Message From Mark
Research tells us that women are more likely to experience depression than men, at a rate as high as 4 to 1. However, my real-world experience as a professional, educator, friend, colleague, and a man who lived with untreated depression for 14 years and survived a serious suicide attempt tells me differently.
How do I know this? Because to begin with men are about as willing to admit they are depressed as they are to ask for directions when lost and I challenge you to recall the last time you saw a man ask for directions!
Also, research shows us men are more likely to minimize or under report signs of depression and medical /mental health professionals are less likely to recognize depression in men when compared to women. At a minimum we know the lifetime prevalence of depression in men is 12% and over 6 million men are diagnosed with depression each year, but I (and many other professionals) believe these numbers are higher.
In today’s environment when a man admits he is depressed he is admitting he is “weak”, “not in control of his emotions”, and not a “real” man. When a woman admits to being depressed no one questions if she is a “real” woman nor does society put her under the same critical microscope as they do a man. Lost in these assertions are these basic facts; men get depressed, they frequently ignore or don’t recognize their depression, they often refuse any help once confronted with depression, and they represent a disproportionate number of suicides due to untreated depression.
The time has arrived to pay greater attention to men with depression. Not just for their sake, but also for the millions of spouses, partners, children, families, friends, colleagues, and communities that lose out because of male depression. Men need to understand depression can happen to them and by admitting to being depressed they are actually being strong and not weak. It takes courage to admit you are depressed and get help and it doesn’t make you strong to ignore depression when that makes you and everyone else around you miserable.
I founded Face It to help transform the entire perception of male depression. I founded Face It to move depression treatment beyond just offering up an antidepressant, which is often unreliable and ineffective. Face It is an organization intended to help men (and those who care about them) to better understand and address depression. Face It is an organization of hope, purpose, and responsibility.
I know Face It will accomplish great things and go a long way in improving the lives of men with depression. But we cannot do it alone and we need your support. Please read through our mission, philosophy, goals, and values. I know you will see we are committed to this important endeavor and we are deserving of your support. Thank you and be well!