Why don’t men seek medical help?

David Banks's picture
Authored by David Banks
Posted Tuesday, August 20, 2019 - 8:53am

According to a survey by Orlando Health hospital, most men don’t go to the doctors because they are “too busy”. Caught up in the rat race, many men claim they do not have the time to go for a check up and avoid the process altogether. But there is one very important thing to remember, men. Health is wealth. 

Of course, you can’t pay your taxes with a healthy, radiant smile (no matter how good-looking you are). But you can certainly feellike a million bucks - even if you don’t have a million bucks in the bank. 

Looking after your health is important. Money and jobs come and go but your body is with you for your entire life, so treat it right. If you find that you are “too busy” to see the doctor for a check up, then the answer is simple: makesome time to see the doctor. You could even tactically book a morning appointment and have a lie-in before work.

Embarrassment

Men often feel too embarrassed to see their GP about certain medical conditions. One condition men are particularly reluctant to talk about is erectile dysfunction (ED). Despite it being very common (a survey by Numanfound that out of 1000 men, 66% had experienced ED at some point in their lives), men usually feel too embarrassed to talk to their GP’s about it.

In fact, 27% of men would rather break up with their partner than talk to their GP about their erectile difficulties. Now, you may think this is extreme, but to some men the idea of opening up to a doctor in this way is mortifying. And can you blame them? We don’t. Here’s why.

Our culture’s prevailing idea of masculinity (otherwise known as “toxic masculinity”) states that men are only deemed “masculine” if they are able and willing to have lots of sex. Thus, if a man is unable to have sex for whatever reason, he is made to feel emasculated for being affected by what is, in fact, a very common condition. No wonder men feel sheepish about talking about their ED, even if it is to a doctor in a private space. 

That’s why men’s wellness brands like Numan are a godsend. Numan knows that many men are embarrassed to talk about their ED, which is why they have set up a supportive  platform to help men discreetly get effective ED treatments

All requests for ED treatments handled online by a registered clinician (which means no embarrassing face-to-face meetings). Once a request is approved the treatment is dispatched in a discreet package to the customer’s door within 48 hours.

If you’re still hesitant to see a doctor, though, just remember: they’ve seen it all before. Nothing you can show them will surprise them (unless, of course, you ride into the surgery on a unicycle whilst juggling stag beetles and Tibetan throat singing) 

Men don’t want to talk about private matters

Men can be a stoic bunch. Perhaps this is down to the cultural influence of toxic masculinity. Perhaps men find some kind of perverse pleasure in gritting their teeth and bearing it. Perhaps it’s both. But whatever the reason, men usually find it hard to admit to themselves (and others) that sometimes, they need help. 

This is what a panel of healthcare experts at the Being a Man festival seemed to think, too. John Chisholm, Chair of the British Medical Association’s Ethics Committee,believes the cultural influence of toxic masculinity is the reason behind why men find it harder to open up. To be frank about your feelings is to risk forfeiting your masculinity, he believes, because men are expected to be “macho” and show no weakness. As a result, men feel uncomfortable asking for help and are reluctant to divulge their true feelings (no matter how painful) because it threatens to compromise their manliness. 

You know what’s more “manly”? Actually having the bravery, courage, and confidence to open up and seek medical help when you need it. That takes real strength. To confront your fears and plunge yourself into the depths of discomfort for the brief moment it takes to say “I need help” - that takes real balls (if you want to ironically use a hyper-masculine metaphor). So if the fear of opening up to your doctor is holding you back from making an appointment, then “man up” and pour your heart out - you’ll probably (actually, almost certainly) feel better for it.