Getting your man to the doctor is nothing to joke about because men’s health habits are horrible. Many men suffer from “denial”, meaning that sickness cannot happen to them or that illness may be seen as a weakness. For many men, years pass before they go to visit their doctor. They continue to deny any symptoms or problems they may be having. Some men think that their symptoms are really not that bad or that they will pass. When other men finally go to see their doctors, they find that they now have more than one problem.
Many diseases such as hypertension, cardiac, high lipid levels, and diabetes, to name a few, do not have any symptoms at the beginning. If men procrastinate being seen, it could be too late. More than half of premature deaths among men are preventable if they are caught early.
Men’s health checkups are more than just to check the prostate gland. Men’s health exams are essential for checking for preventable diseases, especially those due to stress-related illnesses, which are often asymptomatic such as:
- Heart Attacks
How young do you have to be before going to get your annual exam? The correct answer is that you are never too young. The most important thing for men is that they feel comfortable with the doctor that they have chosen, just as this is important for women too.
Catalysts to help motivate men to make an appointment may include:
- Having a girlfriend, wife, or significant other who cares enough about him and his health
- Having peer pressure meaning friends who either encourage him to go or share a tale of their annual exams
- Sometimes the loss of a loved one, meaning a parent, relative, colleague or friend, may create questions for him to look into, including his own mortality.
Sometimes the question arises, why would men delay going to the doctor?
- Men sometimes feel invincible.
- Many men don’t enjoy asking for or receiving advice.
- Some men fear that something bad or physically wrong will be found.
- Many say they are too busy.
- Men often wait to feel sick or until it is absolutely necessary.
- Men, like some women, just do not like doctors.
- Men do not think about preventative care and only wait until something is wrong.
- Some men may feel as if something is wrong with them as a “defect” or sign of weakness if something is physically not right.
- Some men may feel embarrassed or uncomfortable having a doctor examine them.
Here are some of the risky behaviors for men for which they would need preventative care:
- Excessive Alcohol
- Multiple sexual partners
- Stressful jobs or relationships
These lifestyle risks, when discussed with his doctor, are known to improve his life choices and the prevention of disease.
The most important question people ask me is: How do I get my man to see a doctor? Here are some suggestions:
- Don’t demand it or be confrontational. Gently suggest that in case something is wrong, the doctor can find it early.
- Don’t nag him to death. This will not help him, or you, and will only cause him to procrastinate more. He needs time to think about it, so let him.
- Offer going to the doctor as a suggestion, without expectation.
- From time to time, remind him of his family history, meaning if a particular illness runs in his family and making an effort to ensure he is all right. Be sure you do not threaten him about his family history because he is probably scared enough. Inciting more fear in him will most likely prohibit him from going.
- Sometimes it may help to make the appointment for him.
- It may help if you offer to go with him. Offer this as an option, as he may want to go by himself. Let him decide and do not feel left out if he doesn’t want you to go.
- Don’t say things like, “You’re fat” or “You are so unhealthy. You can’t even exercise without getting short of breath” as the reason for going to the doctor. Believe me, he may already know this and it may be one of the reasons why he hasn’t gone.
- Try to appeal to the love he has for himself and his family. Remind him gently that you love him and that you depend on him as your main provider. Emphasize that you just want him to be healthy—and happy.
- Ask for help from some of his friends who do get regular checkups. See if they would be willing to talk to him about going to the doctor.
When men finally make the decision to get their annual exams and understand how important they are for themselves, it really no longer becomes a task. They often realize that, as a result, they may live longer. This is truly a gift they can give themselves so they can enjoy all the things that are important to them, like family, friends, school, work, sports and more.
Our men’s health is so important. It is not only necessary for us to help take care of them, but men themselves should make it a priority because preventative annual checkups and screening can prolong their lives.
For the love of all our men out there, my thoughts and good wishes are always with you and those you love and care about.
This article was originally published at http://drchristina.com/. Reprinted with permission from the author.