Are Guys Scared?
Why are guys afraid of doctors, why are men reluctant to see a doctor? For some unknown reason, men appear to be less likely to visit their health care professional practitioner than women. Women account for almost three quarters of all the patients I see in my clinic, and they are generally quick to come into the clinic at the first signs of any health trouble, whereas men are more inclined to wait until things get really serious until they come in to see me. Have you noticed that when you visit a medical clinic that the majority of patients who sit in the waiting room are women? When men do visit, they are often accompanied by their wives. Why is this so? Men tend to be the stronger sex yet need the support of their partner when they visit a practitioner.
Maybe a man does not make sufficient time or perhaps feels that his health is not worthy of the time it takes to visit a practitioner. Maybe he just does not want to spend the money? If men only realized that a small amount of money spent now on preventive health would end up saving many thousands down the road on treating chronic ill health they would think differently. Guys, how much time do you spent in front of the widescreen, or perhaps with your male friends having a drink or playing sports, or fishing for example?
An hour at the doctor’s room is really minimal by comparison in spending time watching TV or being with your friends, so a small time investment spent in seeing your practitioner is minimal by comparison. Experts have studied the main reasons why men are less inclined to visit their health care professional than women.
The 4 main reasons guys are less likely to come in for that check up:
1. Although men are afraid of poor health and dying, they are much less inclined to worry about the immediate effects of the signs and symptoms of ill health. Guys do worry about death, there is no doubt, but they do not want other men to know they have these fears. They much prefer to keep silent and appear strong and pretend that all is good.
2. In my experience I have found that men are less likely to allow strangers to touch their bodies, especially areas which are quite private to them. It is a fact that many men would rather suffer the consequences of prostate cancer rather than be involved in early detection, diagnosis and treatment. Rectal examinations are particularly embarrassing for many men, and it is surprising how few guys ever get a rectal prostate examination until things go really bad in that department.
3. Ill health is seen as a “weakness” or inadequacy by many men. Many men simply do not entertain the thought that they may have a weakness which may prevail them to become ill and therefore avoid seeing a doctor. This is in my opinion one of the main reasons why many men void seeing a doctor throughout their lives and then wind up dying of a (largely preventable) chronic illness like high blood pressure, diabetes or cancer which none of their family members were even aware of.
4. Men are concerned about how they may be able to provide for their loved ones if they do become ill or declare they are sick. Men still like to feel they are in control, in spite of the fact that most households today are dual income households. Becoming ill seems to be an “impossible option” for many men, so they soldier on regardless of how they feel until they pain or symptoms become too much to bear, and then it is often too late once they do seek medical help.
If you are a woman and have read this article you may be able to allay your partners feelings and assure you man if he is stubborn about the benefits about seeing a doctor. You will discover that this will make it easier for him to seek professional aid before it is too late. He will then come to realize that you are not nagging him or against him, but instead that you are on his side and understand his feelings and only want the best for him in terms of his and your future. You will find that when you gently and regularly plant this preventive seed that he will be much more inclined in the future to seek help long before any symptoms become manifest.
The best scenario is that he will become convinced in time of the benefits of preventive medicine even when he is in perfect health. You will also come to find that he will be more inclined to accompany you on trips to the doctor for check-ups or preventive health. This may require some convincing with some men, as many men in my experience view health check ups as a “waste of money” and prefer to visit their doctor only when they have extreme or debilitating pain to the point where they can hardly move. He may also argue the point that preventative health is a complete “waste of time” and that he has not enough time to visit a doctor when he is in seemingly perfectly good health. But once you know your guy well enough, and the trust is there, over time he will listen to you and follow on through with your suggestions. Once he has been a few times and he has your and the doctor’s assurance that he is doing the right thing, you will find that he will often seek help long before chronic health problems surface.