Men, what do you like to talk about when you are out and about with your fellow males? Do you steer clear of certain topics? We can’t see many all-male groups supping a pint and having a lively debate about the benefits of multivitamin tablets.
Do you bemoan the state of the roads? Perhaps you debate what the hell the UK is going to do about the Brexit debacle, or get excited over the latest gadget that will cost you the earth (but will be worth it). Some topics are easier on the ears than others – and often male health issues can be left off the list. After all who wants to squirm in their seat as their friends ask them if they too suffer from erection problems? Generic Cialis for men is surely not something that can be talked about in the pub at lunchtime?
It’s odd in some ways – we can splash our entire lives over the pages of social media but can’t open up about the things that are having a massive impact on our day to day existence. It could be that we are all fixated by sharing the good, highlighting our very own “best bits” and editing out the bad.
We forget that our closest friends and family can take us as we are, warts and all – they don’t want to see us as perfect because deep down they’re flawed too. Be it a weakness for cream cakes (when you’re dieting), smoking a couple of clandestine fags each day (when you have apparently given up), issues with depression that are weighing you down, or a problem in the bedroom that is diminishing your sex life – no-one is truly perfect (and if they think they are they are quite possibly deluded)!
Why Are Male Health Issues So Taboo?
Some males (and females for that matter) really aren’t keen on sharing their health problems with others. Day to day health niggles seems fine to discuss – a chat about how your knee keeps aching or the terrible migraines you suffer from doesn’t seem too personal for general discussion.
However, branch into certain topics and it cannot only be difficult to open up to those you know well but it can also cause hesitation when it comes to visiting a GP or a health professional.
Men, in particular, seem to put off going to the docs (I don’t need to go / I don’t have time to book an appointment / it’ll blow over / I don’t want to waste their time / it’s not that bad, I’m fine really). Recognise any of these classic excuses? If so then it’s time to man up (excuse the pun)! So, without further ado let’s explore a few of the male health facts and issues that are staring us in the face (but we sometimes choose to ignore):
Struggling to get or maintain an erection? You are not alone, this common problem effects men from all walks of life (not just more mature males). Erectile dysfunction (ED) can be down to many things including stress, tiredness, side-effects of medication or a medical issue. ED can also indicate underlying health issues that might require urgent attention.
It’s worrying that some males can’t bring themselves to address the issue, GP’s have heard it all before and they can offer help that may alleviate the problem. There are plenty of proven treatments including medication and psychological intervention. The first step is to accept there is a problem, then to talk about it with a partner – after that, it’s time to seek support and treatment, so you can get your sex life back on track.
Feeling down? We all have our off days, but when you start to notice that the bad days outnumber the good it’s time to take action. If you are withdrawing from friends and family or experiencing regular mood swings, changes to eating and sleeping habits or dark thoughts you need to take a moment for yourself and resolve to seek help. This isn’t easy, there’s still a stigma attached to mental health problems, but there’s nothing to be ashamed of. It’s best to get support for letting your life slip by because you are too anxious to get out and live.
Lack of support can often send people spiraling down when you are in a dark place you often put yourself down, feel bad about yourself and can’t see a way out. That’s why it’s important to reach out. If you allow yourself to stay there, in the dark, you will continue to feel as if the exit is closed off. There is a way out – talk to someone.
It’s a sobering fact that suicide is the leading cause of death in young men age 20-34 years in the UK. It’s a scary thought that life can so often be ended before it’s really begun.
Do you dribble urine after visiting the loo? This could be nothing to worry about, but it could be a symptom of prostate cancer. For some, even a mention of the big “C” can send them into a flat spin. This is exactly WHY you need to visit a GP, to rule out any serious issue and get to the crux of the matter. Worst-case scenario? It could be something more sinister, in which case you are on the ball and getting it sorted out at the earliest opportunity.
Incidentally, a rather interesting study has been carried out which states that more sex can reduce the chance of contracting prostate cancer – with the conclusion being that ejaculation is a great way to rid toxins from the body.
Lumps and bumps (particularly up the bottom) are unpleasant and not something you want to advertise. It could be down to Haemorrhoids, also known as piles. These are swellings that contain enlarged blood vessels. They are found inside or around the anus and rectum. You might have piles if you have noticed bleeding or mucus after going for a number two, your bottom is itching, or if you can feel a lump, swelling or soreness.
Whether you have piled on the pounds or have always struggled with your weight, you know deep down that obesity is a huge problem. You might joke about being the person that’s eating all the pies but here’s a fact that isn’t funny – obesity can lead to cancer, heart problems, and diabetes. It can also affect your life in other ways, you might start to feel self-conscious and depressed (which in turn can lead to binge eating and even more weight gain).
It can be hard to admit (to yourself, let alone everyone else) that you have an addiction. We often use things to help us to feel better or calm ourselves down. However, if you feel that you are cannot cope without your “remedy” you could be suffering from an addiction – in fact, 1 in 3 of us are. There are a number of common addictions including drugs, alcohol, nicotine, and gambling – being the four that stand out. There are others that also affect people such as an addiction to the internet, solvents, shopping and even work! (Yep, some people can’t get enough of it and push themselves beyond exhaustion). It’s important to remember that treatment is available for you – despite feeling like you cannot control what you are doing. Taking that first step and telling someone what’s going on is a must if you want to get out of the hole you are in. Just reach out. (See also: Managing Expectations for a Loved One’s Addiction Recovery)
Be a Man About It
What exactly does it mean to “be a man about it.” Does being a man about it mean ignoring problems until they go away, tire you out or send you to an early grave? Does being a man about it mean not telling someone if you are hurt, ill or struggling? Does being a man about mean that you joke about your anguish or write yourself off as no good? No, being a man about it means getting up and doing something about your worries, fears, ailments, and problems. You deserve help and support just like everyone else and guess what? There is nothing to be ashamed about if you need to ask for that help. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone and you might find the health niggle that’s been blighting your life could be sorted out in no time at all.