God bless astronaut Buzz Aldrin. In his new memoir “Magnificent Isolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon.” Aldrin – the second human to set foot on the moon – candidly lays out his battle with alcoholism and depression. Yes, that’s right. Buzz Aldrin – as manly as manly gets – is dual diagnosed and he is not ashamed.
“For most of the first several weeks after my depression began I could not be consoled. There were days I could not get out of bed Some mornings I responded to the doctor’s questions, other mornings, I ignored his questions and carried on my litany of self-doubt and self-hate. At times I felt hopelessly snarled in the tangle of my mind.”
Neither is former Pittsburgh Steeler’s quarterback Terry Bradshaw, who won FOUR Super Bowls. I interviewed Bradshaw earlier this year: “”How can I play in the Super Bowl and hate every second of it? The weeks following were even worse than that.”
Eric Clapton went public about this alcoholism. Other mentally ill men include Eminem, Adam Duritz (Counting Crows) and Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails). But wait, there’s more: Abraham Lincoln; Billy Joel; Boris Yeltsin; Mike Wallace; Winston Churchill; Drew Carey; Jim Carrey; Harrison Ford; Richard Jeni; Steven Hawking; John Cleese; Marlon Brando; Sting; and Ty Cobb.
Guys, what’s it going to take? Indiana Jones and The Godfather have depression. I I see so many men with depression today. The economy has eviscerated their masculinity. Women turn their depression inward. Men turn it outward: Anger; rage; sarcasm; physical abuse; drinking; drugging; sexual escapades.
Guys, it’s okay. How much more manly can you get than Terry Bradshaw, Ty Cobb and Buzz Aldrin? I have written about men and depression before but it is getting worse. You cannot control what it happening at work so you put a choke hold everyone and everything else in your life. Friends and neighbors tell me how the men in their lives are self-destructing. They tell me the horrible things you say that you cannot possibly mean.
We want to help you. Buzz Aldrin and Terry Bradshaw want to help you. What other men do you need to hear from to convince you that it real men get depression. You are sick, not lame.
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David Bransford MD (July 5, 2009)
From Psych Central's website:
PsychCentral (July 5, 2009)
APAHelpCenter (July 5, 2009)
J. Davis Harte (July 6, 2009)
Last reviewed: 5 Jul 2009