Do you wait for Movember to think about men’s health issues?
Stop doing that!
We need to be thinking about men all year long. Especially because we are, by nature, stubborn creatures who tend to downplay the things that concern us. For many men, opening up about things and being honest about what’s on their mind can be one of the most difficult things to do.
There are multiple reasons why men are less likely than women to speak about important issues. One of the big culprits is the fear that admitting something is bothering you will be perceived as a form of weakness.
That garbage needs to stop. Men must be allowed to be vulnerable, and allowed to feel.
Here are some of the most important issues that men don’t like to discuss. If you’re a guy and you are having trouble talking about these things, or if you know a guy who is struggling with one or more of these issues, it is imperative that help is sought.
Your life may depend on it.
Because so many men simply ignore their problems, it can lead to jeopardizing their general health. This is a bigger problem that many people assume, because too many serious health problems are not dealt with and treated until it’s too late.
Get proactive, and get educated! For example, there have been a few major marketing campaigns aiming to raise awareness of prostate cancer. There’s been some great advances in the treatment of this very curable cancer, so there’s no excuse to shy away from an honest conversation about the issue.
The bottom line is, raising awareness and making it acceptable to talk about things is key.
Slowly but surely, men’s mental health is something that is getting ever more attention. However, let’s not forget that there are still many guys who still feel unable to talk about what may be troubling them. Any perceived sign of mental weakness is, for many of us, scarier than the prospect of physical ailments.
Unfortunately, this can all-too-often lead to tragic results: for adult men under 45, suicide is the biggest cause of death. So, when it comes to opening up about mental health problems, the stakes are certainly high.
Problems in the Workplace
The workplace is fraught with potential problems and conflicts. There are so many issues that can arise, from office conflicts to working too much.
Many men in committed relationships still see themselves as needing to be the primary breadwinner, even if they have a partner who works as well. They put tremendous pressure on themselves to earn more than their partner, even going so far as to measure their self-worth based on that metric.
Therefore, men will push themselves very often beyond a healthy work ethic. This puts men very often into a harmful cycle of self-reinforced stress. Things like critical incident management in the workplace can help with stress, of course.
However, men must allow themselves to also use techniques that have been proven to help control stress, such as meditation.
Surprisingly, there’s still a lot of stigma attached to men who want to be involved parents. Many people don’t realize that postnatal depression is something that men can experience, too. About one in ten fathers will struggle with this problem, but many simply don’t have any education on the existence of the condition, so they stay silent. This can have a lasting negative impact not only on themselves, but the family as a whole.
Awareness is the First Step
When confronting these very real male issues, just commit to making the first step of keeping your awareness of their reality sharp. Beyond that, a good bit of acceptance, patience, and self-care are vital to working through the issues and getting help.
You’re not alone on the journey. All men share some or all of these concerns. Start the conversation, and you may be surprised at what you learn about your fellow man, and yourself.
Featured Image Source: Pixabay
I had a roommate once who was a former marine. One day he told me if there was a supposed sad moment in a movie, and it didn’t bring tears to his eyes, then the director didn’t do his job. I decided if a marine allows himself to cry then so can I.
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