- On December 28, 2016
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What are the most common medical concerns for the young professional man? In all honesty, it was rather challenging to locate studies which examine medical complaints for the busy male. Young men are not well represented in the medical clinic – they are notoriously difficult to schedule, and reluctant to bring up personal topics. Similarly they do not face up to worrying symptoms. Men can convince themselves that they are healthy, despite worrisome symptoms. They oftentimes prefer not knowing harmful information. Perhaps part of the problem is that boys are taught to be strong and tough, and sickness may be seen as a sign of weakness. To that end, men take far fewer sick days, and have a shorter life expectancy. Why is there a double standard in our healthcare system? Women and men alike need to feel empowered by their doctor visits, and seeking support for a physical or mental medical condition should be viewed as a strength, not as a weakness. You remain masculine and strong if you can face your worrisome symptoms, or your negative thoughts, and have an honest conversation with your medical professional. In addition, your doctor should respect your need to feel strong and in control at the end of your visit.
And so, what are some of the common health concerns for the young professional man?
1. Healthy behaviors and healthy weight:
Research has demonstrated that men can be equally anxious about their bodies and their perceived flaws. They can begin to worry about their physical appearance from an early age, and can even fall into unhealthy practices such as excessive exercise, diets, and laxative use for example.
If you are feeling insecure about your weight and your appearance, it is important for you to share your concerns with your doctor. Although it may seem trivial to you – you are not having a heart attack, and you are in relatively good health after all- obsessing over your physical appearance can make you very unwell. You will be prone to stress, inflammation, and depressive and anxious thoughts. Having healthy daily behaviors will be key to leading a healthy lifestyle, one that supports a positive relationship with your body.
It is perfectly acceptable to have a conversation about your body image with your doctor. Our society needs to reinforce positive and realistic views of the male body. In addition, we all need to support healthy behaviors, rather than simply focus on weight loss.
You cannot control a number on a scale, yet you can control your behaviors throughout the day.
2. Premature ejaculation:
Believe it or not, but premature ejaculation has a 30-70% prevalence. It is the most common sexual dysfunction reported in men 18 – 30 years old and it is often associated with secondary impotence in men 45 – 65 years old. Premature ejaculation is the occurrence of ejaculation prior to when one or both partners desire it. It is often thought to be due to psychological factors and couples counseling or sex therapy has been shown to be effective. Some medications (such as SSRIs) have also been found to be effective. Most importantly, remember to speak to your partner and have honest discussions about your sexual needs. There is no shame in developing a healthy sexual relationship.
You might wonder if exhaustion and burnout is an actual diagnosis. In actuality, burnout is under reported, yet very present in today’s modern landscape. Men are working longer and longer hours, and are expected to compete for their positions by logging in more face time at the office. Their work life balance is often non-existent, and their body absorbs all of the stress from the toxic work situation. Professional (or job) burnout is one of the more common burnouts, and affects men who are overworked, and who find themselves in a state of emotional and physical exhaustion.
Symptoms of burnout vary, but can include feelings of loss of motivation, loss of hope, depression and detachment. You may be exhausted even after a full night’s sleep, you may have frequent headaches, backaches, or even muscle aches. If you think that you are suffering from burnout, it is important to ask yourself the following question: What’s fueling your state of burnout? Take some time to assess your stressors, and try and find support in your workplace. Speak with your supervisor, and approach trustworthy colleagues. Stress management training and social support are vital. Make sure to include exercise in your daily schedule, and begin to adjust your attitude so as to promote a balanced work environment. If all else fails, consider your options and align your life priorities with your professional ambitions. If need be, search out new ventures, and find a welcoming and balanced endeavor. You deserve a professional role that excites you and makes you come alive!