Game of Thrones star Kit Harington has reportedly checked into a wellness retreat to deal with "personal issues," after the blockbuster series recently came to an end. His agent said that "Kit has decided to utilise this break in his schedule as an opportunity to spend some time at a wellness retreat to work on some personal issues".
Harington, who played Jon Snow throughout the show's eight-year run, has spoken openly in the past about his struggles dealing with fame, and the emotional adjustment he was forced to make after the conclusion of the hit series.
I couldn’t be more impressed or delighted to hear this and although I have no connection to the actor whatsoever, I am deeply encouraged to hear of a young man, taking an informed decision to practice some essential self-care and invest in his future. I take my hat off to him.
We men don’t do half enough of it because there is still an astounding volume of stigmatisation, wrongly, I may add, surrounding men who dare to talk about their mental struggles. As we get to the end of Mental Health Awareness Month this May, I hope that seeing Kit Harington practice some self-care, might just begin to help in changing that.
Statistics suggest that 10% of men experience depression on a daily basis. “Daily”. That’s millions of men. Even if we are depressed or anxious, we rarely admit that’s the culprit - instead, we lie and say we’re tired or just out of sorts. We retreat from friends & family and instead, we use numbing substances or techniques to hide from our pain.
Male suicide is rising at such an alarming rate that it’s been classified as a “silent epidemic.” It’s the seventh leading cause of death for males. That’s a staggering statistic. This macho attitude of stuffing our feelings down, or ignoring them, is antiquated and downright dangerous- our macho male hormones are literally killing us - and that has to stop.
The huge and ongoing stigma for men is to “never be seen as weak” and, again wrongly, seeking support or going to therapy, gets enmeshed in this out of date “weak” stigma.
And it’s rubbish.
I have seen many men thrive through therapy and they have all been brave, courageous, strong and honest. They CERTAINLY weren’t weak. They simply needed some support and a fresh pair of eyes - and we ALL need that from time to time - and we need to start seeing it as the normality that it is.
Chaps - we’ve just got the strong / weak thing back to front!
Flip it. Make a new choice. You won’t regret it.