This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
I just took a test. The results came back immediately. I still have no idea if I passed. According to Man Therapy, I'm either 55 percent normal or I'm psychologically unbalanced to the point of running for public office.
I'm not the only one who should take the test. According the Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition, "adult men represented approximately three of every four suicide deaths in Utah last year."
Men apparently have difficulty getting past the stigma of appearing weak when dealing with soul-crushing stuff like divorce, depression, suicidal thoughts, church and table manners.
Using lighthearted humor, the Man Therapy website allows men to give ourselves a quick and private check to see if we need some help in the form of counseling, medication, a Steve McQueen movie, etc.
If you're a guy and can admit to yourself that you have a problem or even if you can't you might want to give the test a try at ManTherapy.org.
In fairness, I should try taking the test without my meds. But that would be a mistake. Just ask every teacher, instructor, boss or supervisor I had prior to 1990, many of whom will plead with you to not reveal their current locations.
Yeah, I take medications for mental health issues. So what? I'm not ashamed of it. In fact, I think it's rather cool. My meds help me cope with people who might otherwise be a pain in the ass. People like, I dunno, Tom Cruise?
Medications help me combat the effects of depression, attention deficit disorder, impulse control and hostility. It took years to not only develop these medications, but to also get the dosages just right. It wasn't easy.
But it was definitely worth it. It enabled me to stretch my boredom toleration from the three seconds it was when I graduated high school to what it is today. I can now sit in a room with overly stuffy people for nearly a quarter of an hour without having to fight off the urge to make them scream or cry.
It was my wife who got me to seek help in the first place and who can also tell immediately when I forget to take my meds. Did I mention the attention-deficit thing?
Me: "That? That was already broken when I got here."
Her: "You didn't go to the pharmacy yesterday, did you?"
It's understandable that some or even most men are reluctant to admit needing help. We think it's unmanly to have issues. The truth is that admitting the need for help is a lot less scary than trying to go it alone and making it worse.
Suicide isn't manly. Neither is drinking ourselves into oblivion. And it's really un-guy to abuse those we're supposed to love and care for.
A real man identifies his problems and bashes the #%@! out of them. And by this I don't mean our bosses, the dumbass in front of us on the freeway, or anyone else getting on our nerves. I mean the stuff in our heads.
So, if you're thinking of doing something really stupid, or if you just can't seem to pick yourself up off the floor, be a man and take the test. It can be the first step in showing you how to get back into the fight constructively.
Robert Kirby can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or facebook.com/stillnotpatbagley.