When Men Should Ask For Help
“Everyone stand up. Raise your left hand as if under oath, now take your right hand and hold your ‘boys’ and repeat after me…”
This is how a facilitator at a conference once introduced his overriding message at a male dominated industry staff conference many years ago. The oath these men took was to recognize when they needed help, to seek help and not put off going to the doctor because their life might just depend on it.
This clever, funny and to the point introduction to a conference has stuck with me. It broke the ice around some important issues and helped people feel more comfortable because men’s health generally seems to be an awkward topic, even for men. And in the lead up to MOvember, I thought this would be a good topic to cover.
Tradition, society, and beliefs put women into a role of being looked after. Women, generally speaking, instinctively know when to take time out for ourselves, when to take ourselves to the doctor and where to find a sympathetic ear to which we can “download” our concerns to.
While there are a lot of men out there who are just as instinctive about when to ask for help, it is far less common.
In tradition, society and some beliefs, men are regarded as the ‘rock’ or the strong one, the provider. And as such, a lot of men believe that they can’t let their guard down or appear vulnerable or stressed.
Male or female, we are all human and all have the same hopes and fears. Keeping this in mind can make a huge difference. Remember the last time you were scared of going to doctor, fearing the worst. Now imagine that a mate of yours has a similar issue and is putting off going to the doctor, or your brother or your dad or son. Would you want them to wait it out worrying and hoping for the best or would you rather they get it seen to as soon as possible to know exactly what they are dealing with?
So men, here’s some basic rules of when to ask for help around signs and symptoms you might be experiencing:
- It is always okay to ask for help.
- If it’s not normal for you and your body, ask for help.
- If it is normal for you but you’re worried, ask for help.
- If you’re not sure if it’s anything to worry about, ask for help.
- If you’re overly stressed and don’t know what to do about it, ask for help.
- If you sometimes feel like it’s all too much, ask for help.
- If you’re lost for a solution, ask for help and
- See rule number one.
This help can come in the form of a mate to talk to or a doctor to discuss symptoms with but regardless of where you go for help a moment of bravery to talk about it could be worth a lifetime with your family.