By Dr. Raymond Zakhari
There was a time when most men would not go see a psychiatrist. It was better to suck it up and have a drink. Many of those same men have come to realize that strategy stops working. They may bounce from one vice to another trying to fill the void. A void that they cannot explain. Men’s issues psychiatry helps men with common conditions that have not made their way into the psychiatry bible of approved psychiatric disorders.
Issues such as insecurity, guilt, shame, inferiority complex, and father hunger are not official psychiatric diagnoses. However, these issues affect the quality of daily life. Men use sex, drugs, alcohol, gambling, video games, pornography, and over working to numb the reality and pain of these issues. Then these behaviors become habits and stay long after they have served their usefulness. These behaviors often become compounded problems. Society tells men as long as they are earning they are fine.
Father hunger is the emotional distress felt due to a perceived as absent father figure growing up. The father may have been physically present but emotionally unavailable. The father did not validate or affirm his boy growing up. The father may have also failed to protect the boy from ongoing abuse, and neglect. Worse, perhaps even physically abused, neglected, or exploited the boy through the formative years.
Any abuser worth a damn does not let the victim know he is being abused. Oftentimes victims of abuse and neglect are not aware it is happening. They see the treatment they received as normal (because there was no frame of reference at the time). When they boy grows up he may feel shame and guilt. He assumes responsibility for the abuse. He may tell himself “dad did the best he could do.” He may assume he is stronger for having survived it especially if he is very successful in his present career.
Men with father hunger, also known as father deficit, may struggle with body insecurity, sexual orientation, inferiority complex, loneliness, or insatiability. Did your father walk out on you? Did your mother take the kids and leave? Did your parents’ divorce and each get a new partner and start other families? Were you left feeling powerless and fending for yourself?
In therapy, men will grieve their fatherless situation. Men will grow from abandonment, abuse, and neglect. You will learn how to establish boundaries and make wise choices. Are you ready to reduce your guilt, shame, and insecurity? Are you tired of repeating the same behavior expecting a different result? Do you want to be different from your own father for your son? Time to make a difficult decision that will change your trajectory. Time to stop making excuses and start living a good life. Now, a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner can come to your home and provide you the compassionate confidential care you need.