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cjk { font-family: “Calibri”; font-size: 11pt; }p.ctl { font-family: “DejaVu Sans”; font-size: 11pt; } What’s the first thing that comes intoyour mind when you see a girl crying? Now, what’s the first thingthat enters your thought when you see a boy crying? Different storyey? It’s very stereotypical to judge a guy as weak, fragile,impotent, or even gay when you see him crying. But what if that guyyou just saw crying was in deep pain that the only thing he knew torelieve himself is to cry? That he was the victim, and he just needsome help. I could still remember when I was in elementary school. Iwas always judge as the crybaby of our section, our class even.

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Theyused to call me that because every time I wanted something and I sawthings as not being fair, I tend to cry. But I cry to tell something,a message that I disagree or I rebel to that choice. I was nurturednot to speak up, but do something and since I felt powerless as achild, crying was the only thing I knew. Since then, I learned how tocontrol my emotions and suppress my feelings to cry to avoid judges.

You see, there’s something wrong today with society and how itviews depression, especially for men. Since men are always portrayedstrong, society has set the standard that all men need to be strongand there’s no room for vulnerability. For example, Hollywoodmovies always show that men are supremely strong unless he is with awomen, which is somewhat the only reason men can be vulnerable. Iexperienced this stereotyping when I was a sophomore, when ever I askfor help from my friends and colleagues but they all say the samething, that is to keep it to myself.

It was all agony for me and itlasted for a year. But now I just reflect on it and see that momentas one of my times that I was lost. I have friends, both men andwomen who’ve been in that same situation as I mentioned. But thispeople have different responses for their different personalities andproblems. For example I have a friend, let’s say he’s Bob, andevery time he feels down and under a difficult problem he tends tosing very loud music and curses around to express his pain.

At somepoint he tried to hurt himself but I was able to convince him to stopdoing it. Another friend of my, for anonymity’s sake I’ll namehim Sarah, and she deals with her problem by drawing figures andabstracts that represent her mood. Both of them have different waysof releasing their pain, but Bob is different from Sarah. Sarah isopen to be vulnerable, while Bob is not. Bob prefers to keep tohimself his problems in life instead of turning to a friend andasking for help.

This was a problem for him and for me becausewhenever he tries to opens up with me, sometimes my advice is turneddown and instead he does what he wants and often this leads to himhurting himself more. As a friend, I always aim to help him and myother friends whenever they need help because I know how it feels tobe there. I know what it’s like to face thy problems alone, and Idon’t want that to happen to anyone close to me. Things havechanged, but the system still has not. Now that we live in amillennial era where information is accessible from anywhere and asingle word or phrase could be the meaning of life and death ofsomeone.