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Men’s health: how to (help) take care of it

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By : Vik

3 months ago

Last month was Movember, and this is an opportunity for me to remind you that it is essential to take care of your health when you are a man. 


Let’s talk first about physical health. It is important to have your prostate checked, especially from the age of 50 onwards, because the disease is sometimes present with no symptoms. And as with most cancers, the earlier it is detected, the more benign it is. The most frequent symptoms are a disturbance in your urinary habits, with an increase in urination, especially at night. But also difficulties in urinating more and more frequently, with a discontinuous flow for example. Pain may also be experienced when urinating, usually in the form of a burning sensation. 


From a mental health perspective, an alarming figure must be taken into account: in 2020, men commit suicide 3.88 more often than women (Source : American foundation for Suicide prevention).  And even if the reasons for this remain vague and poorly understood, we can still draw some conclusions: according to the "Allô Docteurs" website, men seem to express themselves less about their psychological suffering than women, for example, and consult psychologists less. Perhaps because of cultural conditioning? Men between the ages of 35 and 65, for example, are more affected by problems of economic crisis and suffer greatly from not being able to provide for their families. There is still a phenomenon of "shame" among men regarding psychological suffering, as if it were supposed to happen only to others. And indeed, according to a study carried out by the polling company YouGov for the French magazine Psychologies, only one man out of four calls on a psychologist to try to solve his problems, compared to more than one woman out of three.  


Moreover, isolation seems to aggravate these phenomena, bearing in mind that it is a question of "psychological" isolation, not "geographical" isolation. One can be surrounded by people and suffer in silence, which seems to be precisely the problem for men regarding suicide. 


But then what do we do if we detect a man close to us who seems to be doing badly? 


The Australian charity "R U OK?" has developed a protocol to open a useful dialogue with a person who seems to be in psychological pain: the ALEC protocol.

"A" for "Ask": ask them exactly how they feel now, as well as why they seem to have changed their behaviour recently.

"L" for "Listen": listen carefully to their answer, without judging them. Talking about your pain is a good way to unload it.

"E" for "Encourage Action": Encourage their attempts to take action and find solutions to get better. In these cases, each little step counts! For example, how do they eat? How do they sleep? Can they do something a little different about it?

"C" for "Check In": some time after the discussion, check its impact. For example, check in again by phone call or text.


It may take a little time, but saving a human life is priceless! 

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