Day 56 (of 186) #Movember to Remember and last call to support my $42 goal at https://ca.movember.com/mospace/13678833
As Movember comes to an end, the talking about mens health needs to continue.
Too many men of all ages take their lives because they don’t know where to turn when mental wellness rages too much. So some reminders:
Being sad does not mean you understand depression.
Just because life looks good and someone has “so much to live for” doesn’t mean that there is more going on below the surface. Depression doesn’t always appear the way it does on movies and tv!
Being nervous does not mean you understand anxiety.
Just because some people can “get their #$#@ together” does not mean it is easy for all – sometimes the hardest door to go through is an open doorway…..
Being nervous about going to a doctor is common (and “man-colds” can sometimes indicate something unseen – my fathers fatal heart attack was preceded by what looked like a minor attack a year earlier that could have been felt as a cold/flu)
For prostate cancer, with early detection 98% survive beyond 5 years – if detected late there is just a 26% chance of survival beyond 5 years. Once 50 – make an appointment!
Substance abuse may mask some feelings – until the crash – and the younger substance abuse starts the harder it is on the brain. Just because something is legal doesn’t mean it isn’t addictive and it can be very harmful. This is why I am very worried about the legalization of marijuana in Canada – it’s impact on young brains has long term effects. I’m glad to see so many friends I graduated with can share that they are a number of years clean….and sad for too many that weren’t able to….
If you must use drugs and/or alcohol – be honest with your doctor who is prescribing any medications!
Conversations shouldn’t stop just because the facial hair is shaved away. Canadian Mens Health Week is just 6 months away (leading into Fathers Day)
Instead of portraying men as bumbling dads on sitcoms….maybe it’s time to add some ‘other’ role model types….Many men have experienced trauma and not done anything about it, because men “don’t need” to deal with it (check with veterans who did not get timely interventions….) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can happen right after an event or years after….sometimes like concussions – they too can have an impact years later (and how many men can talk about a big crash/sports hit etc that they ‘survived’ – and how cool it was!)
Instead of assuming “Man Up” to mean to ignore things, perhaps it should be about doing the harder thing: talking about it and seeking support and help.
What to watch for? changes!
⁃ increase in anger or irritability or aggression
⁃ appetite or energy level
⁃ sleep – too much or too little
⁃ troubles staying focused
⁃ need for alcohol or drugs – self-medicating of any type
⁃ thoughts of suicide (wondering about what happens ‘next’)
⁃ always negative
⁃ sudden interest in high-risk activities
⁃ headaches; stomach issues; sudden general pain
⁃ obsessive thinking and/or compulsive behaviours
⁃ thoughts that interfere with work, family or social life
So even though the end of Movember means a time to shave (much to the delight of the women in my household) – don’t let the conversations end – men’s health is too important!