Please take the time to read this, and share to let the men in your life know that you are there for them. Especially during a time of financial hardship and family stress, men can feel a sense of inferiority as they try to bravely and quietly hold it all together
In honour of Men’s Health Week, we thought we would give a shout out, nod and fist pump to all of the incredible blokes out there. 2020 is a funny year, with history altering events unfolding right before our very eyes, and we didn’t want this week to fly under the radar with everything else going on.
So here we are, boys. Men, fathers, sons, grandfathers, uncles, nephews, this is our ode to you – your health and well being. We grant you permission to take care of yourself, even though the male stereotype generally says to do otherwise. If you haven’t visited your doctor for your annual, make the appointment; now. 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer before the age of 85, and we are here to remind you that your precious life matters to so many.
Furthermore, we want to touch on men’s mental health.
We want men to be able to say “I’m not ok” or “I need help” without feeling like they are jeopardising their manhood. We want men to know that sometimes “sucking it up” isn’t the best way to go about a crisis or trauma. Unfortunately, for a lot of men, they are guilt ridden by the stereotype that encapsulates them as the individual who must stay strong with a puffed chest. If not, they are looked at as weak and powerless. It’s not fair.
We are here to stand up and acknowledge the vulnerable, dark corners of the male gender, and let them know that their voice is heard.
Men, if your muscles aren’t as big as the next guy, don’t ever feel inferior. Muscles don’t define strength.
Men, you can suffer from body dysmorphia and fight with comparison to other males.
Men, it’s ok to feel lonely sometimes.
Men, it’s ok to tell someone that you don’t like the way they are treating you.
Men, sexual abuse is just as real with you, as it is with women.
Men, if he has hair at 30 and you don’t, who cares! It’s part of life. It doesn’t make you less of a man and you’re definitely not alone.
Men, if you lose someone that you love dearly, it’s ok to cry.
Men, if your partner loses a child, your pain is just as real as hers.
Men, postnatal depression happens to you too. Life changes very fast.
Men, if you are riddled with anxiety because of sexual disfunction, you are not alone. Don’t let anyone, man or woman, riddle you with shame because of it.
Men, you can suffer from an eating disorder that haunts you daily, just like her.
Men, you’re allowed to enjoy yoga, pilates, meditation, overpriced skin care products and bubble baths.
Men, shave your legs if you feel like it.
Men, you can watch Keeping up with the Kardashians whenever you damn want to.
Men, you can ask to be little spoon as much as you want.
Men, don’t allow yourself to be belittled by anyone – male or female.
Men, don’t allow yourself to surrender to guilt, contempt or manipulation.
Men, don’t feel pressured to put a ring on it. It’s ok to not be ready.
Men, don’t feel pressured to have kids if it’s not what you truly desire.
Men, you are just as worthy of empathy, love, joy, and happiness as any other person on this planet and you are obligated to never forget that.
Here are some stats to help us better understand the mental health burden among men:
One in two Australian men aged 18 to 55 have experienced sexual difficulty.
One in five Australian men will experience an anxiety condition in their lifetime.
One in seven Australian men experiences depression or anxiety or both in any year.
One in 10 new dads suffer with post-natal depression following the birth of their baby.
(Sources: Beyond Blue)
Up to a quarter of people suffering with anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa are male, and almost an equal number of males and females suffer with binge eating disorder. (Source: AMHF)
In Australia, men are three times more likely to die by suicide than women. They are also less likely to commit suicide as a result of depression. Male suicides are more commonly linked to a range of distressing life events such as relationship separation (28.3%); financial problems (17%); relationship conflict (15.7%); bereavement (12.3%); recent or pending unemployment (10.5%); familial conflict (9.5%) and pending legal matters (9.0%). (Source: AMHF).
That last statistic is VITAL. Men don’t commit suicide because of depression. They commit suicide because all these things mentioned above, make them feel emasculated and destroy their sense self worth. Worst of all, they usually don’t tell anyone. That’s a painful thought to digest.
The good news is that men are better at coping without talking, and are more likely to use other techniques such as eating healthy, exercising, using humour and keeping busy to deal with their problems. Although this is promising information, it doesn’t make a man’s pain any less real or any less severe. A man should still be able to talk without fear of judgement or emasculation.
So LADIES (and a girl is writing this, so I’ll do this with you!), give the men in your life a big social distanced hug today and let them know that you are there for them through anything and everything. Keep the communication lines open and understand that their emotions are just as raw and powerful as ours.
Gents of our BMB fam, we are here for you no matter what – whether it’s a good old fashioned destruction of the weight room or a bro-like chat and fist pump – we got you.
Happy Men’s Health Week!