I just learned about an article in the recent (Jan-Feb 2012) issue of Men’s Health Magazine that rates San Jose as the nation’s 4th best city (out of 100) for men in 2012. In looking at 35 different categories, the magazine chose to focus on the mental health of our area, saying “Rates of sadness and hopelessness are exceptionally low in this Silicon Valley city, according to CDC data.”
I think this is encouraging news. Over the years I’ve been practicing, I’ve seen many men in the Silicon Valley who have suffered with depression over the loss of jobs. Searching for another job at times has been disappointing, and quite often has caused marital discord.
Another local psychologist quoted in the article states that because the area is so progressive, there isn’t as great a stigma attached to seeing a therapist. Reaching out for help when feeling low, has helped to bring a sense of hope. Men’s Health goes on to suggest that those going for therapy should initially set an external goal rather than an emotional one. This means, start your therapy with a goal to find ways to improve your marriage, or finding new ways to search for a job, or help in finding support groups or resources. Therapy is a good place to learn how to communicate your thoughts and feelings to your spouse and family that will not drive them away, but to gain support and encouragement.
Dr. Judith Needham-Penrose PhD, LMFT