It is no secret to the people of Jamaica that men often take a back seat where health is concerned. A significant number of males in our society prefer to diagnose and remedy themselves in the comfort of their own homes. Our Jamaican culture was built on extensive use of naturally grown herbs, spices and trees to combat illnesses of the body. Because, you all know it. Come on, let me hear it…
Jamaica: The Land of Wood and Water!
Riigghtt, there we go!
We all know that one cup of ‘Bush Tea’ can cure all aches and pains– That is our way of life. But what about other internal health issues? What about the pain, hurt, and trauma that cannot be removed once you ‘buss di gas’? What about– mental health?
Whilst there are some males who are open to showing their emotions and saying how they feel, a majority of men are often very reluctant to share what they are going through, as a means of releasing their anger, pain or sadness. For many males, seeking therapy is far from their options due to several reasons:
- lack of knowledge about therapy
- view therapy as feminine
- view it as a waste of money
- misunderstanding of the objectives during therapy.
Simply put, they do not view therapy as a channel that can lead to mental transformation or even that is worthwhile, but men need to seek bumboclaat therapy and dash weh di stigma!
Furthermore, a lot of their perspectives stem from socialization because people will list them as weak, effeminate, stupid, and in Jamaican terms ‘maama man’. Emotional wealth is sadly not appreciated and applauded for the men in our society but this is what our campaign is about; re-writing the narrative of how men should express themselves, instead of carrying the burden of being ‘firm ina the Gideon’.
It is not acceptable for half of our population to be for therapy, while the other is against—or even, not know about it! Many a time we witness how men bottle- up their emotions and allow them to manifest unfavourably. To their detriment and others, their frustration is displayed through neglect of their responsibilities, withdrawal from their families or social activities, increase in substance abuse, and even violence. These are more than enough reasons why men should seek bumboclaat therapy and dash weh di stigma! But why are they so afraid of talking out this anger… of discussing their feelings with someone… of seeking help… why?
As aforementioned, socialization has had a great impact on the under-development of men’s emotional intelligence. They prefer to be seen as rough and masculine because it makes them seem more dominant over their peers and loved ones. As an extension, such toxic masculinity may even make them seem to integrate better with their peers when the behaviour is displayed. Truth be told, this is learned behaviour.
Our men are capable of so many great things and this is shown in the lives of those who have decided to seek bumboclaat therapy an dash weh di stigma. Newsflash! Cerassee and garlic tea can’t fix everything. What better treatment for an emotional problem than interpersonal assistance? This is the role of therapy. No amount of trees or liquid can substitute for an experienced listener, an expert in problem-solving, a savant in emotional health and wellbeing—more than a therapist. Other alternatives may provide temporary relief of the trauma, but getting the help you need from a trained professional has long-term benefits that can positively transform your life.
Now is the opportune time to sit down and pencil things out, since we’re all inside. Let me walk you through it:
“Big man doh cry”
“Man fi wul it”
“Man afi firm ina the Gideon”
“Big man nuffi love chat”
Does any of those sound familiar?
Great, I know it does.
Now let me give you a solution…
Dash Weh Di Stigma!
Those type of mindsets are holding you back. How about you try:
“I am not having a good day so I will talk it out”
“Jah Know bredda, yuh seh sumn to me the other day and me neva rate dat”
“I’ve been dealing with this problem for a while now, let me get a therapist”
“Yow, yuh coulda show likkle more respect when me hail yuh”
Don’t those sound a lot less abrasive?
Of course, it does!
Now, for the parents and relatives who are involved in the development of your sons, let us actively try to eradicate the notion that boys should not be emotional. Whatever they learn in their primary years is what they will demonstrate in adulthood. ‘Showing no emotion’ as an adult is a great contributor to the trauma that men experience. Allow them to cry. Allow them to feel. Allow them to express themselves. And don’t wait until they become men to talk to them about their problems. Be the listening ear now!
And, man dem, if you didn’t get that opportunity as a child, that’s okay. You are old enough to understand now, so seek bumboclaat therapy and dash weh di stigma!