#18: Mental Health, Mountains, and how they relate to Men

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As the title suggests, this episode is about mental health and how people like Craig and myself gravitate toward nature to heal and self-soothe. Going deeper than that, we discuss the societal barriers to mental health, the tragedy of Vets suffering from PTSD, increasing suicide rates, and I reveal parts of my own long troubled history with the mental health industry and “sanity”, for lack of a better term.

To give context for how this conversation falls into the scope of Nomad Ramblings, back in Episode 12 we discussed how part of our interest in doing this podcast - which loosely covers topics related to backcountry nomads, travelers, and adventurers - was rooted in the idea that those who experience deep struggle learn valuable lessons that can be applied to pursuit of an unconventional, uncommon life. Brian revealed his own historic, deep struggles and how he uses those lessons today. I strongly encourage all to listen to that episode as well.

Though the episode emphasizes the male experience with mental health challenges (because, well, we’re men), I need to say the obvious, that no demographic takes the prize of being most jacked up, nor is it a competition. My sense is that, culturally and from a personal level, we need to shift our perceptions about and how we address mental health. By no means do I purport to have the answers, but I’m no longer shying away from regularly talking about the challenge. I’m all in.

Internet articles referenced in this episode:

Researchers to explore hiking benefits for Veterans

Suicide rates rise sharply across the United States