We men can be a funny bunch sometimes. Not funny in the “ha-ha” sense, but the way we often clam up when it comes to discussing our physical or mental health issues, instead of being more open and talking about them. Mostly it’s through personal embarrassment, social stigma, or lack of knowledge and ways to approach a certain topic, although that shouldn’t have to be the case these days.
These are two common issues – more common than you might think – which often find men suffering in silence and unwilling to reach out, even though help is at hand, with an increasing willingness to ignore the nonsensical stigmas and taboos attached.
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Hands up if you struggle to get a hard-on… Nobody? Seriously? That right there is part of the reason why Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is often considered a taboo topic of health discussion. Generally speaking, men don’t tend to be so willing to talk about their sexual health issues, preferring to suffer in silence, rather than seek further information or advice that might help.
Psychology Today recently observed that to this day, more than twenty years after Viagra was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States, men of all ages still aren’t willing to open up or admit that ED has affected their lives. Due to the continued stigma and sense of embarrassment attached to ED, this has made providing statistical data troublesome for even the most renowned international health organizations and study groups.
However, with more information available to highlight potential causes of ED, and treatments easily obtained online from discreet pharmacists such as at Many, there is hope that by educating themselves, men will be more willing to open up about their sexual health issues. This brings hope that increasingly, ED and other sexual health issues affecting men can be more easily discussed, without any sense of stigma attached.
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Regrettably and by far the leading taboo of men’s health topics is that of mental illness. Stress, anxiety, depression; they’re something that affect most of us at some point in our lives, yet the willingness to talk about such health issues openly remains problematic for most men. As part of a campaign to encourage more open discussion, Huffington Post ran a series of articles in 2017 which included writers openly sharing their own experiences.
Such campaigns have helped to expose the fact that compared to the discussion of most physical health conditions, social stigma continues to obscure the seriousness of mental health issues. The problem is twofold, because those suffering often hide their condition, or are unwilling to reach out for help, while those around them, including close friends and family, might not know how to react, even if they are made aware.
In 2018, the CDC highlighted alarming figures showing that suicide rates across the United States continue to rise, having now become the tenth leading cause of death amongst Americans. Researchers found that over half of those who committed suicide weren’t known to have being diagnosed with mental health conditions, prior to death. The CDC urgently called for greater awareness throughout society, underlining the importance of mental health awareness, education and openness of discussion.
It’s Good to Talk
The first step towards getting help, whatever the problem, is being willing to talk about it. Nobody should ever suffer in silence or feel alone; whether their issues are physical, mental, or a combination of both in many cases. Sometimes we feel most comfortable sharing our most intimate thoughts with close friends and family, sometimes it’s easier to tell a complete stranger or health professional.
We should never hide our problems and always reach out for help when we need it, because there’s always someone willing to listen and help. Likewise, if we think a friend, family member or work colleague has problems, don’t be afraid to ask and offer an understanding ear. Talking about our issues, whatever they may be, can often make them easier to bear and lead us down the path towards finding the right solutions.
Image Credits: Mental Illness from Srdjan Randjelovic /Shutterstock