Why male emotions need to be recognised
By MARY HOGAN
THE sudden death of young people impacts terribly on all of us. Death by suicide, though, has an added poignancy, with unanswered questions, self-blame and an endless list of “if only …” Such unnecessary deaths catapults into our consciousness the well-recognised fact that most men deny, conceal or bury their negative emotions. One in four people suffers from mental health issues but we are all equally vulnerable.
For some unknown reason, we regard the playing field of hurling, soccer, rugby, and Gaelic football as the only admissible place for men to show their innermost feelings. Only there, it seems, is it acceptable for our normally stoic men-folk to collapse in utter despair, bitter despondency and tearful helplessness in the face of defeat. (And, conversely, unrestrained delight and spontaneous affection.) Saipan is seared in our minds forever with the memory of Roy Keane, Mick McCarthy and Niall Quinn’s raw, painful agony palpably visible.
In my previous work as a relationship counsellor/personal development instructor, most men’s inability to convey negative feelings appropriately and clearly constantly surfaced. The causes are varied and not always readily identifiable.
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