SAN ANTONIO - Having good mental health is just as important as having good physical health. But often times it is hard for men to admit they need help getting better.
John Garcia, 57, said he hasn't always had good mental health.
"I've had anxiety all my life all my life. Even as a kid I couldn't sit still. I always had to be doing something." Garcia said.
One of the ways he tried to deal with it was through self-medication including alcohol.
"I liked the way I felt. No responsibilities. No thought. Anything. Just becoming numb I guess." Garcia said.
In 1989 Garcia started attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
He stayed sober for 12 years but then relapsed.
"Out of stupidity I started drinking O'Doul's beer and then it progressed into regular beer, then it progressed to whiskey, and I was back in the same boat."O'Doul's beer and then it progressed into regular beer, then it progressed to whiskey, and I was back in the same boat." Garcia said.
What he considered to be his rock bottom came next.
"One time I remember I was sitting in jail and they lent me the hair clippers and I thought of filling the sink with water and just dropping that in there and electrocuting myself," Garcia said.
Dr. Christopher Wallace, a psychiatrist with the University Health System added, "If you lose hope in living at all that is very severe and a very profound and needs quick intervention."
Garcia got that intervention with the help of a therapist.
"She taught me how to cope with life and deal with problems and things of that nature and that was wonderful," Garcia said.
His spirituality also played a big part. "First and foremost I use my spirituality. He controls every move I make. He controls every breath I take," Garcia said.
He urges all men that may have any questions about their mental health to take it seriously.
"Look beyond the fear and take care of yourself because the individual is number one if he or she doesn't take care of them self they are no good they are just broken," Garcia said.
For more men's health information call 210-358-3045. You can also find the rest of our Real Men Wear Gowns stories, just go to wearthegown.com.
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