June is Men's Health Month
Mathew A. Salch
June is Men's Health Month.
The purpose of Men’s Health Month is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.
"Recognizing and preventing men’s health problems is not just a man’s issue. Because of its impact on wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters, men’s health is truly a family issue.” Congressman Bill Richardson
Depression is under-diagnosed in men. Men are over four times more likely than women to commit suicide!!!
Overall, women are about twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with a mental health issue. But that statistic tells only a small part of the story.
Why? To start with, men see healthcare providers two-thirds less than women do. And even when we do see a healthcare provider, we’re often reluctant to talk about what’s really bothering us, especially if it has anything to do with feelings or mood. Plus, most men don’t realize that some of the physical symptoms we may experience —things like chronic pain and digestive problems — could actually be caused by a mental health issue such as depression, anxiety or stress.
Then there are the men who know (or at least strongly suspect) that they have a problem, but suffer in silence, afraid to admit they need help. They may be afraid others will find out their secret and they’ll be perceived as weak or wimpy or that they’ll lose their job.
WHAT AFFECTS YOUR MENTAL HEALTH?
Your mental health can be influenced by a number of factors, including:
- Your genes (some mental health issues run in families)
- Divorce, separation, or the breakup of a long-term relationship
- The death of a loved one
- Losing your job, or job changes
- Going through bankruptcy
- Moving to a new home
- Coping with a natural disaster
- Caring for an aging parent
- The birth of your child
- Being diagnosed and living with a serious illness, or suffering a major injury
- Serving in the military, especially in combat
Mental health and your outlook on life can also change without any obvious cause. Sometimes lots of little things build up and the combination can be extremely harmful.
AM I AFFECTED?
Have you noticed changes in any of the following?
- Sex drive/intimacy
Have these changes been going on for more than a few days or weeks?
Are these changes affecting my: primary relationships, occupation, education, housing, health, financial well-being?
THE BIG QUESTION: AM I NORMAL?
We all have our ups and downs. But most of us wonder at least one time in our life whether what we’re feeling is normal or whether we need professional help. Unfortunately, there’s no single answer that’s right for everyone. However, here’s a good rule of thumb: You need assistance if you’ve been having symptoms every day for more than two weeks and if those symptoms keep you from enjoying life, performing at work or maintaining relationships with friends, your partner or your children. Untreated mental health conditions can get worse and may have serious consequences. You might, for example, damage your physical health. Or you could increase your risk of doing something to harm yourself or others or of committing suicide. Fortunately with the right diagnosis and the right treatment, most mental health problems are easily resolved and you’ll return to feeling content with life and be better able to cope with its challenges.