We are already half-way through 2019 (what!?) and boy, it’s been a year! January brought us National Blood Donor Month, Black History Month was in February. In March we celebrated Women, we told jokes and pulled pranks in April, and our nation honored America’s fallen Heroes in May. Oh June, what do you have in store for us? Let’s see, it’s Dairy Month, Adopt a Cat Month, Turkey Lovers Month – legit, and a plethora of other crazy and whacky holidays. Most importantly though, it is Men’s Health Month. So men, let’s talk about Y-O-U for a bit!
The Nitty Gritty…
- General Health: The average life expectancy for men is 76.2 years – that’s five years less than women. Why? Because men have higher death rates for all 15 leading causes of death in men and women (think heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc.).
- NOTE: Men, MOST of your health issues are preventable by seeing a General Practitioner yearly, however, some of you don’t like taking time off of work. Seriously. According to Men’s Health Forum, because of not taking the time needed, 53% of women have seen their GP in the last three months versus 37% of men.
Men and Mental Health – It’s Time to Talk About It:
There are 151,781,326 men in the United States. Six million of you will be affected by depression this year alone.
The 5 major mental health issues affecting men are:
- Depression – Male depression often goes undiagnosed. Symptoms in men are more likely to include irritability, fatigue, and/or loss of interest in work, hobbies and/or sex.
- Anxiety – Approximately 19.1 million adults ages 18-54 suffer from some form of anxiety.
- Bipolar Disorder (BPD) – BPD affects men and women equally. BPD and PTSD often have the same signs and symptoms. It is important you see a licensed psychiatrist who specializes in both disorders so a proper diagnosis can be given.
- Psychosis and Schizophrenia – 3.5 million people are diagnosed with schizophrenia; 9% of those who are diagnosed are men under 30.
- Eating Disorders – Males account for 10% of patients with anorexia and bulimia and account for 35% of all binge eating disorders.
Suicide is the 7th leading cause of death among men.
- More than four times as many men die by suicide than women, in fact, in 2010 of the 38,364 reported suicides in the US, 79% of these suicides were by men. Gay and Bisexual men are also more likely to develop mental health disorders than heterosexual males and they are also at a greater risk for suicide attempts. Veterans are also at a greater risk of suicide with 22 deaths per day.
Low levels of testosterone are correlated with depression, stress, and mood swings, especially among older men.
Men are less likely than women to seek help for depression, substance abuse, and stressful life events due to social norms, reluctance to talk, and downplaying symptoms.
Domestic Violence: One in four men will suffer from some form of domestic violence. This can include slapping, shoving, pushing, verbal & emotional violence, stalking, etc.
NOTE: There is no shame in seeking help. Physical, verbal, and/or emotional violence is never ok. If you or someone you know is a victim of any type of domestic abuse, please reach out to someone you can trust or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline for help: 1-800-799-7233.
But Wait. There’s Good News…
These numbers don’t have to stay this way. Let’s take some time and see our General Practitioner on a regular basis and get consistent checkups. Use these checkups to talk to your doctor about health concerns and issues you may be having. Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing violence at home; talk to your doctor if you are having thoughts of suicide, irrational outbursts of anger, or have lost interest in the things you love to do. Regular checkups could save your life.
Other Ways to Keep your Mind & Body Healthy:
- Sleep – Everyone is different, but on average, adults needs seven to nine hours of sleep. Adequate sleep can help prevent diseases such as:
- Chronic Conditions
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Move More – We need at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week.
- Drink Water – Getting enough water every day is important for your health. Water helps regulate temperature, lubricates and cushions your joints, helps with brain function, helps control your calorie intake, and has so many more health benefits.
Tame Your Stress – The best ways to manage your stress is through self-care:
- Avoid drugs and alcohol
- Stay connected
- Seek help
- Stay active
Take care of you
- Toss out tobacco – Quitting smoking has immediate and long-term benefits. It reduces your risk of cancers, lung disease, heart disease, and other smoking related illnesses.
- Eat to thrive – Getting enough of the good stuff is crucial. Focus on nutrients rather than calories. Fruits and veggies have many vitamins and minerals that may help protect you from chronic illness.
- Enjoy yourself – Participate in fun activities you enjoy every day. Take a hike, bike, get active in a sports team, relax, listen to music, visit friends and family. Look forward to each and every day.
- General Health Provider: 217-788-2800. Call Central Counties Health Centers and we will be happy to make an appointment for you. No insurance? No problem! We provide health services to ANYONE regardless of your ability to pay.
- Domestic Violence Help: If you are in immediate danger dial 9-1-1. If you feel comfortable reaching out to your physician, coworker, friend or family, please, do so immediately. If you would like to talk to the National Domestic Violence Hotline dial 1-800-799-7233.
- Mental Health Help: If you need immediate assistance dial 9-1-1. If you have thoughts of suicide and would like to talk to someone call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Talk to a friend, coworker, family member, pastor, or anyone you trust and please do so now – don’t wait. Talk to your physician if you are having issues with anxiety, stress, depression, and/or thoughts of suicide.
Someone cares about you. Someone wants you here.