The importance of recognizing sadness in boys

Will Courtenay, PhD Psychotherapist, shares advice for parents on how important it is to recognize sadness in boys since they are typically much more reserved in showing their emotions
Raising Boys | Importance Of Recognizing Sadness In Boys
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The importance of recognizing sadness in boys

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We need to be better at recognizing pain and sadness in boys. The truth is, many of our sons are hurting and suffering emotional pain. We often don't see it or recognize it, until it is too late. That is because there is a myth in our society that boys and men just don't get depressed. That myth is so powerful that even trained mental health clinicians are less likely to diagnose depression in boys, than in woman and girls. We don't see boys pain. Research shows, that parents often misinterpret signs of depression and sadness in boys, as anger. And even when boys do show pain, too often, we say to them, "Big boys don't cry." Boys are more likely than girls to not seek help, and even punished when they do. As a result, boys are not getting the help that they need. In the United States, boys are far more likely than girls, to go without the much needed help for mental health treatment. Tragically, in the United States, four teenage boys commit suicide. Boys account for 8 out of 10 teen suicides. We need to start to recognize that our sons need nurture and support. Help them start to express their pain and their sadness. In doing this, we really need to be clear and specific. Say to them, "It's okay to tell me when you feel sad. It's okay to cry."

Will Courtenay, PhD Psychotherapist, shares advice for parents on how important it is to recognize sadness in boys since they are typically much more reserved in showing their emotions

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Will Courtenay, PhD

Psychotherapist

Dr. Will Courtenay, “The Men’s Doc,” is an internationally recognized expert in helping boys, men and fathers, and a psychotherapist, consultant, distinguished author, researcher, keynote speaker, radio host, and consultant to and speaker at schools and universities. His new book is titled Dying To Be Men. The American Psychological Association calls him, “a leading psychologist in the field of masculinity” and Who’s Who in America calls him a “foremost achiever in his field.” As one of the world’s leading innovators in the health of boys and men, he has a documented history of success in shaping and promoting this new field, as well as new perspectives on fatherhood, boyhood, and masculinity. Dr. Courtenay received his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley and has served on the clinical faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the University of California, San Francisco, Medical School. He is the Founding Editor of the International Journal of Men's Health. Dr. Courtenay is a powerful, effective voice about boys and men, heard nationally on radio and television – including CNN, Good Morning America, World News, Fox News, ABC News, NBC News – and seen in print – including NY Times, LA Times, Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, NPR, Newsweek, USA Today, and Chicago Tribune. Dr. Courtenay is a contributor to Esquire Magazine.

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