Men don’t talk.
That’s the common consensus among medical professionals. The gender divide has always been evident among patients in doctor’s surgeries and even more broadly in society.
While women are prepared to talk to a GP, nurse or even their friends about medical problems, suspicious lumps and emotional trauma, men (in general) prefer to sweep things under the carpet. But this approach could be having an adverse effect on the mental state of gentleman all over the country.
As Steve Field of the Royal College of General Practitioners says, women are much better at disclosing how they feel about their health: “The message for the health system is that it should try harder to make it easier for men to access healthcare through suitable hours, venues and phone or computer consultations.
There is a stigma among men that expressing concerns and sharing health complaints is a sign of weakness, or that it is better to tough it out and hope that a problem goes away.
This cultural problem goes some way to explaining away a number of problems such as lower recovery rates among men with cancer, and even the general lower life expectancy of men.
But interestingly, it isn’t just physical disorders that health professionals are concerned about. Illnesses such as depression are even more problematic for men to share with their GP, allowing the problem to worsen and reach extreme levels before anything is done.
As Sam Challis of the mental health charity Mind explains, “Men are less likely to talk about their feelings and get support. So it would be more common for a man to take his own life and for nobody to have known there was anything wrong.”
In fact, in 2012 it was estimated that men are three times more likely to commit suicide in the UK than women. This is in stark contrast to the 1 in 4 women who will seek medical help for depression in their lifetime as opposed to 1 in 10 men.
Depression can affect men for any number of reasons, including anything from a history of suffering domestic abuse to severe migraines to even sexual problems like erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation.
The advice from all corners of the healthcare industry is that men should be made more aware of the dangers they face in ignoring or hiding issues – both mental and physical. By becoming more open to the idea of discussing problems and seeking treatment from trained medical professionals, it is thought that thousands of lives could be saved a year across any number of health problems.
At Express Pharmacy we offer men an incredibly discreet and sensitive service, catering for a number of common health problems. Explore our website today for advice and treatments.