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Invisible Men: Men's Inner Lives and the Consequences of Silence (English Edition) Kindle电子书
Award-winning research psychologist Michael E. Addis identifies and provides answers surrounding the long-unspoken epidemic of silence and vulnerability in men
Drawing on scientific research, as well as his own personal and clinical experience, award-winning research psychologist Michael E. Addis describes in this book an epidemic of personal, relational, and societal problems that are caused by the widespread invisibility of men's vulnerabilities. From increasing rates of suicide among men, to alcohol abuse, to violence and school shootings, his research reveals the continued cost of staying silent when emotional, physical, or spiritual pain enters men's lives.
In the spirit of such bestsellers as William Pollack's Real Boys, Addis identifies the specific problems that result from men's silence and invisibility, what causes them, and how they can be changed. Addis provides readers with compelling stories of the causes and consequences of silence and invisibility in real men's lives. Invisible Men shows both male and female readers how they can break through the gauntlets that appear to protect men, but in reality cause severe harm to men, women, and families.
Invisible Men … Who Are You Kidding?!
The title of this book may make you wonder, "Invisible men … who are you kidding?" Everywhere we look we see men's lives. On television, in sports, in politics, at work, and at home, men are anything but invisible. At the same time, most men's inner lives remain hidden from others and often from themselves. For centuries, men have been taught that their uncertainty, their pain, and their fear are not for public consumption; how a man really feels about his marriage, his job, his child's sickness, or himself should be kept extremely close to the vest, except under the most unusual circumstances. The bottom line is that a man's masculinity is measured in large part by his ability to make his public accomplishments widely seen and heard, while keeping his inner life silent and invisible.
This book is about the wide range of problems created by the silence and invisibility that often surround men's inner lives. These problems affect not only men but also women, children, communities, and our increasingly global society. To some degree, the feminist revolution of the 1960s and '70s raised our awareness of the damaging effects of traditional masculine roles. Yet despite this awareness, very little has changed; when emotions are running high, many men still leave the house, go on long walks, or head to the nearest bar; wives still implore men to talk about their feelings, only to be told "not now," "later," and "this is not the time."
The expectation remains that men should not get sad. They should get angry, watch sports, or drink, but they should not share their feelings. Research shows that many men who experience depression and anxiety have tremendous difficulty seeking help. For most men, admitting that they are suffering internally is more difficult than admitting that they are an alcoholic or a drug addict. After all, it is more socially acceptable for a man to be a "drunk" or a "grouch" than to suffer from what society deems a "women's issue." Thus their inner lives remain silent.
For this, men pay heavily. Recent studies have shown that conforming to traditional gender roles predicts aspects of men's functioning as diverse as a decreased sense of well-being following prostate cancer surgery, lower levels of health-promoting behaviors, higher levels of health risk behaviors, and higher levels of drug and alcohol abuse. Men still die five to seven years younger than women, and they far surpass women in rates of substance abuse, anger, aggression, and violent crime. Recent estimates suggest that 6 to 8 percent of men will suffer an episode of major depression in a given year, and 13 to 19 percent will experience a major anxiety attack. Although women are twice as likely as men to attempt suicide, men are four times as likely as women to actually take their own lives.1,2,3 It is quite likely that these problems will grow worse in the coming years unless something is done to break the shroud of silence that surrounds men's vulnerability and pain.
ENTERING THE TERRITORY
I have spent the last ten years researching, writing, and talking to men about the problems in their lives. All of this work has convinced me of two things. First, men have a lot going on underneath the surface. Second, under the right conditions almost all men are interested in sharing what they are experiencing. This happens much more easily when both men and women understand how the silence and invisibility that surround men's inner lives operate.
Once you begin to open your eyes you can see the pain in men's lives everywhere you look. Sometimes it exists on a grand scale. Witness, for example, the increasing rates of suicide among returning veterans from the Gulf wars.4,5 Other times, it occurs more locally, and the veil over men's pain is considerably more subtle. The following story illustrates just how common it has become to ignore the realities of men's lives.
I recently stopped by the local coffee shop near our university and ran into one of the staff members. I knew him reasonably well. We'd exchanged greetings and had brief conversations about the Red Sox every so often for over ten years. On this particular day our conversation went like this:
"How's it going?" he asks.
"Fine," I say. "How about you?"
"Can't complain," he says. "Work is work. You know?"
Then he grinned with that familiar mixture of 70 percent suppressed anger, 20 percent irony, and 10 percent real visible pain. Of course, being a psychologist, and being interested in men's well-being, I tune in to the anger and the pain immediately. But being a man, I know my options for how to respond are very limited. I certainly am not supposed to acknowledge his inner pain directly. I am not going to say something like "You seem really stressed; how are you doing?" We simply do not go there. So instead our interaction goes this way:
"Yep. I hear you," I say. "Friday can't come soon enough."
"Oh, yeah," he replies. "I'll be heading out on my boat and knocking back a few."
I say, "Sounds good to me. Have a great weekend."
"Yep. You too," he says.
On one level, this seems like a pretty normal casual conversation between two men. And you may be asking yourself why I am making such a big deal out of it. After all, you are not going to dump an enormous load of personal information on another guy whenever he says, "How's it going?" especially in a coffee shop. Plus, guys do not talk about that stuff. Everyone knows that; it is one of the great gender truths.
But here's the thing. Although I do not know this guy well, I know him well enough to know that he has two young kids in school, one of whom has a severe learning disability. I know that he struggles financially and that the boat is probably an excess he really can't afford. I can tell from the way he walks that he has back trouble that must cause him chronic pain in his line of work. I know all of this because over time I have paid attention to subtle cues, and I have asked the periodic personal question. I know that when he says "I am fine," that's a way of saying "I have not lost it. I am still competent. I am holding it together." And when he says "I can't complain," that's a way of saying "What am I going to do about the pain in my life? You take what life gives you."
Here's what I think is going on. Millions of men are silently struggling on the inside, and they do not have a way of talking about it. Millions of men and women are aware that something may be wrong with the men they know and care about, but they do not know how to talk with men about it. As a result, we've all tacitly agreed that "Doing fine. Can't complain" is one of the few appropriate responses to the question "How's it going?"
THE FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION
How can men, as a group, be so audible, so visible, and in such positions of power in society, and yet, as individuals, feel so disempowered and experience vulnerability and inner pain that remain silent and invisible?
This book is concerned with answering that fundamental question. The more you can understand about the causes of men's hidden suffering, the more you will be empowered to do something about it. The time has clearly come to take action. The first step is actually seeing and hearing the pain that so many men keep silent and invisible.
FRAGILE VERSUS BRITTLE
In 1988 I went to graduate school at the University of Washington to work with Marsha Linehan, Ph.D. At that time Marsha was one of the very few clinical researchers in the world studying the causes and treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). BPD is a severe disorder that affects a person's mood, his or her relationships with others, self-esteem, and many other parts of life. Marsha has theorized that the core problem in BPD is difficulty in regulating emotions and that many of the additional problems (e.g., frequent attempts at suicide or other forms of self-injury) are attempts to cope with emotions that are experienced as more severe and out of control.
Over the years I became more and more interested in the psychology of men, and Marsha and I lost touch. However, a few years ago our paths crossed again. Apparently Marsha had begun working with people who met criteria for BPD and were also chronic drug or alcohol abusers. It turns out that a greater percentage of these people are men (compared to those who have BPD but do not abuse drugs and alcohol). Marsha got in touch because she had heard about my work in the psychology of men. We got to talking, and I ended up inviting Marsha to give a lecture to a recently formed special interest group from the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT.org) on men's mental and physical health. Marsha said she would be happy to give a lecture, but she was concerned that she really did not know that much about the psychology of men. "That's OK," I reassured her, "just be yourself, and it will be great." I was confident of this because Marsha is known as an incredibly creative thinker with a tremendous amount of natural intuition about human suffering.
Marsha came to the meeting and spoke to a packed audience about her experiences working with men. During the question-and-answer part of her lecture, one audience member asked, "If you had to say one thing about the difference between men and women with BPD, what would it be?" Like all good scientists, Marsha was reluctant to generalize too much without sufficient data to back her up. But she eventually succumbed to the pressure to identify a difference between men and women, and she said: "In my experience, women with BPD come across as very fragile. There's something about them that seems like they are barely holding it together beneath the surface and they really need my help. The men seem less fragile and more brittle. I am not sure what that difference is exactly. But with the men it seems like if you reach out and touch them (metaphorically speaking) they...--此文字指其他 kindle_edition 版本。
- ASIN : B005BORGIO
- 出版社 : Times Books; 第 1st 版 (2011年12月20日)
- 出版日期 : 2011年12月20日
- 语言 : 英语
- 文件大小 : 894 KB
- 标准语音朗读 : 已启用
- X-Ray : 未启用
- 生词提示功能 : 已启用
- 纸书页数 : 300页
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The book itself came packaged well, very quickly and in pristine condition! Happy customer.
In general, this book is more about raising awareness of traditional and/or contemporary communication and habits of men (or the lack thereof) than it is about developing solutions to the problems presented. Stereotypical male relationships are also presented, be it father-son, peer-to-peer, or husband-wife. There are more questions posed than answers, and there are many vignettes and stories about the real-life struggles of men, many of which have no positive outcome, if any resolution at all. In that sense, the book is very authentic.
One thing that I found very disappointing early in the book, however, was the red herring of evolution. Although I was not surprised to see it thrown in, considering a book of this nature, the connection to the rest of the material was, at best, weak, and at worst, a catch-all to assert a worldview that had nothing to do, directly, with the rest of the material. If anything, it was a distraction. The author even states that there are "major obstacles to finding any conclusive scientific evidence in support of an evolutionary perspective," and that "evolutionary psychologists must always interpret what MAY HAVE BEEN THE CASE (emphasis not mine) in the past, and use that to make sense out of what they see in current human behavior." The book could have been stronger without the off-topic speculation.
With that said, there was much more credibility to the book in terms of observational psychology. Men, as a general rule, are reluctant to talk about their health, be it physical, emotional, or mental. I believe that much of the difficulty in this was thoroughly covered by the author, and the accuracy of his descriptions were somewhat overwhelming. For middle-aged men, in particular, some of these struggles can have a negative impact on quality of life and in some cases these struggles can be life-threatening.
There is a great emphasis throughout the book on the importance of men seeking help through their personal friendships (which can be awkward, if not embarrassing because of societal norms) or through professional counselors (which can also be difficult because of the social stigma). The author puts it best with these words: "If you have been encouraged all your life to keep your emotions under control, to handle problems on your own, and to avoid making yourself vulnerable to others, particularly other men, probably the last thing you want to do when life gets difficult is discuss your most private thoughts and feelings with a stranger... [However]... I am an advocate for men using mental health services, while recognizing and accepting that doing so can be enormously difficult for some men--especially when life is already throwing them curveballs and their confidence and self-esteem are shaken... For many people, disclosing their real selves to others requires tremendous courage and self-discipline. For many men, in particular, talking to others is anything but 'giving up,' 'copping out,' or 'being dependent.' Rather, it is a courageous first step in taking control over their own situation."
In summary, although this book does not / will not answer all of your questions about your own struggles, that is not the nature or purpose of the book. At the risk of sounding cliché, this book is intended to "help raise awareness" of the need for improved access to mental health opportunities for men. That awareness should then lead to recognizing what the hurdles are to opening up and seeking help so that the reader can understand that their own struggles are not unique and that it is okay to ask for help.