We Asked Nurse Lindsay, “Are Men Stubborn About Their Health?”
Are Men Stubborn About Seeking Healthcare?
In previous posts, we’ve explored family roles when it comes to general well-being. But how does gender affect attitudes about healthcare?
We asked Windrose’s own Lindsay Burton McIntosh, LPN–avid spokesperson for mental health issues, especially in the greater Indianapolis area.
Family Mental Health advocate Lindsay Burton McIntosh on Men’s (Mental) Health
“Men should be able to hold on to their ‘manliness’ when they ask for help, but that doesn’t seem to be the status quo. In general, men don’t ask, don’t talk, don’t go to that counselor or doctor’s appointment...but why is this? Is it feelings of inadequacy? Of inferiority? Of vulnerability? It is a terrible shame that this perception of weakness exists at all for someone asking for help. Much like the stigma that is placed on mental illness in general, there is an even greater stigma placed on men asking for help. We need a cultural movement reminding men that asking for help is actually a sign of strength.”
Men’s Mental Health According to Mental Health America
The research supports what Lindsay and many others feel they have observed: Men care for themselves differently and experience mental health matters all their own. Mental Health America provides alarming modern statistics demonstrating this disparity:
“How do we remedy this? As a woman and a caregiver how can I stress the importance WITHOUT pushing them away, without nagging them? How can we change society’s perception of what is weak, inferior, and inadequate?”
“Am I being naive, or does this sound accurate? My fiance would NEVER go if I didn’t gently nudge him. I approach with caution and know when to back off.
I think it is important to reconsider what is (or isn’t) in our control. For example, upon learning of their high blood pressure most men would take their doctor’s simple advice and work on their diet and exercise routine. A lot of people don’t recognize that most medical illnesses can be minimized or even prevented, but I believe mental health to be different. When something is outside of one’s own control, by definition it becomes necessary to ask for help. As protectors of the family, men like to think that everything is in their control–but this thinking only goes so far. Let’s support our men by spreading our support and understanding: It’s manly to own our imperfections!”