Alright, let’s get this out of the way right quick –
DISCLAIMER: I based this post on my own, and other people’s, anecdotal experiences. Even though it’s directed at men, it’s not just them refusing to get treatment (all you women – we see you too!). I want to hear your thoughts if you’ve seen this behavior, no matter who you are.
I wish it were obvious, but to state it outright: I don’t believe that all men avoid doctors. #NotAllMen 🙄
Bit of backstory
I’m the primary caregiver for my 79-year-old father. He has cardiac, diabetic, and weight- and age-related issues.
He’ll be the first to admit – he’s a stubborn S.o.B. Only he won’t censor it with an acronym. Getting him to a doctor usually means a knock-down-drag-out fight. He almost left the hospital after suffering a heart attack, claiming they were taking too long.
But, I noticed this trait long before I had to browbeat Dad into getting medical treatment. I had a few beaus in my younger days. It seemed that the (mostly) guys wouldn’t acknowledge their health. They’d whine sometimes, or get so sick they’d have to talk to someone. Otherwise, it didn’t seem to exist.
The question started gnawing at me. Aside from insurance issues –
WHY DO GUYS REFUSE TO SEE A DOCTOR?!
And I’ve realized – I’m not alone.
WOMEN ARE BEGGING YOU – TAKE CARE OF YOURSELVES!
More than 23,000 users up-voted the post that read, “If you have a medical issue[,] please get it sorted… Stop ignoring it!” So many people had sad stories to share, they started multiple sub-threads.
- Man refused to see a doctor about his eyesight and nearly went blind.
- Dad ignored dental issues until an infection caused a seizure and he needed brain surgery.
- Boyfriend and son was weeks away from dying of leukemia.
- Dad refused to treat his “awful-looking” feet, nearly died of a fungal infection.
- Loved ones suffered psychological crises for too long, and died too young.
There were some happy endings, but too few. Post after post, it’s clear that we’re watching passive suicides.
Reading through the responses, I can only guess what causes this behavior.
WHY SOME MEN DON’T GO TO THE DOCTOR
I don’t claim to know what you’re thinking. However, I’ve begged the fellas in my life to get various issues “looked at” by a professional. My friends, and the women of Reddit, have noticed some of the same stumbling blocks.
The first, for me, is admitting that I know some hard-headed people. This, in itself, is a challenge coming up in these conversations. We have to consider it when we talk about possible solutions.
I’ve also seen guys have fierce reactions to how being sick looks. They don’t want others – even doctors – to see them a certain way.
- An invalid
I mean, think about it – Even how we phrase it reeks of helplessness. “Seeking,” “Treatment,” “Help,” “Patient.”
There is also a point where it becomes embarrassing, right? Like, you put it off so long, it reaches a point where you’re ashamed of the procrastination? 🤔
GUYS: PLEASE TELL ME ALL THE WAYS I’M WRONG
I’m serious. I have no idea what anyone is thinking. None. If I did, I wouldn’t be here. I’d be doing magic shows in Las Vegas.
Plus, as we know, no two “men” have the same thought processes. People have unique emotions and anxieties. These play a big part when facing health issues.
So, go on! Correct me, please!
For those who avoid going to the doctor:
- What do you think, or feel, that keeps you from fortifying your health? How can your loved ones support and motivate you? Feel free to tell your story!
For those who have dealt with loved ones avoiding going to the doctor:
- What have your loved ones said to you? Have you noticed any common “themes?” What has worked, and hasn’t worked, in getting them to seek treatment? Feel free to tell your story!
I’d love to hear your opinions. I really want to know what is stopping people from loving themselves enough to live, and to fight for that life.
Because, until then, you’re making us watch you kill yourselves.
Small changes can lead to new worlds. ❤