Trigger Warning: This episode discusses issues with mental health such as depression, body /weight talk, anxiety and s*icide.
Over the years, mental health issues have become more prevalent due to social media, the coronavirus, and extreme standards set for both men and women. According to the Mental Health Foundation, approximately 1 in 8 men have a common mental health problem such as anxiety, stress, or depression, however why isn't anyone talking about it as much?
Podcast host Naomi sits down with colleagues Dylan and Malkesh to raise awareness of Men's Mental Health week. Listen as we explore some of the challenges that men face today in 2022 of finding and seeking help. Join us as we gain a more complete understanding of the heavy expectations that men face and the lack of positive representation for male body diversity - it's an episode you won't want to miss.
About our guests:
Dylan Francis (He/Him)
Dylan is an advocate of equal opportunities and diverse and inclusive workplaces. He graduated from Boston City Campus with a Bachelor of Commerce in Management Marketing, after a course change from Law. His career started in a B2B environment with ERP solutions where he spent four years honing his marketing abilities, such as website management, email marketing funnels and social media creation. Dylan’s goal is to bring ideas to life and start a conversation, while creating and maintaining strong, diverse networks.
Some of Dylan’s passions include getting lost in new places, trying out new venues, watching good movies and listening to music. In his free time, you’ll find him with good friends, discovering new spots, and planning their next travel locations. He also enjoys sports such as rugby, rowing and F1.
Malkesh Vaghela (He/Him)
Malkesh has experience working within the customer service and marketing fields. He is a friendly and motivated individual and enjoys providing excellent customer service to his clients.
Malkesh is passionate about using social media and marketing to bring about positive change in the world. In his spare time, he enjoys learning new content creation skills and has set up his own YouTube channel. Malkesh plays video games and edits them for multiple social media outlets with the aim to bring happiness and laughter to all. He also learnt how to use the Adobe suite in his own time to pursue becoming a full-time content creator.
Malkesh is interested in Technology, Football, and all things Gaming.
Diversifying.io presents. You can't say anything anymore. The podcast where we bring you the latest diversity news, and in depth meaningful conversations about how we can make the future better for all.Naomi:
Hi, everyone, welcome to this month's podcast episode. This is our very second episode that we're recording with video format as well. So it's very exciting. And this month is very special because we're doing a special episode for men's mental health week. So this week at the moment has turned recording is men's mental health week, and it will be going out this later on this week as well. And I've got two very special guests here with me . I'm your podcast host. My name is Naomi, my pronouns are she and they. And let's introduce my two guests today.Dylan:
My name is Dylan, my pronouns are he/him, and I currently work at Diversifying, and I'm recruitment marketing specialist.Malkesh:
Hello, my name is Malkesh, I am the Customer Success Executive at Diversifying my pronouns are he/him.Naomi:
Yeah, well, I'm very lucky to have you here. And it's fantastic that we're gonna be talking about this this month. So let's just start off a little bit of questions about how would you both say that you describe people's attitudes towards mental health in general, and then towards men,specifically?Dylan:
That's an interesting question - because personally, I think we hear a lot about mental health. And it's really great that it's open, and everyone's transparent about it. But in terms of men, I feel like it's quite a recent focus in terms of what men go through and experience and how they can express themselves. And it's quite interesting to see now recently that it's been taken a bit more seriously, especially with some of the statistics you're seeing, and how people respond to the statistics. And it's kind of kind of surprised me, at the numbers that you see, just in terms of TED talks, I once listened to about the things that men under the age of 45, the most dangerous things to them are suicide. And it's just such a crazy thing to think about. Because as a man, you think what, you know, we strongly hard and, and it's hard to kind of swallow that. You know, it's okay to be not okay. I don't know if Malkesh has anything to think about that?Malkesh:
Yeah, I completely agree with you. I think like, I think it's still isn't where it needs to be mental health, men's mental health. So I'd say it's, but generally mental health has come up. And it's more acknowledged, and it didn't used to be and it's more, as you said, it's okay, not to be okay. But I think men's mental health isn't, as well acknowledged yet - mental and physical health either. But I think that's just not a separate issue. But I think that's mainly because men tend to only have themselves in the picture, unless they can offer something. So if I've got a good job or something that then I can have, like a partner or something. But yeah, men normally only have themselves. Because then they're not really accepted as a romantic partner until they can offer something. Whereas it's the opposite for some other genders where you have no employment or low income and stuff, but you're still accepted to be a great partner. So because the main reason is because men are expected to bring in the monetary value into the relationship. So gotta have the job, the money, the car, the house or thing. It's all expected, I think that will add on to why men's mental health is more taboo, I guess you could say that it then general mental health, it's not really talked about as much. And so generally society and tells us to be men to be strong, bold. As Dylan mentioned, society expects us to be that way. So because of all that, you know, I think men are generally more scared to sort of step outside of those boundaries and show emotions stuff because we've seen it in media, we've seen in media where men have shown emotions and they are generally ridiculed for it. First example comes to mind is Will Smith, when there was an interview with him and Jada, and he's crying and he became a meme and a video this happened for a bunch of other people. I think it's someone couldn't see their kids or something. Kanye West have a breakdown as well, but again, becomes a meme. So it's, it's unfortunate, but I believe that with this podcast that we're doing, and with mental health week being a thing now. Well, since 2001, we are progressing, we are moving forward by the I just want to help it move faster.Dylan:
Yeah, completely agree with what you say. I think the it's been almost ingrained in us media culture, that, as a man, we are seen as to be unwavering pillars of strength. And showing emotions or being vulnerable is not part of our job description. And it's dangerous territory when, you know, you've seen it, everywhere where you go, and someone hiding and thinner onto you with this, I'm fine. And if you think about it, it's like throwing a tennis ball to someone. You didn't think about anything else. But oh, I need to catch the tennis ball. But what creates that tennis balls come down as gravity. And I think we take our emotions as men as something that just has to be fine. Even if there's a force acting upon us that we can't open up about. I think it's also that we known as like, if there's something wrong man up, or the Cowboys or Boys Don't Cry, or it's taking something that we should have the right to do. And, like you say stigmatise, it becomes a meme, it becomes something humorous, because the world doesn't see men, as people personally. So that could be vulnerable. Personally, I also find it very difficult to open up. And I think that's because of that reinforcement of saying, you can't offload how you feel to other people because you have to be strong around those people. And it's, it is difficult because it's, it's like practising a skill, you need to be able to learn to open up and I find that quite difficult. Because of the reaction that might come up someone look at me and be like, Oh, Dylan's not the sensitive type. Dylan's not this kind of person, or you shouldn't be venting how he feels. But sometimes, it's being able to open up and know how to open up to someone that maybe is the first sign of you becoming maybe even more of a man. I think it's, it's the next logical step in understanding us our psyche, how we react to forces outside of our control. And knowing that it doesn't have to be your little secret that you know what I'm feeling tired, I'm feeling stressed, I feel the pressure. And the pressure doesn't stop with work if like Malkesh says, sometimes it's, am I seen as valuable if I'm not contributing something, it's easy to unconditionally love something like your partner, or a dog or a child, because you expect nothing from them. But a child expects protection from his father, a dog accepts, expects kind of food and love from its owners. It's a wife expects that solid foundation from a husband met, whether it be monetary, whether it be emotional. So it's, there's a lot of unconditional love that men need to give, but we don't really expect it back. And I think that's kind of where I feel that the biggest problem is that we don't know how to place ourselves in this arena of wellness, how we feel, how we should be perceived. And it's scary. I think it's, it should be normal to more people that it is scary for us. Just not knowing where we're going to be or how we're going to be seen at the end.Malkesh:
Yeah, no, I completely agree. And then, as you mentioned with some of those, some of those negative terms, right, so one I can add to that as like some like mansplaining or man flu. And it's just it's always like, Why can't someone just be ill? Like, oh, this person is Oh, no, he's got man flu, you know, just faking it or whatever, or just like making it a lot more than what it really is. But you can just be ill, you know, it's not bad. But yes, it does. So it's another one of those things that I like on a day to day can really so hammering down on on on someone you know to constantly hear that and I think as as we see like women's rights and and all that stuff like getting better. I think we're seeing the opposite for the men's side because now you see things like women saying why you mansplaining her and stuff like that Why can I not just be explaining something because could be just something that maybe we know of that someone else doesn't know when we're just explaining something but knows mansplaining and it's just always a negative when I think when when men try and open their mouths about something now like if you're complaining you got man flu explain something or mansplaining something or yeah, there's it's just it's always negative. It's always like putting the man down.Dylan:
Yeah, man I think we struggle to find our place. Now. I think as we move forward, what is the man? because throughout history, there has been a job for a man and we will we almost programmed both by media by families to protect the vulnerable or look after people that we see that need help. And I think as we're coming forward with, more people feel like they don't need a man in their life to be something and it's like, okay, where do I belong? What is my role in society? As this person? Do I offer help to someone without being ostracised? Because I thought they needed help? Or do I close a door, open a door for someone and without them kind of biting your head off. And it's, I think that ties into the fact that men's mental health it is like, if you don't know who you are, how you can be part of a site where you fit in properly, or what you know, about who you are, isn't what it is anymore. And it's like almost the rug being pulled out from underneath you. So you start doubting yourself, and then it comes to a Well, I'm a man, I can't complain about this. I can't tell you how I feel all the stresses I'm feeling from outside in the world. And you kind of have to wait for someone to get to that crisis point where everyone's like, Oh, but you didn't say anything or you? And it's like, but wait, what was my place to say anything? Where did I have that chance? Where could I, where I wasn't going to be made fun of or someone to be like, Oh, stop being sensitive or stop acting like that you need a man up, you need to take a teaspoon of cement and harden up for us. So I think it's really important for us to kind of, and I think we see that a lot. There's a lot of made, maybe influencers or social media personalities are starting to say like, listen, when you start setting up for men's rights, because it's not as easy as, oh, you're just a man, you shouldn't be feeling that way. It's about asking us, are you okay? Saying you're not you fit here, this is we we value you in a way. And we value even if you need to tell us something or we value even if you're not okay, that you're stressed, you're anxious, you're worried about the future, you're worried about if you'll be accepted or not, I think that there has been a slight change towards that. And you've noticed more people putting their hands up in the saying, you know, men have almost been forgotten, and that it's okay for them to show that side of themselves. So I think in terms of how we stepping forward slowly, and yes, I agree. It's not nearly enough, because I know too many people that will come and speak to you and say that this is I have a chat about something and I'm not feeling okay. And I'm like, That's great. I'm so happy that you actually standing for and saying, Listen, I need to talk to you. And in some ways, I always need to say to myself, I should do that more to other people and say, How are you doing? And I think it's weird, because how you doing is almost like a pre programmed responses. I'm fine. Or I'm good. Maybe we should change that to say, are you feeling bad today? Are you feeling sad? Or are you feeling because then it's not just automatic responses? I'm fine. I'm good. It's a Wait. Am I feeling bad? Is this something that I'm worried about? Because I think when we shock the system to perceive us input differently, we say, Okay, wait, this needs a different kind of answer. And you start doing that introspective, look at yourself, and you say, You know what, actually, I'm actually pretty stressed. But I think it's small steps. Because to me, I don't feel like if I'm stressed, I need to tell someone, because I say it myself, what can I do to change that stress to me? But sometimes it's not about finding the answer. It's about the ability to open up and say you're feeling stress, and it kind of you fill that veil of, or even at wait to Slow slowly decide to come off from your body or from your shoulders. And it's it's a feeling that is not celebrated enough in men, I think it's almost be careful, like you're gonna give away that you a bit soft, or you've got this emotional life, society and people will find you lower than what they saw you in the beginning. And it's scary to think like that. And it's, and I think that's right, what's wrong with the world community, social or online, is that people are too scared to show who they are. Because they might be the next meme. They might be the next punch line. So Joker might be not a man, you know, and that's kind of what we try to find is what's our identity as a man anymore? And I think that's the scariest part about it.Naomi:
So interesting. Thank you so much for sharing that. I really like the fact that both of you touched on but how the kind of traditional role of a man function has really changed and, you know, didn't as you pointed out, it's kind of the identities. It's kind of When certain, I guess right now, and a lot of the traditional functions of kind of plea before it sounds like is completely disadvantaged, a lot of people had very bad experiences with the kind of pressures and the kind of like emotional labour that is required to fill this very specific, very narrow role about what it is to be a man, you know, an emotional strong. Like you said, like you said about a rock. I think that Margaret, also you touched on about how there's been a kind of increase in also kind of lack of calling out so in other sectors, behaviours towards men. You mentioned about, it wasn't the sort of like how like, oh, mansplaining that was it? Yes. So yes, he said, Yes. And, you know, I think that obviously, women's rights is a sort of separate but intertwined issue and things, but I think that it's a lack of calling out of sexism of lots of things. And I think that especially one thing, that rising interest as a non man, which is kind of interesting as the kind of hyper sexualization of men paid up for comedy, like, people like Chris Hemsworth, and things like perpetrators, like a himbo. And they sort of like rip their shirt, like the women characters rip off their shirts, and it's been portrayed as, like, funny. And it's kind of stripping men of their own agency and their like, like you said, their ability to be vulnerable. Like, imagine if a movie where a man was ripping off women's clothes, like that would just be totally unacceptable. But the way that like, it's all portrayed as like, Wow, isn't that funny, like, you know, completely removes the man's agency or their ability to, like, have ownership over their sexuality? And it's almost portrayed as, like a sort of? I don't know. Yeah, it's a weird kind of. It's a very weird one that is almost, it's I think it's often seen as kind of progressive, because it's like, Well, why do we have to do that for so long? Now? It's men's time. I don't really think that's so hateful. And which is obviously a topic we can all discuss for a very long time.Malkesh:
Well, it's just not, it's just not seen as that it's seen as like, so as you mentioned, about the woman like ripping off a man's like, wherever, right? It just, it's not funny, because, because of the situate is funny, because it puts the man lower than the woman like in that situation. That's what makes it funny. And it's, it's just like, it just like, just because it was done one way doesn't mean the other way would make it on sale or something. It's just this one was wrong, it doesn't mean that this way will be right. You got to change the whole thing. And social constructs that we have built up from throughout, like years, like hundreds, maybe 100 years of, of like, general like men, women like existence, I guess you could say, are very, very strong. They're very defined now. Like, for example, giving a ring to somebody when you're getting married. Now, that ring has to be a certain percentage of your salary. Correct. It has to be blinging it has to look lovely has got to be a diamond. It's got to be this and that, you know, I mean, and and if it's not those, then well, better hope she says yes. So archaic! but now it's like, now it seemed like okay, if I'm going to go £20-30,000 pounds out of pocket, right? I'm seeing this more now. What do I get? So I'm seeing people bring up things like okay, if I'm going to give you a ring, I want something in return. I want a Rolex because in a way Yeah, because you're gonna take that ring, you're going to show it off to your friends. Look at this bad boy. I want to go to my friends and show my rubber legs we look I this is this is my thing. I was ready. Let's not even get started on the whole ring industry and why it's even a thing because really, there's no religion that says you have to have rings. No, none. It's all just created by diamond industry. But anyway, that's for another podcast. Okay. But yeah, so like so. So construct like that. I've been embedded into our mind. I don't know. I feel like it's gonna be very hard to bring those down or even sculpt them in a different way. But I hope we can. I hope we can't. But it's it's definitely an uphill battle.Dylan:
I think there's because of that even deeper than that. We see on for example, Fashion Week where there's an uproar for models and the ideal female body type and I've never heard that about a male. Have you ever seen someone saying when you plus size males on the-Naomi:
Yeah, they never talked about body positivity is entirely apparently a female concept and a female issue, which is something that I find so bizarre like there's no, like, obviously there was that sort of resurgence for the love for the dad bod, which was great. But I feel like you know, as you correctly identified, Dylan is that, where's the where's the outcry that there's no positive body role models for men?Dylan:
I think that's one of those perpetuating wheels, where it's, we as men look at something that's been identified as you need to be those in order to be attractive or worthy of attention. And you look at these airbrushed, sculpted, physique smell physiques that are deemed to be the ideal male structure, and you say to yourself, Am I ever going to look like that? Genetically? Can I look like that? And it's, you always left one thing you always left, I'm not good enough until I have that. And that will play in your mind constantly. Every time you look in the mirror, every time you see a photo of yourself, every time you discuss something about yourself, you say, am I enough to be that? Can I be there? And I think it's something that may also vary down as deep as they can suddenly think about it. One o'clock in the morning when they lying in bed and thinking, you know, I feel shit. I don't like the way I look. I don't like this. But you'll never hear a man saying, Ah, I don't feel good. I don't feel this, I don't look good enough. Because shame, you have to suck it up. It's, if you want that go and get it. There's no excuse. There's no leeway. It's either you do it or you don't. And it's unfair, because someone whose genetics will only purpose them to be five foot six will never be six foot pop. And there's nothing you can change that safe. And so, like you said, we celebrate the dad bods. But there's 100 different types of men's bodies. We should celebrate men as men, not as you should look like this and maybe like that, and or give me some affection, or give you some unconditional attention and conditional attention. We should be us and be free to be honest. Without that. Am I good enough in the back of my head? I think that's quite important to kind of note because I think just as much as women or any any person looking at media these days, they always wish to be something more than what they are. And it's because we taught to be consumers to be more because we want to be more because the world tells us if you're not bad, and you don't conform to this, you're not good enough. And as much as the fashion ageing centre, it's about celebrating body parts. It's not about them, because how can you celebrate a body type when it's airbrushed, photo edited, they have been put on hundreds of 1000 pound diet plans. They've got the structure, the mere mortal human might not have those accessibility to his calibre. So it's also about changing the way the world celebrates the human physique and how that affects space. Specifically, I think men's men's health because there's not enough people standing up and saying, you know, we deserve better. I think we need more people in our stand saying, We want better for our men. And we need more of us to stand up and say, you know, we don't agree conform. And idolise what she's showing us we want to be us so yeah, I think that's the most important thing about it especially from the mental attitude on our physical appearance. And how we want to be seen.Malkesh:
I love I brought up height by the way I love that because it is become is I don't know when it became a thing when being six foot is like the dream. You have to be six foot if you're not six foot you are nothing and I don't know when that became a thing like I don't know but then But then I see I see like funny TikToks and stuff whereas like we're like girls putting a tape measure next to her door so when the guy enters she can check if he's six foot and and the funny part was that a guy put a weighing scale by the door be like you know you I can't change height, but I can at least try and change the way but it's seen as negative like oh no you can't ask a girl how much she weighs that's wrong. But why is that so wrong? Why is it so acceptable to ask to see to ask the guy how much he weighs? Or how much don't what is high is or let's not get started. Unless say for example, like being bold is like seen as a negative thing. Now, Tuzla, like hair loss and stuff is, is, is a whole another situation. What we're talking about here really is the tip of an iceberg. And right now we're just talking about generally we're not even going into, like minorities and stuff like that or like in different cultures how it's even seen like that. We really are talking about the tip of the iceberg here. Like this is a business series. So thing here, but yeah, I just thought that I just thought that was really funny on how we're just on something we can't even change which is born like that. But yeah, it's, it's, it's disgusting, because I cannot because I mean, I'm not six foot, I'm like, I don't even know my proper height. I really don't know, but I'm close ish. But then I can only imagine how bad it would feel. If you're watching that, and you're like, five, five or something. And then, you know, I mean that that takes an impact. And that's something on social media and social media is something you're doing every day. So really, you're you're you're you're like a nail being hammered by social media every single day by these funny, tic TOCs that are being made. But when they're made in the opposite way, then it's not funny anymore. Because you're hurting the female gender.Naomi:
I think it's I think there's something as well, it's just, I like the fact the bullet point as well, because it's it's like you said about you know, we're talking very much about Western perspective and different cultures height for women means different things. Like I know that in, for example, in China, it's, you know, considered quite beautiful to be a bit taller. I'm not super tall. There's limits, but it's very weird as well, it's, you know, it's very specific.Malkesh:
You can't control there's limits. Yeah, you can't Yeah, and it's there's not one I don't as far as I'm aware, there's not really a height restriction for women in the UK. But you know, around the world, there's all different. You know, I remember watching Indian matchmaker, when they were saying that they weren't gonna be able to find someone for was Aparna because they were like, she's too short. It's normal, we're fine, blah, blah, blah. And you know, you have to be tall. But it's, you know, interesting. It's why brought up in the, in the UK, and specifically the West as well. How high is just so key for men's perceived attractiveness or men's perceived ability to do anything. And you know, what hair loss as well, hair loss for women is seen as like a really sensitive, distressing issue, but for men is just seen as like, oh, that just happens. So get on with it. It's fine. Yeah. It's things that are controlled via genetics that are being used against us in a way.Naomi:
But I just think I just find it very strange that I didn't remember while ago, it was like this meme to say like, big D energy, it means somebody's like, confidence. And I just thought I was just so ridiculous. Like, you wouldn't say big boob energy, would you? You wouldn't say that somebody's like, oh, well done, you know, like, as it's described as, like this whole, I guess, like an alpha male, which in itself was kind of a meme. I think,Malkesh:
yeah. It's translated to other things as well as trans is like so. So again, you said confidence is Big D energy, right? But if I buy a Lamborghini, then I have little D energy. Why? Why is it that I've gone out worked hard and bought something for myself, now I have little D energy because other people can't afford it or something. What Why is that the case like so even if we're really successful, and we do something, again, that hammer of social media comes down on us, there is no middle ground of being good, even not and forget great or perfect. There's no middle ground of being good. If you're really successful, you're getting hit. If you're not successful, you're you're getting hit. So there's just there's no winning, there's no winning here. And that's what we need to change. And I'm glad that we're talking about it because this is a step in the right direction.Naomi:
All the examples you gave actually had to do with sexuality and men's like, I guess, vibe it viability sexually, which is kind of an interesting kind of topic about how you like muscles are then you'll look, you'll look attractive, you'll look sexy. And then you know, if you if you get a Lamborghini, you must be compensating for something it's all about kind of, I guess this goes back to the conversation about the hood of that movies where like the female fans rip open the hunks shirt. It's all about seeing men as not as people but as like sexy beings, like without kind of any agency or kind of any vulnerability or own thoughts. I guess I don't know if any of you had any sort of thoughts on that at all.Dylan:
It's going to probably we've actually touched on the physical and that's we're really highlighting so many issues there. And we haven't started with what's inside. Like, it's almost like there's really so many issues. that aren't being flagged in terms of what men are subjected to that are deemed to be. Okay. But when you look at it, it's like, is that actually okay? Because we have to, we have to balance the scale and say, well, we can do this to God because they are gods. So we labelling us as a guy is meant to be able to take this humiliation or embarrassment or idealisation that we might not want to be put under or scrutinised under, or, and it's plays back to the fact that on the surface, there's things that we can do better in terms of addressing nevermind what goes on in our minds, and how we feel. I think it's it's quite important to highlight that men is looked for its physical aspects. And we highlight those as, as you saying, being viable partners, because they tick boxes. But we shouldn't look at a female on transit boxes, because then again, you're ostracised for being part of what peddling the patriotic cycle of my wife needs to be this, this and this and anything else is substandard. Yet we have those same limitations placed on our heads, and no one is jumping up and down and saying, you know, you can't say that about men, because at the end of the day, we're human as well, we, we take in this criticism, we create this ball of anxiety, stress, uncertainty, and we kind of recluse ourselves and say, No, I can't show anyone that I'm struggling with that. Because if I do, then I've got that, oh, he's not holding up that little the energy or he's, he's not confident or he's, oh, why are you so worried about how people think about it? The thing is, we do worry about what people think about us. We just don't know how to say, Listen, I need help. Because I'm not sure about my own personal image, I'm not confident in who I am, or I try to be this person. But that's not me. That's because the rest of the world says I need to be there that I kind of walk around in this moss facade of I am the ideal male, that puts me but at the end of the day, I'm actually really, really insecure about everything on our way I do I see on myself. So I think from just the face value of men, and what we worry about, the physical stuff is just the tip of the iceberg. And I think Mark is touching that. It's, it's the superficial stuff that we just starting to speak about, nevermind the stuff that goes on behind the doors, and how we don't know how to respond to those things.Malkesh:
And if you're wearing that mask that you mentioned, you're hurting yourself at the end of the day, because you're not talking about it, you're just pushing it deeper and deeper doubt, till it becomes a real issue. Like, for example, suicidal thoughts are something which like the most suicides happened between the ages of 14 and 49. Now, I don't know, I don't know if there's any other statistic beyond that like, but like, how many of them people are married and stuff like that. But that's mad. I mean, I think it's, I think that it's just a time bomb. I think it's just a time bomb. Like you're pushing, you're pushing things deeper and deeper down. And once you're at capacity, then then these thoughts start coming into your head. And obviously, like nobody wants that for somebody that they know. But yeah, so I'll use, I'll use like an example. Right? And other than if you want to keep this and so basically. So if if I don't have a family, or if I don't have friends, or partner, I have no one to talk to correct. What whereas if a female has no friends, no family, and has no one to talk to just download Tinder, somebody would swipe right on you because guys swipe right like this. Whereas girls swipe by by really checking it blah, blah. If I go to a club, what is the chances of me coming out of there, and then getting some sort of physical relation. There's a percentage, it's not high. If a female goes into a club, no matter what way no matter what height, the percentage of them getting in some sort of physical relations after is incredibly high. It just does not matter because as Dylan talked about before, loved unconditionally. There is no conditions of loving female partner or a dog or a child, but for a man there is. It's the the I don't know if you want to keep that bit in but yeah. Great.Naomi:
Thank you for sharing that. I guess where you're both speaking about seems to be about the socialisation and social isolation that is kind of placed upon and the more barriers are all two to sort of what's the word, to physical intimacy, to emotional intimacy, to finding those connections. I mean, you know a lot There isn't a lot of men that don't speak to anybody popping their partner. And they don't have any other kind of close relationships. And even many of those people are not close with their partners. So it's some. And I know that we saw a lot of that in the last couple of years. I will decide to disagree there with there is one caveat that we have to be nice, thin. But that's definitely time for another podcast. But I think it's really interesting that both of you touched about the sort of more deeper issues that kind of my below and, you know, obviously, as you mentioned, with the kind of big impact, or that suicide has on men's lives under 49, which is very shocking to think about the fact that that's the biggest killer of men. Um, I guess I wanted to ask about what you thought were the biggest kind of positive changes last couple years towards men's mental health.Malkesh:
This podcast, the fact that we're talking about it, we're conversing about this topic that normally would not be talked about is definitely progression. And as I mentioned before, since 2001, men's mental health week has become a thing. So it's bringing awareness, at the very least to the masses. I mean, that's what the aim is anyway. And, according to statistics from mind, was a statistic. Yeah, men, I'm not three times more likely to see a therapist as compared to 2009. And I think that that's not just a step in the right progression, that's a massive step in the right direction. And we just want that number to keep going higher and higher. So yeah, that's, that's the biggest changes I've seen personally think aDylan:
positive aspect of it is that we started to see the statistics, we started to see the numbers people bringing to the surface more openly, it's not that you have to watch a certain channel or read a certain newsletter or book to find out that men do disparately commit suicide higher than women. And that's even perpetuated if it's from an minoritized group or asylum seekers, those variables now, increase those numbers of suicide rates. It's not that just as men, we are vulnerable. To that we are we face mortality, and we choose suicide as the escape because the barriers being placed on each side seem to unbearable, to even come forward and speak about it. And I think that's something that's quite scary is that some that people are finding it easier to commit suicide and stand up and say, I need help? And if we don't check this and start asking the questions to people and saying, you know, I want to speak to you tell me about the bad things. I don't care about the good right now. I want to know what is hurting you what you're struggling with. I think the the toner on the topic won't be seen as your soft view on demand, because you are talking about it. It's it's something that needs to be celebrated a lot more. I think that it's important to underline that men have feelings. Men do cry. Men sometimes need quiet time to almost just recenter themselves and say, You know what, I can do this, or evaluate saying, You know what, I need to speak to someone about it. I think it's important that men take men days, where we sit down with a group of friends and you say, you know, how are we feeling? How hard is this? Have you noticed this how you felt about that? You know, there take a moment to speak to people in the same boats, probably going through many similar situations, and asking them how are you doing? And like, How are you coping? If you're not coping? How can we help? And if we can't help you? What steps do we need to put in place for you to get the help that you need? I think we need to start pushing that as that positive. Like we know how we celebrate all shapes and sizes of all other people in the world, we should also celebrate men and what we as men need going forward because maybe it's because now there's a point in time where men can actually say that they need help and that women don't need to always look to men for support that they can also be that support men look for. Or, you know, we have to start changing the narrative of the way men are looked at and we need to give them a sneak equal space to say, You know what, I need help. Can you help me? And it's okay not to be okay. And I think if you if you hear someone's like next time you hear someone say, I'm fine. Maybe you need to change the question and say, Is this something you're struggling with? Instead of saying, Oh, how are you? And that's a quick fine, because that's an alternative. Because I can tell you right now, I've been asked How you doing? I'm fine. With nine times out of 10, I've probably been like, I'm actually quite worried about work on work quite worried about family, or I'm quite worried about this, or I'm feeling depressed, I'm feeling anxious, because I've seen something I don't feel like I fit into that, or what that's deemed to be. And I always look at myself and say, am I enough? Will I be successful? I'm not sure about the future. I'm not sure if I'll make or achieve my goals. And that should be okay. Because, like we say, every day, it's progress, not perfection. And I think there was called prolific personally, Shah, I need to remember them. But it's this procedure, perfection is the Idiocracy of men, we will never be perfect. But we can celebrate that imperfection. Just as much. As we celebrate the imperfections of everything else that we are living with, we only celebrate ourselves because we're imperfect, because if it was perfect, we'd never take the time to celebrate it. We don't celebrate every sunset being the same, because it would be perfect. We celebrate the difference in every sunset. And I think we need to be celebrated for difference. Different people different ways. We see things different way we express ourselves, the different emotions we actually go through. And I think that needs to be brought up. But I think like you said in terms of positivity, this conversation you're having the conversations we need to be having. And I can see them being more and more. And there's more people in this corner standing up and saying, We need to talk about this. There's there's something wrong here, when the percentage of male suicide is so high. We need to have people and there are there's people online saying it's okay to be x, y and Zed as a man. But yeah, I think those are the positives I'm seeing out of this.Malkesh:
I've got I've got a question for the podcast here. Do you think that what do you think there are experiences from our childhood as a being, as in? Well, when we were children? How do you think those experiences have come as brought us to this?Dylan:
I think I think one of the most ones that stood out shied away from us. When you're hurt, I used to get asked, Is it bleeding? But as if it wasn't, it's not that serious, but hurt. You can't put hurt in such such a perspective that it's only if it's physical. I think for me, we downplay it because I can't see the trauma. And if the trauma is not seen, it's not worth saying there's something wrong. The other thing would be, you'd get through that school, and your dad would say to either man up and up yourself. Well, it's almost disqualifying the fact that you're hurt you feeling this pain this, like someone said something about you that affect you internally. And I think that is one of those things that from childhood that just like, perpetuates the way we need to be seen as men, and it's not necessarily the truth. I think it's it's a it's a historical problem.Naomi:
And did you want to you want to share Malkesh?Malkesh:
No, it's just a thought. That's my headline, you know, there's always a start to these problems, there's always a start to these issues. So it just made me think, you know, go back in time. But I think, yeah, didn't hit the nail on the head there where, you know, you go man, or is it bleeding is the key thing there. And if it's not bleeding, then you better get back up and carry on playing. And I think not only is that because of because you're a guy, but also it's easier for the parent, isn't it because then they don't have to pick you up and you know, if it's okay, blah, blah, you know, they don't have to do that they could just carry on with whatever they were doing beforehand. So, yeah, but then yeah, if it is of of often opposite of, of, of another gender, then then yeah, then they are like babied a little bit, I guess to say, taking more care of and I think it's wrong to give care to to one person than less to another, even if they're the same age. Because they you know their children, you know that If they're going to cry, if it hurts not going to, it's not a certain threshold that you need to hit before it hurts more for one and less for another. Say I think that day is really wrong. And I think parents need to definitely look into that, because that happens all the time I see it happen all the time,Dylan:
I guess I do think there's, there's a very fine line in terms of that in whatever world is going to be a very tough place. And I think we should engage in terms of the pain. So if someone is going to war child is going to cry, because they haven't got something that they want. By saying what's wrong and then giving into that you get what you want. I think it's a term of defining how you feeling over the physical split of displacement. I think there's a there's an issue way, if you're, if a child says, you know, I'm having a tantrum, because I'm not getting my way, versus a child that sing sad and crying, it doesn't have to do anything, I think it's because we have been painted this picture that for someone to be said, there has to be physical indications. There have to be crying sits in a corner. Sometimes it's the people who just personality traits that will suppress those feelings or suppress the way they feel because they don't want to affect the people around them. They'd rather keep the good times going. And so they don't know how to stop and it just keeps increasing this level of packing this pain away inside of you. And I think that might be a lesson to I'll probably even teach my children is identify what you're feeling. And if you can't identify it, show me. And there's there's loads of ways we can teach someone to show pain, you can say, it doesn't feel like sunshine, it doesn't feel like water, it feels like sandmeyer It feels like it's not physical pain, differentiating physical pain from emotional pain is a key thing to I think help little boys boys teach them to get in touch with how they feeling what these emotions mean. And the right course of action to deal with those emotions.Malkesh:
And yeah, like the whole, like, suppressing your feelings, you know, I wouldn't personality traits and stuff like that come out like, normally died. Like you said that the person who always seems the happiest is normally the one that has the underlying problems there or hiding something. You know, the person who laughs The hardest is the one you shouldn't be asked asking, are you okay sort of thing. And yeah, I've done like my own, like little research into this. And apparently, like, it's, it's a thing, people that you don't want to feel like a burden. And it's something in your childhood that's making that's made you feel like that you feel like a burden. If you open up or seem in any way negative, you have to always, always always be positive. And yeah, it's, it's really sad that it's really sad that you have to sort of keep that mask on, wherever you are, if you're out. If you're with people, the only time you can take that mask off. Actually, I don't think you can take that mask away, even when you're alone. Because then it's hardest to put the mask back on. So you keep that mask on. All the time. And yeah, it's just genuinely, it's just, it's just, it's really upsetting that, that, that, you know, men is one thing, but I think if anybody feels that way, that they have to wear a mask constantly. Just it's, it's sucking really is a sucky feeling.Dylan:
It's, it's a point of when you get home and you wantNaomi:
I guess what you're speaking about tends to be the to take that mask off. It's when you let it out. You ask yourself the question, Can I ever hold it back in again? Like, will I have that tolerance again to like boiler when no one's around for me to cry or throw things at you know, like, express yourself? Again, it's the thing that you're so scared to let it out that you never know if you can hold it in again. And I think that's the reason why even when, as men, we're alone, we don't want to live it up. It's that question of once I have could I ever live with holding it in anymore? So it's a hard one. It's how do you address something that's been ingrained intergenerational cycle of things that we've carried on. in culture men? How do you redress centuries and centuries of you need to be like this, or you're not a man. That's that's one of I think that's one of the hardest question I think it starts with us people identifying us as men and saying, You know what, I want to do better for people going forward, my children, other people's children, we need to let have these conversations to start pinpointing and saying, you know, we need more attention on this. Just just from that question, you asked about things that our parents did. I think, like, I'm not blaming my parents. I'm not saying that they did it wrong. I think it's, they were scared, just as we are scared that because we might be sharing how we feel that we all get ostracised for it, we will be like the nail that stands out gets hammered. I think they wanted to protect us. But by protecting us, they perpetuate the problem. So it's a it's a hard one, it is a very difficult thing. And as you both touched on before about the way that boys are socialised from day one about the idea of not recognising any kind of pain beyond Is it bleeding. And then that is perpetuated on to the next generation. And these kinds of ideas that continued,Malkesh:
as some people may know, or may not. I stream on YouTube, and a couple of times when I have streamed, I've had people come in, and I think, I mean, I'm assuming it is guys, because you know, the the then A is very guyish and then I've had people come in and as well, it feels nice to have someone to talk to and stuff. And ask because I try and do the opposite of how I felt when I was, I felt like I couldn't say anything, or whatever. So I try and do the opposite. And I try and make everyone I try and make everyone feel comfortable. around me. So everyone can say however they're feeling so I make my stream like that, too. So I've had people come in, and be like, I feel nice to have someone to talk to and stuff and I get I genuinely get upset at that like, like, I'm not gonna cry on the stream. But I'm like, you have a sit back and you think like, like, the fact that I mean, I'm glad I'm somewhere to go to. But you know, I shouldn't be there somewhere. There's someone to go to there should be more there's like there's professionals out there that can help you. Or maybe this family that maybe you just don't feel comfortable talking to like that. But I feel like you should be able to open up and I get I guess yeah, there are scenarios where you can't open up to people who are the closest to you. So I think I think I think, again, on the mind website or something about people would accept more help, if it was anonymous. And yeah. And I can see that being a reason why people don't get help. They just don't want people to know that it's them that needs help.Dylan:
I think just in terms of advice, I think a strong start would be to say, even within a friends group is just saying, No, instead of saying how you doing we say one thing that's worrying us today. And like I said, it's practising being able to speak about how we feel. So if we every day, we just be saying something. Today, I felt that I got a bit anxious, or I felt down, I didn't feel happy. It's about it's not necessarily about trying to attract sympathy. It's about teaching us how to let go of this barrier we want to put up. It's about teaching us how to share how we feel, articulate our emotion, or try our best to describe it. So we go to someone a friend every day, and they just say hey, how did you feel today? Or told me something bad that you were unhappy about or you felt unhappy about? And I think it's training ourselves to be open with men who have potential going through the same thing. Before we try and climb a mountain or attack the world or we start with someone close and we just practice sharing if you already know enough people practising to shout how we feel eventually probably be something really normal. And it's sad that we have to say eventually be normal because it should be really normal. And I'm guilty of that I struggle to say when I'm not feeling okay. And I think I can probably point out maybe three times on my hand in my life and I've ever say to somebody, you know, I'm struggling or I don't feel okay or so I think that that's the like the activity or the mechanical way I'm going to try as physically putting myself out there to your friends. You know, I feel sad, I feel worried. I feel depressed. I feel something that I shouldn't feel because I don't need to feel like that. It's not my job. Want to hold on to those feelings? It's my job to find Wi Fi like that and shared with someone that will be like, How can I help you? What can we talk about? Do you want to talk about that? Make it okay for me to explain why I feel that way, not just, oh, no, it's like that. So that's kind of the that kind of advice I would say, has helped me, especially in the last year, is to physically say, No, this is how I feel. And they can honestly, they can say, Okay, I'm so sorry, but it's not about them. It's about you being able to let go and open up. So yeah, that'sMalkesh:
one thing that I was just thinking about, is the current situation we're in, in the UK, generally, you know, with gas and electric, you know, the prices of stuff and petrol prices. You know, we mentioned that men social economical position is very important to who they are. And I'm guessing the situation that we're in right now, in the UK is not helping that fat. So yeah, so if you are in a position like that, say, just, you know, get help, it's free, as well as if you go through NHS and stuff, like, it doesn't cost anything to get help. And even your don't want to be seen by a professional. And, yeah, just talk to friends and stuff, friends, family. You know, it's okay, it's coming back to a term that was used earlier and early on in the podcast, it's okay to not be okay. And that goes for anyone be of any gender, like, it's okay to not be okay. So get the help you need.Naomi:
That's brilliant. Thank you so much for sharing that. That's really nice. I already think that you guys both touched on really important points. And I think that obviously, there was a lot more, it's, you know, as you mentioned, it's, it's impossible to go, you know, into every single thing, because it's this lot in there. It's it's, there's probably more that haven't even originally in sort of public consciousness yet. But there are there are things that men are experiencing every single day, and that they are feeling. And I you know, I liked what you said Dylan, about how we have this, we need this call to sort of focus more on the practice of naming emotions, of getting to the point where, you know, people, and specifically with men, on training, you know, from early ages, your voice to be able to speak about their emotions, to be able to identify them to express them feel free and comfortable expressing other people. And for that to the space for that. Marcus, you mentioned about other ways about how it's important to reach out and that conversation like these are important and sort of in different aspects and having them with other people is very important. Yeah, thank you very much.Malkesh:
I forgot to mention that I have a thing that start there. So his higher rates of suicides are also found in minority communities, including gay men, war vets, men from bein backgrounds, and those with low incomes, less well off middle aged men are particularly likely to die by suicide as well. I forgot to mention that duringthose those things, right.Naomi:
That's what you were just meant to say that you were talking about what it was about, or you mentioned about the incoming kind of bills crisis, and how that's impacting what whether you're speaking about earlier about the kind of the functionality of men being providers. And then, obviously, as you mentioned about, You briefly mentioned about different cultures as well about the roles of men kind of intersecting and I guess, for many people in the UK as well. And worldwide, the kind of intersectionality that can be very difficult about this is what a man is in this culture. This is what it is this culture, kind of marrying the two, but I'm feeling adequate for neither. Just very interesting, but obviously very difficult to deal with. Yeah, so thank you so much for being on the podcast today. Both of you, is anywhere that our listeners can find both of you. I know Malkesh, you mentioned that you've got a live stream.Malkesh:
Yeah, why not? So you can reach me either youtube.com/malkygaming, or Instagram. Malki gaming as well. And you can find me there.Naomi:
What about you Dylan is anywhere fancy like that?Dylan:
I have nothing like that hahhaNaomi:
Anyway, thank you so much for being on our podcast, and we'll speak to you all in the next episode.Bame Recruitment:
Thanks for listening to you can't say anything anymore. A podcast by diversifying.io. If you like our show and want to know more, check out our website and sign up for our firstname.lastname@example.org Yo well please leave us a review on iTunes join us next time as we explore more diversity news