“There’s a stigma in this world that men can’t talk. Listen, if you’re a man and you’ve got weight on your shoulders and you think the only way you can solve it is by killing yourself, please speak to someone.”
After winning his UFC fight against Jordan Leavitt by submission, Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett shocked the whole O2 arena and the world with his post-fight speech:
“I woke up on Friday morning at 4am to a message that one of my friends back home had killed himself. This was five hours before weigh-in. So, Ricky, lad, that’s for you…”
With these words MMA fighter Paddy, shows us a reality which has been avoided for way too long in our society: men’s mental health and suicide.
As we know men’s suicide rates have gone higher through the years, with the last pandemic only making matters worse. We usually think talking about things would not make any difference”, which is wrong.
Why Paddy’s Speech Went Viral…
After the fighter said that, it went viral, and there was a 22% surge in men seeking help (according to the men’s suicide prevention charity, Andy’s Man Club in West Yorkshire, UK).
This shows how just by speaking up, we can help others. Suicide and everything related to death, in general, has been classed as “taboo”, as something cursed that we cannot talk about because “if we do not talk about it, it will disappear”.
Well this ostrich-head-in-the-sand approach backfires pretty badly, because, like it or not, we all have to face our mortality, and death someday.
Like Zygmunt Bauman said in the book “Liquid Times”, we see people for networking purposes only, not as human beings anymore. We only care about the person next to us if we can see some benefit.
Society is Losing Touch with Feelings, Empathy, Love, Friendship and Solidarity
This creates a lonely society where people lose touch with values and feelings like empathy, love, friendship, solidarity, and many more.
Doing Your Part
As a psychology student, as a man, as a person, I want to change this but I know that if we all contribute a little, the result will be imminent, and we can do this simply via the following:
- Let’s speak up! It is time to take responsibility and give back to the world.
- Let’s praise people like Paddy. People with good intentions and good values trying to make things better.
- Share helpful content. All social media platforms are full of negative messages from people criticizing others for no reason at all! Let’s not get wrapped up or involved in that kind of harmful narrative.
- Check in on your friends, ask them how they’re feeling, and how life is going.
- Most importantly, just be good to others. Everyone has their demons, everyone is fighting their battles in their own way and not everybody feels they’re in a position to express themselves.
One of the reasons I am so into this is because I have seen what ignorance and neglect brings to people, my friends and to myself.
I can understand that feeling of being hopeless, perhaps not the depths of despair but also remembering: “Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.” -Gilbert K. Chesterton.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help!
Being open about topics like this one is hard, but if you’re feeling blue, please ask for help! Man, woman, or child, there is no need to be consumed by the demon of ravenous negative emotions. It took me a few years to understand it, but there is always hope even a little bit. We only have to look for it.
We wish the best for Paddy, his family and friends, and everybody in the world that is going through any major mental upheavals at this time. Let’s make a change, for good!