According to research, something in the region of 60 percent of all men refuse to go to the doctor, even when suffering from illness or displaying symptoms of a condition that could be life-changing. Only three out of five get an annual checkup, too, and the general stereotype of health as a subject men won’t discuss is true. It’s a sad state of affairs, and it begs the question: why don’t men like going to the doctor?
There are, of course, many different factors involved, and we’re going to take a look at a few of them most common reasons with you today. If you recognize any of these factors, perhaps a change of mindset is needed. Who knows, maybe you might give yourself a chance of a healthier and happier lifestyle?
Men get out of the habit early
Boys and girls are taken to the doctors whenever they are ill – almost no questions asked. But as the two sexes hit their teens, there is a significant shift. Female teenagers start having gynecological checks at an early age, so going to the doctor almost comes as a second nature for life. Adolescent boys, however, stop going unless it is absolutely necessary – they lose the habit. That means that when men start to get older, they are more likely to grin and bear it than seek out help.
Given that men are often the primary breadwinner in the household, it’s no surprise that lack of time features highly on their list of excuses for not embracing healthcare. And to some extent, they might have a point – there is a lot of pressure to perform in the workplace, and many men see being ill as a sign of weakness. However, women who are successful in the workplace still look after their health, so there is clearly something else going on – it’s not just a case of lacking time to visit the doctor.
It’s never easy to go to the doctor and discuss embarrassing illnesses, no matter what sex you are. For many men, the nature of their complaints means they feel incredibly uncomfortable with having a checkup. But in the vast majority of cases, the actual checkup is a lot easier and less intrusive than they think. Getting a diagnosis and something such as hemorrhoids treatment, for example, is not usually the nightmare scenario they imagine. It’s also important to understand that some embarrassing conditions – erectile dysfunction, for instance – have links with other, more serious diseases.
Some psychologists believe that there is also pressure from the media that can have a significant impact on the male psyche. When you watch the TV, movies, and even advertisements, men tend to be shown as masculine and hide their vulnerabilities. In short, going to the doctor could be completely against everything men are taught to believe in themselves, and it goes against many of the gender norms that they have learned since becoming teenagers.
Are you a man who feels uncomfortable going for checkups? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.