“Each society has its own rules about what's considered appropriate behavior for men and women. In Western societies, men have traditionally been expected to be self-reliant, not emotional (except with regard to the expression of anger), confident and strong. This is the traditional masculine gender role. Men differ in the extent to which they follow these rules. However, some of these rules go against basic and normal human responses to stress. So it's not surprising that a number of studies have shown that men who try to strictly adhere to these rules and who fear violating these rules may be at risk for a wide range of negative outcomes including PTSD.”
“Having a mental health problem doesn’t mean you’re a bad person or that you’re weak, not manly, or that you’re losing your masculinity. In fact, quite the opposite is true. We believe that admitting to yourself (and others, if necessary) that you have a problem, and getting the help you need is a sign of great strength.” This resource from The Men’s Health Network discusses the importance of mental wellness for a man’s overall health, identifying symptoms of a problem and practical interventions.
The Ruderman Family Foundation conducted a nationwide study that resulted in the troubling conclusion that first responders are more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty. ““The white paper also goes on to lay out several barriers that prevent first responders from accessing necessary mental health services to help them cope with trauma.”
“TAMAR (Trauma, Addiction, Mental Health and Recovery) is a trauma-focused program for women that has been implemented in select Maryland detention centers. The TAMAR program aims to provide appropriate services to trauma victims and break the cycle of substance abuse, arrest, and incarceration.”
Staff Sgt. Josh Hopper talks about how dealing with PTSD and addiction “like a marine” means talking to your commanding officer and receiving the treatment you need. “Being active duty, you’re branded as the tough guy… it takes real strength to swallow your pride and say I need help and actually get it.”
“I’d never gotten help because I never wanted to appear weak. I’m the son of a man who lost his entire team in Vietnam. I’ve been through some of the toughest training on earth. I never quit anything in my life. So it took me the longest time to admit that I had a problem.”
“Misperceptions have emerged that negatively impact Veterans’ employment opportunities; opportunities which research shows are a major component of successful reintegration into civilian life.”
“He said: ‘Mom and Dad, I want to tell you something.’ I thought he had cancer. But he said: ‘I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD.’ When I heard those words, my heart sank. I thought it meant forever. I thought it meant a lifetime. But he explained to us that he was getting treatment. And that it was going away. My husband is a retired police officer. After Chris left, he said to me: ‘I’m so proud of him for talking about this stuff. Because I never did.’”