Asking for help
Don't live up to that 'manly' stereotype by saying nothing about your problems. Learn how to speak up with confidence.
Why boy's don't cry
From a very early age, males are encouraged to put on a brave face at tough times, and not cry. Alongside deep-seated cultural values about what makes a man, it's easy to see how expressing emotions is somehow seen to be a girl thing. It's here that a whole host of problems can begin.
The benefits of sharing
Putting your feelings into words doesn't come easy to everyone. It's especially true if you've not had much practice, which means much depends on your childhood background. Whatever the case, talking is one of the most effective ways to get your emotions in perspective. Awareness that you need to open up is the key, along with just giving it a go and seeing how much better you feel. From a chat with a mate in the pub, to a heart-to-heart with your partner, or even a counselling session, it all helps to keep your mind in shape.
Dealing with your doctor
Every man needs a good relationship with his doctor. You care about your car, and would get your speakers fixed if they started playing up, so why not show yourself the same attention and respect? The sad fact is that women are four times more likely than men to turn to their GP for medical help. Saying nothing won't make the problem go away; if anything, it just makes things worse.
Getting the best out of a visit to your doctor:
- Bring notes: Jot down what's bothering you, including your symptoms, and have them on hand at your appointment. It can only help your GP make a decent diagnosis, and avoids that frustrating moment when you walk out of the surgery and realise you'd forgotten to mention something.
- Be frank: Your GP needs the facts if they are going to get you sorted, so don't be bashful or hide the truth. Remember that they are used to dealing with all sorts of problems, so even if it is unusual or embarrassing to you, it won't be to them. Even if the problem involves dropping your pants for an examination, they're interested in seeing your symptoms - not your schlong.
- Ask questions: Don't be afraid to quiz your GP about anything on your mind. Your welfare is their priority, so if you're unhappy or uncertain about an issue relating to your treatment, speak up! You also have the right to ask to be seen by another doctor, and you don't have to give a reason for this.
- Stay in touch: If your prescribed treatment fails to fix things in the time period advised by your GP, go back and let them know. Suffering in silence won't make the problem go away, but another session in the surgery will help your GP pinpoint a more effective course of action.
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