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Suffering in Silence: Men’s Mental Health in America Today

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Mid-way through my freshman year of college, the girl that I had longed to be with for years was nearly killed in a viscous, ice-slicked car wreck that claimed two other young lives. I sat, trembling, on my best friend’s bed, talking haltingly to her on the phone as she lay in a hospital bed, hundreds of miles away, nearly completely blitzed from painkillers and sedatives. I told her that I loved her, and she said it back. That’s what happens when you drug people, I guess.

I had been messed up for a long time — awash in anxiety and depression — but you need that tipping point, I guess, to motivate you to stand up and do something about it. I don’t know what I was hoping to find in that therapist’s office, under the couch cushions or in the tissue box or between the hands of the fifty-minute hour clock, but I knew something had to be there: answers, or at least different questions. The receptionist set me up with an appointment and she said to me, “You know, we do have a back entrance you can use.” I was puzzled.

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