Our full review
This book is part memoir, part self-help and partly an investigation of the issues around men’s mental health. Taking a cue from his life in journalism – following public trends, and popular culture – Braddock looks at how men are portrayed in the media (how they are supposed to be); how mental illness is depicted (and how it is so different from the ugly reality); and why it ends up being so difficult to ask for help. Maybe, he suggests, we are afraid to feel vulnerable, we don’t want to seem weak, maybe we don’t know who to ask, we fear being laughed at, or maybe we don’t even know what the problem is to ask anyone. This latter point, he identifies, is a bigger problem than we might think. A lack of language around mental illness is really the huge stumbling block when it comes to asking for help at the right time, and why so many people reach a crisis point before they are able to say, ‘I need help’.
But the majority of this book is also a retelling of Kevin’s own experience – going from high-flying, partying, living-life journalist to a man on the edge posting on Facebook one day, ‘I need help’. He is very clear that his experience is just that – a personal story – and he makes no attempt to tell anyone else what their story should be – but he does share things that he has learned along the way in the hope of being a light in the dark for those who are suffering. He recommends eating, drinking, moving, accepting, and talks about how these things have helped him. He also talks about practical things like therapy and medication – what these things can and can’t do, and where they might help.
We recommend this book for those struggling with anxiety or depression who may not know where to turn.