When it comes to the topic of mental health, a lot of men struggle to talk about their experiences. Suicide has become the biggest killer of men under 45 and the only way to destigmatise the subject is to speak about it openly. Superhero Mentality focuses on a comic character with mental health issues and examines their coping strategies.
Even superheroes like Mister Miracle aren’t immune to suicidal thoughts. Raised in a hyper-masculine and violent society, Scott Free spent his whole life trying to escape. He fled to Earth, created a new identity for himself and married a good woman, but it wasn’t enough to stop his depression. He tried to kill himself by slitting his wrists. Eventually, Scott managed to get his life back on track by finding a routine that worked for him.
Spending time with Big Barda
Big Barda is the representation of everything that Scott sees as good and beautiful in the world. She stood by him at his lowest point, helping him work through his depression one step at a time.
Mister Miracle and Barda went through similar experiences on Apokolips. Both were tortured by Granny Goodness until they found their way to each other and managed to escape to Earth. Their relationship might not have been perfect, but they learned to love each other. With his wife’s support, Mister Miracle was able to get over his suicide attempt.
Mister Miracle’s favourite meal is a veggie tray packed with healthy ingredients like carrots, peas and cauliflower. I can imagine vegetables being Scott’s comfort food and him snacking on them whenever he wants to improve his mood.
In addition to the physical health benefits, vegetables can help to improve mental health. A recent UK study found that those who were eating more fruit and vegetables admitted to having positive feelings about their lives.
Being out in nature
Whenever Scott is feeling low, I picture him getting out of the house and taking a stroll through nature. One of his favourite pastimes involves going to a park in Los Angeles and sitting by the lake. Watching the water helps to clear his mind of negative thoughts.
Ecotherapy is one of the most diverse forms of mental health treatment. People connect with nature through activities such as walking, gardening and crafting art out of natural materials.
Mister Miracle’s evening routine involves driving out to the hills of LA and watching the stars shine over the city. Stargazing allows him to focus on the small pleasures of life.
According to research, drinking wine in moderation can reduce stress and improve brain health. Mister Miracle’s beverage of choice is called Bonewine, a concoction brewed from fermented bone marrow and blood. An acquired taste for sure!
Being a dad
An important part of Scott’s routine is spending time with his son, Jake. He and Barda named their child after Jacob’s Ladder, a biblical construct that was meant to lead to Heaven. Like any good dad, Mister Miracle is extremely protective of his son. One of his favourite activities is to sing lullabies until Jake falls asleep.
Becoming a father changed Scott’s perception on dealing with depression. He recognised Jake as his second chance and learned to be strong for his loved ones.
Mister Miracle proves that depression affects men of all ages and that having suicidal tendencies isn’t a sign of weakness. He was able to move past his struggles and start a family with the love of his life. It takes great strength to admit you have a problem and commit to making a positive change.
(This article was inspired by the Shining A Light On Suicide campaign. The initiative aims to break down the stigma of suicide and help those who are suffering. Please spread the word on Twitter with the hashtag #shiningalightonsuicide)