Anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of. We need to teach youth real coping skills
how to communicate and deal with stress as arises. Interesting article.
@mominthetrenchesYour experience sounds so much like ours! Our second son
just started on Prozac because he was so panicked, therapy didn't stand a
chance. The only therapist we could get into - most had multiple months-long
waiting lists - was young and female and pretty clueless. We're struggling
to figure out what to do next. Wishing you the best as you find solutions for
GZE: There haven't been many males advocating for change (until recently),
because they were told to "suck it up", or hit with "male
privilege". portlander: I think you missed some of the key
points of the article. In life, a person (boy or girl) can't always just
avoid whatever brings them anxiety or discomfort. Some things can be avoided,
but some have to be faced, and people have to learn to cope with them. Too many
people have turned to addictions, drugs, alcohol, pornography, etc. to
"avoid" things that trouble them! As we learn to correctly cope with
these challenges, we grow.The article nicely addresses that the
coping mechanisms, though individually different for each person, may be
generally different for males than for females. Having role models that face
similar issues and have success, is very valuable to all people, especially to
teens that are just learning how to deal with themselves, their feelings, and
society around them.
Hey, "be a man!" As the old line goes. The story says males avoid
whatever causes them anxieties. And I agree with that approach. They should
avoid whatever bothers them. If something bothers you, causes you to have some
anxiety, some discomfort or whatever, then I totally recommend that you avoid
it. Goes for girls too! And guess what. It works every time it is tried!
I see my son in this story. We've been to a good therapist for a couple of
years but we have never once talked about anxiety in all that therapy (likely
because he never voiced it as such - I'm sure our therapist would have
explored that). Until I read this article it never occurred to me that his
behavior was anxiety induced. Now, I consider that a strong possibility that
deserves a closer look.
Very informative article and brave of the examples used, who shared their very
personal, real struggles to inspire others. My son is also on Vyvanse, for a
nebulous ADHD diagnosis. It helps him, but I would rather have him talk through
things, the way Kaleb's story discusses. I don't think medicines are
the answer. What kind of therapist helps with these things? We tried going
once, with my son, and it was not helpful at all...therapist was young female,
didn't seem to have the knowledge about mental illnesses or how to answer
my questions about anything we were dealing with.
For about a decade now, popular culture has been demonizing masculinity as
"toxic" and promoting all sorts of special treatment for women.
Society has also become so overprotected and concerned with establishing safe
spaces" that we temporarily lost sight of the fact that there is a certain
"harshness" to reality. Many things, including other humans, really
will kill you if you are weak and timid. The role of masculinity is to
forcefully face and tame to harsh forces of the world. If we deny males the
value of their role, we create an existential anxiety.
First I want to thank the Deseret News for at least covering the angle of
anxiety in boys (after so many articles that seemed to focus solely on
girls).I get only about a quarter of the way through the article
before I have too many things in my mind wishing to escape. I have found writing
helps me through my anxiety; which is why I comment on Deseret News so much.
But, that coping mechanism is something I picked up later in life.When I was a child, yes I was expected to simply "avoid" the stressful
situations. If someone was bullying me, I would be the one removed from the
classroom (instead of the bully); I was placed in classes with lower age
students to be closer in size to them; I was moved to different buses; etc. Then
when the pressure would build up too much and I would burst and lash out, then
only I would be punished; not those that instigated the pressure.It
is no wonder that mental illnesses were formed in my childhood with such
environmental factors. I can't remember the first time I had a panic
attack; or went catatonic; or many other symptoms I have since learned to
identify and put a name to, but it must have started quite young.And
already run out of room.
Last time I checked, "society" included a lot of men. Do you think
"society" started addressing the needs of girls and women spontaneously?
No. Women pushed for change. If the needs of boys are not being met, where
are the men who are advocating for change?
Wow, great article. Thank you. There are so many insights mentioned in the
article, it's difficult to know what to talk about, but I'll focus on
one. The alternate reality of video games, social media, and entertainment media
is alluring precisely because it fills a need felt in the real world, but
it's a counterfeit. The perceived satisfaction is illusory and temporary.
Humans were made for the real world, not a counterfeit. See the June
2010 article by Elder Bednar: "Things as They Really Are"
"Few anxiety-specific studies focus just on boys. "That's because our society doesn't really care about boys and their
problems. Boys are pretty left to their own devices to solve their problems.
They are considered to enjoy "male privilege" so they don't warrant
any special attention.
About fifteen years ago, I had the opportunity of working with a group of
performing artists who were recent college graduates or a little older
(postgraduate students). Very nice people, but (being about twenty years older
than they) we did not hang out together for the most part. For me, hanging out
together would have involved have a drink or getting together for dinner and
conversing--but following a performance, the young men in this group would find
three or four others and head over to an apartment for an evening of Madden
2000. They invited me to come over once. And once was all it took. These very
nice guys were not interacting with each other, they were not communicating.
This was not "boys being boys" unless you count the times they would
intercept a pass and call the other player a homosexual (slur). More than
anything else, I noticed--there was no talking with each other. And this seemed
to be present in our daily working lives as well. If one performer had a
question, wanted to try something, had difficulty with another performer, they
simply "ate it" and took out their frustrations on the video game later
on that evening.
Great story. Jalen is a great young man and has always been a great example for
those around him. Having watched him play and interact with kids from a very
early age, it was more impressive how he never acted like he was better than
anyone even though basketball wise it was clear. He has many people that are
pulling for him and others who are in this fight. I am very happy to know he is
doing better and proud of how he handled this situation. I have no doubt he
will handle this and help others along the way.
Our society is causing anxiety in boys by telling them that males are to blame
for all the things wrong in the world. Boys have no clear definition of the
role of a male. They would better off changing their gender to female who are
suppressed by the male dominated culture.