When it comes to men’s health, many medical professionals will tell you that there’s a huge problem with men, especially of a certain age, refusing to be checked out for problems they may be suffering from, shrugging off issues they’re dealing with, and minimizing problems. Of course women can do this too, but on average, the statistics show that men are much less likely to communicate a health issue or the need to be looked at.
This is especially true in areas such as mental health, where men tend to bottle up and stop talking about it for fear of seeming weak. Of course, that impression is anything but the truth. Tyson Fury, the British heavyweight boxing champion of the world, has been thoroughly open about his struggles with mental health and addictions in his past. Prince William, a British royal with perhaps some of the most upcoming responsibility on his shoulders out of any royal, constantly promotes the conversation around men’s mental health too. These are two men at the top of their respective fields, reinforcing the norms that a man’s vulnerability is nothing to be ashamed of.
However, that work will never be complete unless all men find this appropriate, too. In this topic, we’ll discuss a few means by which men can lessen the harmful effects of ‘health pride,’ and make a difference in their communities:
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Communication is key. The more that communication is normalized, the more that we don’t have to worry about men feeling that bottling up is the most ‘masculine thing to do.’ This shift in optics can make a massive difference. Showing someone that there’s no shame or weakness in being vulnerable might sound contradictory on the surface, but when you do express yourself, you feel so much more powerful from doing so. The proof is in the pudding. For this reason, communication should be encouraged.
Laugh About It, But Don’t Make A Joke Of Everything
Of course, our bodies are strange, and funny, and can have quite strange comic humor sometimes. There’s no shame in laughing about a small problem you might have with your private parts or rear end, for instance. That said, it’s important that men can define the line between quizzical humor and knowing when a joke is being used to shield away from a proper conversation. If guys can more easily define that line and encourage others to do the same, then the best of both worlds can be had.
Find Strength In Being Honest
There’s strength in being honest and opening up. That first sentence such as ‘I need help,’ or ‘I’ve never recovered from this injury and need to speak to a Chiropractor ASAP,’ all of this can make a massive difference in how open you feel, without fear of being judged ever. It’s quite an achievement to feel as though you can speak like this, and so men should encourage their male (and female) friends to do that, and to ask about them when they notice something is wrong. This way, we can all keep each other accountable to ourselves.
With this advice, we hope any men reading this can understand the value in opening up if they rarely do. It might just save your life, or the life of a friend.