetings, 12 step meetings, that it was like, One of the indicators we used to check in and like, you know, what our sobriety date was and, and, you know, what steps we worked.

And then one of the indicators was like, how many people did you reach out to outside? Oh, really? Yeah. Which is really cool. Okay. And so I got it. You're just to be clear. So your check your, when you did like. Your weekly check in at the meeting, you reported on how many calls you made. Yeah. Oh, that's interesting.

I didn't know that. Yeah, that, um, that was an indicator. I think that I'm trying to remember which meeting, but, but it was one of the meetings that I went to that, that we did that. And so I got introduced to this idea of like just calling people and having an honest conversation, not like a loaded, Objective that you're trying to get to or something that you're trying to get out of the conversation or whatever.

Um, but it's other than just like what's going on. And so I think the first time that I did it, it's, it's just. It's like awkward. You're like, Hey, well, you know, and, and even just the act of sharing with anybody where you're actually at, what's actually going on in your mind is so counterintuitive that it's super weird at first.

Yeah. Who was it that we ran into at, um, Baja fish right after Dave died, somebody out. Oh yeah. It was the Carl's. Oh, that's right. Yeah. Somebody from our, our congregation that, uh, that out in his name. Um, But yeah, somebody from our, our congregation. And he's such a good, good person. And, and I think he totally was, um, absolutely asking.

He meant it when he said, how are you? But I think like, I don't know if he was ready for me just to like unleash all emotions on how I was doing, but, but it was, it was one of those moments. And so I've had a really, really cool experiences over the years in, You know, doing this myself and then anytime that, you know, someone I'm trying to help in addiction recovery or just as a close friend to kind of introducing them to this concept.

I remember a friend, I told him, I'm like, okay, just call me anytime. And if I don't answer, just leave me a message and I'll listen to it and just share with me on the answer machine, you know, and I, I had, he, the first time he did it, it was, you could tell it was, he just was like, I don't know what to do, but then I just really like got emotional about it and really left this cool message.

And I, later on after doing this. with him for a long time. Like I, I sent him the message and he's like, man, that's so cool. And like, look, look, now, like it's so much easier for me to do this and share. And so it's such a powerful concept and I think it just breaks isolation, which is the root cause of a lot of the problems with men's mental health.

Yeah. Isolation. That's so true. I think that we get really busy and I mean, men and women. Both do this where you just kind of grind every day and it seems almost frivolous. Get on a phone call. If there's not something that you're trying to achieve, if it's not like, Oh, I need to call someone because I need to figure out X, Y, or Z.

And yet I feel like you take that really seriously. It's not just like, Oh, I try to do it, but you do it every day. Right. Or nearly every day, just about most times either. I've got someone calling me or I'm calling somebody pretty much every day. Yeah. Do you ever call people outside of like the program, like outside of recovery?

I will. Yeah. Depending on like, I try to get better at maybe like family members or just other people in general that You know, I might be close to it's more, I think it, for me, it's been more of a recovery focused thing, but it doesn't need to be, there's no reason why it should be like unique to someone who's a recovering addict or trying to get into recovery.

Yeah. Somebody told me when they were doing their 75 hard, and I don't know if this is standard for all 75 hard people, or if this was just like they decided to. Make that part of their program. But they said, I have to call someone every day for 75 days. And I thought that was a really cool idea. It was a guy and he was telling me like, that's part of my, he called me and said, this is part of my things.

I have to call someone every day for the next 75 days while he was doing 75 hard. And I was like, that's awesome. Like all of us could use that. But I think especially men like my dad's really good at calling and talking to me or I'll talk to him and he's great at having phone conversations. But I think that.

A lot of men, it's probably like you said with that friend at first, where he was kind of like, I don't know what I'm doing. Um, okay. Well, switching to something that's a little bit heavier, but I think it needs to be talked about. And you and I, you know, agreed before that this is important to talk about that men are just statistically more likely to be at risk for suicide than women are.

In that Deseret News article that I talked about at the very beginning, they said, according to this Center for Disease Control and Prevention, men are nearly four times more likely to die by suicide than women. Between 2020 and 2021, suicides among young men aged 15 to 24 increased by 8%. And I mean, that makes a lot of sense.

Like 2020 and 2021 were really brutal years. And obviously you have some experience with that, with having a brother who died by suicide. And, and I know that, you know, you even had a friend. Well, like a year ago or so, who was a guy died by suicide. And so I, you know, maybe just share your thoughts about that and why that would be a greater struggle for men in general.

Yeah. Well, I think it's just basically that that's kind of my thought is really the ability to be like women just have an ability. I feel like. It's easier for them to talk about feelings. It's easier to just share about like, I'm feeling like this. And I, you know, I'm struggling here and really sharing that.

It's just a natural innate thing that ability just naturally comes to them. Men are not like that. I think we're getting a lot better. I think that our generation, this generation, you know, is changing that because we've seen that past kind of. You know, I look at like my parents generation, it was very much just that like tough old, you don't share feelings.

You don't talk about, you know, addictions or challenges or, um, you know, and I think that's really one of the main, like a major, a major factor, maybe not the main one, but I, that's kind of what I've. Um, and so I think in, in my own experience, it's really hard to say, I've gotten that question a lot. We're like, well, what happened with your brother?

Like, why, why did he, I didn't mean to ask. Oh no, it's fine. It's just, I think it's a good thing to address is like, I really don't know. Like at the end of the day, whenever, you know, that's happened to anybody, I think You really can't. You just don't know. I think at the end of the day, you're like, I don't know why, you know, um, or I can't really pin it on one thing or, or another, but I do know, I think after looking at some of his journals and looking kind of where his, where his head was at, I think that it was very much like a lot of stride, silent struggles and silent battles, a lot of things that were really, really tough that he was going through.

that maybe he let on a little bit or talk to like certain individuals about, but it was still like very much a personal under the surface battle. Yeah. Can I ask you, when you read those journal entries, did you read it and go like, Oh yeah, like I, I did. I kind of knew that these things were hard for him.

Or did you read it and go like, Whoa, I didn't have any idea how hard that was for him. I think there was way more to it that, Anyone even realized, I think that looking back now that there were tons of differences, you're like, wow, okay. I could see and kind of piece it together. But no, it's not something that he was like voluntarily sharing a lot about.

Yeah. I'm growing up in that household. Like, do you feel like, cause I feel like observing you and Dave, I feel like you guys were good at like talking to each other about actually where you were really at. Is that something you developed like after Steve passed away? Um, you know, what was it like before, before he passed?

Totally non existent. Okay. Um, that, that dynamic up until Dave, my brother, Dave went on a mission for our church. Like to that point, the conversations were very surface level. We would talk about like motorcycles or like biking or, you know, whatever, sports or something. Yeah. Yeah. Hanging out. But even then it was a very like, kind of a, a lot of times strained type of conversation.

And then I remember the first week, my brother, Dave got back from his mission. He like came, sat in my room and was like, Hey man, how's it going? Like, and I was like, Whoa, this is weird. You know? And he's like, you hadn't talked like that before. Oh, he's like, Hey, I want to have like an open conversation, like, And, and relationship together where we feel like we can talk to each other.

And, and, you know, I know that, that this is probably awkward, you know, and it was, it was like, he's like, yeah, I know. It's like, doesn't come naturally just because of the way our family. We grew up is totally different, but I was like, okay. And so I tried to be more like that and be more open with him. And it was like, it was hard.

It took, it took a while. And then I went on my, my mission. And I think that like serving a mission for our church, I think it does change, change a lot of things. I think you have to have conversations with people you're talking about. You're talking to people all the time. You're, you're, you constantly have somebody with you, like another person that you're serving your mission with.

Um, and then you're, you're talking about people's feelings constantly. You're like, how do you feel about this spiritual concept? How do you feel about that? What are your struggles? Like, you're trying to help. So you really develop an ability to like identify feelings, talk about them, and then relate them to concepts like spiritual concepts.

So you're, you're doing this like all day, every day. Yeah. So you develop a lot of an ability. Um, you know, an ability to do it. And so I think when I came back from my serving my mission, um, both of us were better at that way, and then we continue to work, work into that, um, and develop on it. So, but yeah, it's, it's something that I think statistically there's a lot of data out there that suggests like men, very few men have like even one person that they're like really.

Super close friend that they feel like they can share anything with. Yeah. That like women are more prone or more likely to have somebody like that. Then yeah. And I mean, something that just came to my mind too, is that, and probably because I was on a trip this past week and lake mead with the girls that I serve within church, like the teenage girls.

And we were talking about how like, Oh, I met Neil on a houseboat just like this. And I was, they were, it was cute. We were like all around this table and they were like, what did you like about him? Like, did you know right away? And I was like, no, I didn't know right away, but I told them what I liked about him was that you and I had like right off the bat, deep conversations about our belief and our faith and spirituality and things like that.

And the reason why I bring that up is like, you are a deep thinker and you were, that was literally the thing that attracted me to you. The most in the beginning was just the fact that you weren't too cool to talk about things that I really cared about because there were a lot of guys that were just like, Oh, like, yeah, I go to church, but I don't want to talk about it.

Like, that's not cool. And so there was a lot of development and it sounds like some of it happened with your mission. Some of it maybe happened for men, you know, mentorship with Dave, but that's such a huge part of who you are. And it just sounds like it took some developing to get there, to get, like, to allow that to be.

Okay, for you to show that side of your personality and, um, and let and lead with that and not feel like, oh, that's not like a cool guy thing. Yeah, no. And it's, and I like what Brene Brown talks a lot about. She talks about the, her whole thing is vulnerability and that's like the, her whole platform. But she said something to the effect of in a culture where there's like a really strong dominating, like cool factor, like everyone's trying to be cool.

Vulnerability goes out the window. And I found that that for me totally was. The sense, like, because it's not cool to show whatever, you know, weakness or, or share where you're really at or whatever. You're, you're trying to manipulate situations or, or portray certain emotions or portray a front that you think will be seen as cool or acceptable or whatever.

Well, and ironically too, we were talking about this before we started recording that a lot of times people that you think are doing really well. The people that it seems like, oh, everything is picture perfect. There's a lot going on behind the scenes and, and certainly there are people who like, you can tell like, oh, there, you know, it seems like there's a lot of struggle there.

But in particular, the friend that I mentioned that you knew that died of suicide about a year ago, I didn't know him well, but of the people that I, that did, I heard that it was kind of like, Oh, he's, it seemed like he was, you never would've guessed it. Yeah. And a lot of people are like that. A lot of people are like that where it's like, Oh, they've got, you know, the picture perfect family or job or house or whatever.

It seems like everything's good. And I think that with men's men's mental health awareness month, breaking that stigma and helping people. Give people permission to say, I'm actually not. Okay. Yeah. Is so important. And so, you know, if somebody is listening to this and they're like, yeah, that's okay. I get that.

But like, how do I start and not make it weird? What do you, what would you tell them? I think there is an element of just doing it. You kind of just have to jump off the cliff. And, and there's, for me, that's how it was. There was no smooth way to do it. I, there were some awkward phone calls where I'm just like, Hey dude.

Uh, yeah. How, you know, like this is kind of where I'm at, but I think when there was somebody that knew what I was doing, um, it's a really cool service. Like there's just so much love there. Cause you know, And, and, and it's a, you'd like for each other, you're doing it for each other. Like the other person, it's not like a one sided thing.

Maybe sometimes it is, if there's something going on and you know, you just need to talk and the other person needs to listen or whatever, but then it's an exchange, it's back and forth. And so, um, I think it is just kind of jumping off of a, of a cliff or just speaking up in general, like picking somebody.

Who you feel like you can trust, who you feel like is going to give you the right direction or someone you look up to. Or I have a friend that he just talked about this the other night, was just saying like, he's got, you know, five people in his life that he kind of mentors off of that they, each of these individuals, you know, five people have something, an attribute, a personality trait, or something that he wants, that he looks at and he's like, I want to be more like that.

Yeah, that's interesting. You know, and, and he's, he kind of communicates with these people and, and mentors off of them. And so picking somebody and having, you know, whoever that is to be able to initially just maybe share what, what's going on that, that's maybe a little tougher to talk about. And, and it's never easy in the beginning just to be like, Hey, I'm struggling and this is my struggle, you know, and sometimes it's something really, really heavy that is a major struggle, but you know, once that's shared in the right situation.

It, it cuts, you know, cuts down that burden. Yeah. Well, another interesting thing from that Deseret News article is, according to the American Psychological Association, people with close friends are more likely to be satisfied with their lives and not suffer from depression. Which we've talked a lot about depression on this podcast and it's not always like a, Oh, you're sad.

So you're depressed. Sometimes it's like chemical in your brain. Sometimes it's situational, you know, there's lots of things that can go into that. But later they say, according to APA high quality relationships that provide companionship and social support, increased mental and physical wellbeing, while those without relationships are twice as likely to die prematurely, a risk factor greater than smoking 20 cigarettes a day.

Yeah, that's pretty interesting. So with that, do you think it's easier or harder for men to make friends like, you know, for men to bind friendships? Like how do you, it depends. I think it varies between, I don't know, there's a blanket like men or women are better at making friends. I think, I think the abilities.

I, I would guess equal, it just depends on the person. But I think, I think in this circumstance though, that component of having a close friend that you can talk to and be vulnerable with and be open with is, is less likely with men than women. I believe. Yeah. And so I, I think in that sense, yeah. And I think of the study, somebody talked about a, like a rat study where they had Rats.

You know, running a maze and they had like some, I think, I think it was like, cocaine, cocaine, water. Um, and, and, and then had them run it by themselves and then run it in a group. And the ones that were in a group, they avoided the, the, like the cocaine, the stimulant water, and they were successful in running the maze.

And then the ones that were isolated. Just eventually went to the water and just, you know, never completed the maze and just got sick and died. And so, you know, moral of the story was like, grab some friends and let's, let's link up and link arms and create a community where we can be successful. So what about that person?

Those, you know, many people who are like that. Um, what they were describing in the article about the person that's more likely to die because they just don't have a friend. Like, I feel like for a lot of people, they look at others and they're like, well, that's easy for you to say you have a bunch of friends or, you know, you've got, you know, you're really likable or whatever.

It seems like to me, in my experience, everybody thinks that. That everybody else is hanging out and really it's a perception and the people who are hanging out a lot are usually the ones who are doing a lot of inviting and they're reaching out and they're putting themselves out there and they're you know being proactive and So I mean when you found yourself in those situations where you're kind of like I need to like Create new friends or maybe make a change in friend groups or whatever I mean we've talked about like if you're trying to change a habit or trying to change a lifestyle you have to change your Playground your playmates and your play things like you got to change who you're hanging out with.

So if you're in that kind of a situation where you're like, gosh, I just don't have a good friend or I'm struggling to make friends or whatever, like how has that been successful for you? Where have you found those friends? I think it takes a lot of, like you said, a lot of work and a lot of effort. It doesn't come.

And what I've found with people in general, getting past, like getting through the trust barriers, like I think there's so much kind of disingenuous. In the society that's just like, it's loaded. It's you're trying to be like sold stuff, or there's so many conversations that are, that are like loaded with an expectation or not, or an objective where it's like, somebody is trying to get something out of you or there's an agenda.

We're so kind of like callous to that. That it's hard to break through those barriers with people because it, you know, there's kind of this general protection, so it takes a while to really get to the point with somebody where they're like, okay, you're genuine. You're like, you're here to be my friend.

And, you know, I can see what you're doing and okay, cool. Like I got, you know, and then you can establish that connection. So it does initially, it takes a lot of work and it can feel like Maybe like, Oh man, this person doesn't like me. Or I tried to talk to so and so and he kind of snubbed me or, you know, a lot of people, a lot of my really close friends initially, it was like that, like I used to see a friend at the gym and he laughed about it later.

He's like, yeah, every time I saw you, you're just like too cool. And I'm like, whatever, you know? And that's not how you actually are, it's just another perspective of you. Right, but, but initially you just don't know until you know, but it takes a lot of effort and proactivity to get to that point. Like you gotta try.

And not assuming the worst of someone else, but. Yeah. Yeah. Giving people a chance to actually get to know them. And it's funny you say that, like a couple of my very closest friends too, at first I didn't necessarily hit it off with or didn't, you know, it took me a minute to get to know them. And then it was like, we were off to the races, like such good friends.

Some of my very deepest and best friendships have been that way. So I agree with you that sometimes it just takes a minute to figure somebody out and to give them a chance. And I also think that. And we've done podcasts on friendships that, you know, if this topic really interests you, you can go back and listen to those specific discussions.

But I also think sometimes the best friendships are a little bit outside of who you might initially just be drawn to automatically because people are drawn to people that feel like kind of a mirror to, uh, you know, cause that's comfortable of like, this person kind of seems like me. So I think I'd get along with them.

But man, if you can be flexible and like, Um, you know, go outside of just whatever seems initially comfortable. There's some really cool friendships out there that can happen and, and you were saying a second ago, mentorships too. I think there's a lot of people who love the opportunity to mentor and to help and to be a friend to someone who has what they, what they want.

Once, you know, they understand what it's like if someone's like, Oh, I really want to get to where you're at. And I'm not talking about like, I just want to, you know, climb ranks or I want to get something from someone, but, but genuine mentorship is like that kind of give and take of like, You understand that someone is going to literally mentor you and teach you and be there as kind of a guide.

Like everybody needs that and so I think those friendships can be really rich too. Yeah, no, those are really cool ones. And I look, I think of, I mean, this, this is a pretty common principle. A lot of like motivational people will talk about, or they'll suggest, or as, you know, find somebody that has something that you want or want to develop, or like, even like the lifestyle that you want and, and mentor off of them and, and learn how they did it and, you know, strategically pick those, those people.

And so this is a concept that I think is. Is well known, but, but I think the component of being able to find someone who's going to be a really good friend and not just, I think you can, you can make friends with a lot of people, but a lot of times to find someone who has the values that's going to lead you in mode and kind of, you know, Develop the best out of you, because I mean, I think it can work the other way where you make friends that, that aren't doing the right things that aren't, you know, the motives aren't in the, maybe in line with what you feel to be right.

Yep. And you know, it's kind of, one of my buddies says, like, you hang around the barbershop, you're going to get a haircut. Like if you, you're around certain behaviors or, or activities long enough, like you just by nature, you're going to fall into it. Yeah, and we've talked about that too, about how, you know, even Jesus was very careful about who he spent the most time with, who he consistently surrounded himself with on a daily and weekly basis and all that.

So it's a really important concept too. I want to circle back to at the beginning, we just briefly touched on getting professional help and you've been really good about that. You've been good at not being shy about if you need to talk to a therapist or if you need to seek some kind of like.

Professional help. And so, um, I'd love for you to just talk a little bit about that too, about like, breaking that stigma of like, no, no, you don't need help. Like you don't, you know, that makes you weak or that, you know, how, what you'd encourage people to do if they feel like maybe they do need a little bit of help figuring out something where they're struggling with depression or anxiety or some kind of condition, or even just talking through something really hard.

I know you went to therapy after Dave died, and I don't know if that was the only time, but if there's, well, no, that's not the only time we've, we've talked about other times too, but, um, just talking about professional help, I think is important. A hundred percent. No, I think of like, I had this heart issue.

I don't know. Uh, a year and change ago, like just kind of felt like I was having some chest pains. And I talked to one of my buddies who's a, you know, cardiothoracic surgeon. And he's like, Hey, look, it's better to go in and just have them rule out any issues and be like, you're fine then to not go in. And then you die the next day suddenly because you didn't treat something, you know, that, that was a major issue.

Yeah. So I, I think about that in relation to mental health. And a lot of times for me, what I've thought about is like, if I have to ask the question, a lot of times I'm maybe it's probably cause I already know the answer. Yeah. So if I have to ask like, man, maybe should I see somebody about this? Or like, it's a lot of times it's cause you, cause I've kind of know that I should.

Yeah. Um, but, but even if. Not, I think it's better to err on the side of like, let me just feel this out. And you can find out pretty quickly, like, Hey, I'm fine. Or, you know what? I I'm okay. Or it's just maybe a slight adjustment. Um, I don't think there's any harm in. Um, getting looked at or, or checking in with somebody or explaining something to a professional and getting an analysis or a diagnosis or, um, feedback or whatever the case may be.

Like, I think it's super smart to do that. And then if there, if it is just nothing or it's not that big of a deal, then, okay, you ruled it out. If there is there something there, like you want to know that. And I think, uh, understanding a challenge or a knowing that, that. Maybe you have something, uh, uh, history in your family or, you know, some type of, uh, you know, whatever mental health condition you want to know that, you know, so that you can respond to life differently and, and get tools and get help that you need to be able to face that confidently than to go on to thinking that, you know, You know, Oh, I don't have a problem and it's just me needing to buck up and be tougher and take on life a little more, you know, heartedly, you know, heartily, then I think that can be problematic.

Yeah. Well, and some of the signs of depression can be like, if you are just, persistently feeling hopeless, or you're having a hard time getting out of bed, or you're having a change in, you know, appetite or sleeping or energy levels. You're having a hard time concentrating, um, things that you once loved, like you don't love those things anymore.

Those are some signs that like, maybe your brain is not healthy and, and you need a little help or especially if you're some having like recurring thoughts about. Death or ending your life like those those are things that you want to talk to somebody about like you don't want to sit in those things alone and then you know with anxiety to like if you're having a problem with like sudden irritability irritability or you're obsessively worrying or you know, there's I mean and you can google these things, but there's If you're having panic attacks, if you're feeling like you don't have the energy to get through the day, there's a lot of things like this where you can, you know, go talk to a doctor.

And it may even be something like, Oh, did you know that your iron levels are really low? I still remember that we had like a, I think it was pine night at my house growing up and that There was a doctor that came to it who was in our church congregation. He looked at my dad and said, you look like there was something about how he looks like his coloring or something.

And he was like, you need to go get your iron checked. And sure enough, like my dad was having low iron and it was affecting like his, um, energy levels and it was just like a, you know, an adjustment and like something in, you know, eat more of this and take this supplement. And it immediately helped. And so there's things like that where if you just are feeling off.

That, you know, it's like you're saying better to ask and better to check into it than to just ignore things that might really be detrimental in the long run. Yeah, and I think if a lot of times how chronic something is like everybody feels. Down times or, or it goes through these things of like, man, I just, I just feel horrible or whatever reason.

But if it's something that's like chronic, meaning it's lasting like months and, you know, especially like years or, I mean, even shorter than that, like weeks, and it's just not going away. And it's really intense. Like, you know, probably a good idea to just at least have a conversation. So we just mentioned that cam.

You know, was on the podcast talking about ADHD and he talked about getting an assessment. He's like, just go in and get the assessment and that will tell you. I think there's so much value in that. And that's just for ADHD. Like they have assessments for all kinds, like bipolar or depression or whatever.

Um, I think there's a lot of value in that. And for my friends who have gotten those diagnosis, men and women, I feel like where maybe they were afraid of. What that diagnosis might label them as or whatever, typically I feel like with my friends and even myself, it's a relief. to finally figure out like what has been going on.

And the, the shame that you might think is going to come with that I feel like is more in your head. It's more that like the adversary that we've talked a lot about of like, Oh, people aren't going to think, you know, less of you or whatever. And it's like, You're going to just feel so much relief if you get the help that you need, if there's something that really feels off in your life.

And I feel like with Cameron, he talked about, I finally understood like my, all my life, why people were like, you're such a screw off, like, why can't you pay attention in class? And I was like, this is, this is what was going on. It wasn't like I was broken, it was just, you know, I'm just a little bit different in this way.

And there's a lot more commonality and different than I think any of us realize. Yeah. And I, it's cool to see those. I love how, I feel like we're getting so much better. Yes. Yes. And, and I love how they, they'll talk about something that, you know, um, ADD or ADHD or something, bipolar, whatever. And they'll talk about like people who are open about it, obviously, like celebrity celebrities or different successful people who have had the same condition, and I think it's cool to see that you're like, wow, okay.

Like, you know, there's a little bit of a. Feeling like, okay, I'm not alone or this is okay. Like I'm okay. And I still think the things you want doesn't mean that you're just totally like going to have to be like a shut in and not live life anymore because you have something. Or so it's really cool. I think there's been a lot of great work that's been done and I think we're great.

We're heading in a great direction. There's a lot of tools, there's a lot of information out there, but if it's like, if I'm not availing myself of any of that, it's like, it doesn't matter how great, you know, the information or the tools are, if I'm not going to use them. Yeah. Okay. Last question for you on this that I have is, um, if you notice that there's a guy in your life who it seems like there's something off, like it seems like they're struggling, maybe they're, You're not hearing from them very much or they're not like returning your phone calls or whatever.

In your experience, what do you feel like the best thing is to do to support someone who it seems like they're struggling with their mental health? I think that one is a very like go by the spirit type of thing. Like what, what is, or your intuition, like what is that telling you? Um, And I have a friend that's like just expert at this and, and he's so good at kind of perceiving.

And I've seen him do it in different ways where sometimes it's kind of like letting them, giving them the space to kind of work through that. Um, and figure that out when, and then when they're ready being available, like right when it's like, okay, I'm ready to talk or get help. And then other times I've seen him where he's just called people out in a loving way, where it's like, it's not.

You know, coming down on anybody, but it's like, Hey man, I know that you're in your, in your head. I know that there's things going on in your life right now that, that you're struggling with, like, just come out of it, man. Like you, you know, and having like a very kind of almost interventional type of conversation with, um, but obviously that's like as needed by the spirit.

But I think, I think it is. Better to err on the side of, of extending a contact. And this is what's, it's so hard for us as people to do this. I've, I've heard everyone talk about this. It's like, man, it's so awkward. It feels like so uncomfortable to reach out or to go over and knock on someone's door. Um, but I think some of the coolest.

Stories I've heard some of the coolest experiences I've had have been in doing that to where it's like, man, I felt so awkward or uncomfortable doing this or reaching out to this person and I did and this just incredible story, you know, unfolds. I was just praying. Yeah, to know like what I should do or maybe it is like I was just considering ending my life and then you called me or knock on the, you know, like it can be that impactful.

And if it's not, who cares? Like, okay, Hey, at least I made the attempt. I called somebody. I reached out whatever they weren't there. I would rather. You know, error on that side. You'd rather be annoying than have regret. Yeah. I'd rather have them be like, Hey man, I'm fine. Like I'm good, dude. You know, whatever.

You're all right. Yeah. You know, cool. Like, okay. For whatever reason, but I'm sure that even in that scenario, there probably really is something going on. And they're like, shoot, somebody saw it and I'm not ready to talk about it. So I'm kind of like playing it cool, but really I need help. Yeah. Um, and, and maybe that spurs, uh, something later on.

So at the end of the day, like again, I think the little word that keeps coming back to me through this whole conversation is being proactive, whether it's being proactive with your own situation or being proactive in following a impression or prompting to like reach out to somebody. Yeah, that's so true.

And I have two follow up thoughts with that. The first one is when I really struggled with my worst case of postpartum depression. You know, my friend Amy just did not give up on me and that was so key. When someone's depressed, they are going to say no. They're going to just have days where they're like, I can't like I, and when I would tell her I can't, I, you know, I can't today.

It would mean like. And I wouldn't spell this out, but I would be like, I can't even get out of bed today. But she didn't take one rejection and go like, Oh, she doesn't want to hear from me. Like, I don't want to be annoying. She knew to say, okay, I'm not going to give up on you. And she'd call me again or text me again.

The next day. Um, and that was what I needed, like that one friendship where I had one person that didn't give up on me, like kept me going. And that was so important to me and, and I'll just never forget it. Um, the other thing too, is when you were talking about like following impressions, I had a friend who, um, I was hurt and I was going to go help this person and someone told me like, no, no, they're fine.

Like there's a bunch of people that are helping them, like they don't need help. And I was like, oh, okay. And so I, I backed off and was like, I'll just let these other people help them. And I'm not necessarily like the closest person to this girl who was hurting. And the spirit said, no, you go help right now.

And I was kind of like, I was just told that, like, they have all the help they need. The spirit told me twice, like, no, go help this person. So I did. I followed the spirit and I went and helped this person who was hurt.

The rest of that day and the next day, like they kept asking me for what they needed. Like, Hey, can you help me with this? Hey, I really need this thing. And the, and I don't think that I would have been that person's like go to automatically, but it was because I followed the spirit, even though I was told like, no, they don't need you.

I followed the spirit. And then it just created that open door of like, that person knew I was safe to be like, Hey, I'm, I just made myself available to you. I'm here. And then they actually took me up on that. And sometimes people won't, a lot of times people won't, but you don't know, you know, where you might just be that person that that, that somebody else needs.

And the spirit absolutely is going to tell you when that connection needs to be made. So I love that you said that because I experienced that just recently where I was, I walked away from that experience and I was like, I am so glad that I didn't deny the promptings that I had. That I just listened to even though I felt a little bit stupid honestly because I was like I was just told like no They're good.

They don't need your help. I think that happens a lot. You know where where maybe you could be someone else's Answer to their prayer, you know But it takes a little bit of courage of pushing through that like I'm not their closest friend So what like maybe you're just who they need that day Yeah. And I think of like personalities, like we're all very different, but there are personality types that really jive well with certain personalities and it could be a reason like I do believe that there are, for anybody, that there are certain people that anyone due to who they are, what they've been through, whatever the circumstance, like they can reach certain people that other people can't.

Yep. Or that people feel more comfortable around a certain person and so, and it could have been maybe in that instance was like, for whatever reason, you were more of a comfortable person for this individual. Yeah. And so it was easier for them to be like, Hey, I want Corinne or like, Corinne, can you help me with this?

And I think of people for me that have been like that, where I've, I'm like, man, I feel comfortable talking to this person or, or this person reaches out and okay. Yeah. I'm, I'm willing to. to talk to so and so. Yeah. So recognizing your own intrinsic value and recognizing like talents and abilities of a personality type that that you have that might be just the right type that resonates with somebody who's struggling that you could be of serious help too.

Yeah. So I want to leave The listeners with the challenge and that is man or woman, whoever's listening to this, when somebody asks you this month specifically in June, I know that like May was in general mental health awareness and then June is men's mental health awareness, but let's just, I'm just going to throw out this challenge in general.

When someone asks you how you're doing, Push yourself to be honest, even if it's a stranger, okay? Like, even if it's like, Trader Joe's, how are you doing? Like, if you're having a crappy day, it's okay to be like, you know what? Like, today was not awesome. And it might feel a little bit awkward, but like, we need that in this world.

We need people to be real with each other. And so when somebody asks you, be honest with them. If you're like, I'm just really stressed right now. I'm just trying to make it to the end of the day or, you know, I'm really sad. This thing just happened in my life. Like just try to be a little bit more honest with people when they say how you're, how are you doing?

Because they probably would love to know how you're actually doing. That's my challenge. Yeah. I think on the flip side, I just thought of this. I was thinking of this this week. Um, I think there's, you know, On the other side of it, um, I think a challenge to be ready or willing to be there for somebody.

Yeah. Even just to listen to whatever I still to this day, I have a massive regret. Like I used to work in hospitals and medical cells. I was at a hospital one day and then I was walking by the, the operating room and there was this old kind of elderly gentleman came out obviously like on the verge of tears.

And he's, he was asking, he's like, you know, do you know where the closest bathroom is? And, and I could tell like he was in serious, you know, just emotional distress. And I think I heard him say, like, start to say like, I, I just lost my wife or like my, my wife just died or passed away. Like, I don't know if I heard him say it walking up to somebody else or, or he was starting to say it to me.

But I was like, I just. Wasn't comfortable in those situations. I kind of froze. And so I gave him a logistical answer. I'm like, Hey, the bathroom's just like right down there. Like, okay, thanks. You know, and I walked away and I'm like, man, what a missed, like, I don't know. I just felt like I, I should have been there for this guy.

Could have just listened. All I had, all I had to do was just be like, Hey man, talk to me. Like, what, what happened? How are you feeling? Or whatever. And And I think in that moment, obviously he would have just, I think was ready just to spill out emotions and, and, and like, I could have been there for this guy, but I, I wasn't, and I didn't like, I got scared.

I froze up and I was like, Whoa, okay. Like, you know, I'm going to hear the bathrooms over there. Thanks. You know? So I think being willing to, to listen and, and when that, when you can sense That maybe there's more there being open and available. So that's my challenge to myself because I need to be more like that.

Yeah, me too.

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