Men’s health refers to a condition of total physical, emotional, and social wellbeing, as experienced by men; the absence of which does not reflect their quality of life but rather the impact of illness or infirmity on their ability to be sexually active. Men’s health is more important now than ever before, given the increased prevalence of dangerous infections and diseases as well as the increasing risks of death due to various health complications. The men’s health issue has reached epidemic proportions, with tens of thousands of men diagnosed with some form of male disorder each year in the United States alone. Fortunately, advances in men’s health care have helped to raise men’s health to new heights, with increased research and educational focus on men’s health issues and more widespread use of the prostate cancer screening test.
Mental Health Men experiences a greater risk of depression and other psychological disorders, such as anxiety and bipolar disorder, because of their stress factors. Stress can lead to a variety of health problems, including coronary heart disease and stroke. Anxiety can also lead to the development of erectile dysfunction and other cardiovascular disease issues, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or hyperlipidemia. The use of alcohol and other substances of abuse can exacerbate depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. Other mental health issues that may occur are paranoia, schizophrenia, delusions, blushing, sweating, eating disorders, and mania.
Substance Abuse and Dependency Many researchers now believe that the majority of cases of addiction and substance abuse disorders originate from depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or other mood disorders. In the most severe cases, these disorders may result in suicide. Men who are involved in the recreational use of illegal drugs such as marijuana, heroin, methamphetamines, cocaine, and crack are at significantly higher risk of suicide. In addition, alcohol abuse and alcoholism greatly exacerbate depression and other psychological disorders.
Men’s Health issues are complicated by the fact that men are less likely to seek medical treatment for common health problems and are more likely to self-medicate with alcohol or other substances. For example, in the United States, suicide rates for men have been twice that of women. There is no single cause for this difference, but many experts believe that social experiences and stressors such as unemployment and poor economic prospects are some of the important contributing factors. Other possible reasons include genetics (some people are genetically predisposed to suicide behavior), social networking, life events, changes in social status quo, and increased stress levels. In light of these findings, it is imperative that men consider these facts about their health, because premature death can have devastating social and economic consequences.
Prevention of alcohol abuse disorders and mental health problems is difficult, if not impossible, when men are under the influence of alcohol or other substances. It is important that men are aware of the potential risks, so that they can make wise decisions regarding their use of alcohol and other substances. One way that men can protect themselves is by avoiding situations that may put them at risk such as drinking with friends, using casual dating sites, hanging out with co-workers or friends who have drinking problems or who are likely to abuse alcohol or other substances. Another is to engage men in preventative activities such as regular physical exercise, eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep and reducing their exposure to possible stressors and environmental triggers which may increase the likelihood of developing alcohol abuse disorders and mental health problems.
Men are more likely than women to develop many serious diseases, including cardiovascular illnesses and type 2 diabetes. Life expectancy is affected by a number of factors, including overall health issues, age and gender, and a person’s genes. Men who have low testosterone levels are more likely to develop conditions such as erectile dysfunction, depression, poor sexual performance, fatigue, osteoporosis and certain types of cancer. Men who are older and those with a family history of alcohol abuse disorders are at greater risk of contracting life-threatening diseases.