As more young men struggle with depression in the modern world, it becomes difficult for them to share their problems with their parents and especially with their fathers. Generational differences may interfere at times with father-son discussions about feelings and their emotional life. Traditional beliefs about masculinity often cause fathers to avoid discussing feelings for fear of appearing to be weak.
However, talking about mental health and issues such as depression can be crucial for teen boys and young adults who need support from their parents. Many teenage boys feel uncomfortable discussing issues of mental health with their fathers who don’t open up or allow themselves to be vulnerable. Bridging the generation gap and getting dads to talk about mental health could be very beneficial for teens and young people who need advice and insight from their male role models.
To avoid the negative cycle of bottling up feelings, it can be helpful for fathers to try to talk about their own experiences with depression or simply their personal feelings. If fathers are able to encourage their sons to be more open about mental health it can break some of the stigma surrounding men sharing their feelings. The fear of seeming weak can be damaging for teen boys who need to express themselves especially if they are having mental health issues.
When men feel unable to speak about their depression or anxiety it can make it difficult for them to recover and get the help that they need to improve their mental health. Not talking about their feelings can create isolation and shame that only serves to increase their issues. When fathers and sons discuss mental health it can make a big difference in the lives of both struggling young men and their parents.