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Expectations of masculinity inhibit men from seeking help

In honor of “Movember”—the global movement that raises awareness for men’s health, men around the world grow mustaches during the month of November. The cause is specifically geared toward shedding light on little-discussed health conditions, the stigma of men’s mental health issues, and the fact that men are dying too young. According to the WHO, “more men than women under the age of 44 die prematurely in all the 44 countries…And in many cases the causes of the early deaths are avoidable.”

Movember was originally founded as a way to raise awareness for prostate cancer, an illness that 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with in their lifetime. Since then, the movement has expanded to include testicular cancer, men’s mental health and suicide prevention—and other topics that are difficult for men to talk about. 

In a poll of 150+ global Sermo physicians, 79% said they have witnessed the difficulty that men have opening up and discussing health issues; 73% have seen men die prematurely from preventable causes; and 83% said the general lack of emotional vulnerability and openness—largely due to societal expectations of masculinity—inhibit men from seeking necessary help and doctor’s appointments. 

Eighty-eight percent of Sermo physicians said it is time we remove the stigma from men’s mental health issues. 

Here’s more of what Sermo doctors have to say on this topic:

I believe that people must be made aware that diseases in man are widely preventable.

Neurosurgery

Increased awareness of male premature death and why male patients think they are unbreakable, despite signs and clinical symptoms.

Diabetology

When we can examine health records from different societies; it always appear women live longer than men. There have been many reason postulated, but I believe we can conclude exercise does not appear to extend live, as most men have more manual labor in their life.

Of course we all experience the reluctance of men to discuss any health problems. They won’t even see the doctor unless something bad is happening and they have already tried every other self treatment. I have seen men who have to urinate 12 times a day and know their prostate is too large, yet still will not see anyone till they finally cannot pee.

I’m sure many of you have experience the lack of desire to live much longer once a man is unable to work. Not everyone, but close to the majority. I don’t know of any solution.

There seems to be an exception when it comes to erectile dysfunction. Men are happy to get that treated. It may be that they think “I don’t think I have a problem, but if there is a chance sex will be better, let’s give it a try”.

Obstetrics & Gynecology