Men’s Emotional Health (as seen on TODAY) is being Neglected – They have feelings and Emotions Too !
The Danger of Men’s Health Week Focusing on Physical Health, Leaves a Dangerous, Potentially Deadly Inner World To Fester Among Central Coast Blokes With the focus of this year’s Men’s Health Week being on promoting boys’ and men’s health, experts agree that whilst being fit and healthy in a physical sense is important, emotional issues are taking its toll on Aussie men. Sadly, society has built an expectation among men where they feel they should be able to manage and deal with any life issues that arise, no matter how daunting. They often don’t talk about their concerns with partners, mates or professionals, seeing it somehow as less than ‘manly’ to discuss their challenges. “It’s too easy to focus on just the physical health problems men encounter, whilst internal and emotional health is dangerously ignored”, explains leading family therapist and regular media commentator, Karen Phillip. “As a general rule, men tend to be more in tune with their physical presence than their emotional or inner self, downplaying their feelings and any symptoms that may arise as a result of this denial,” Karen explains Research indicates the key pressures for men include: Changes in societal dynamics at work, and in family and personal life.
- Their tendency to focus more on physical problems, and are less likely to discuss deeper emotional issues
- More willingness to report fatigue, irritability, loss of interest in work or hobbies, and sleep disturbances rather than feelings of sadness, worthlessness, and excessive guilt.
“While we may concentrate on Men’s physical health and what’s going on in men’s ‘outer world’, it’s too easy to forget about their emotional and social health that is often in turmoil in their ‘inner world’”, Karen says. And leading business coach, David Howells who donates his time to run men’s vulnerability workshops around Australia agrees. “Men are inherently frightened of the V word – vulnerability, and are too ready to adopt the ‘she’ll be right mate’ approach to their challenges. What we need is a cultural shift that makes it OK for men to discuss openly how they feel, what challenges they’re facing and how this impacts their feelings of being a man. If Men’s Health Week can shine a spotlight on this and open dialogue among men about how they are feeling and coping, then that’s a great outcome,” David says Having research and worked with thousands of families, Karen Phillip agrees with David as she has seen first-hand the toll not talking about these issues are taking on our men and their families. She explains that men can either explode or withdraw from family and friends when emotional issues become overwhelming. “There are many men that drive home after a long day at work, park their car in their driveway and just sit, often too fearful to enter into the pandemonium of their home. While women will talk to family and friends, men seem to keep these matters bottled up – and the trouble with bottling something up, is that it manifests or explodes in very unhealthy ways. It is not a weakness to seek help, but a sign of strength to recognise and obtain the help needed, and I want all men during Men’s Health Week to consider having a chat with someone in their lives about how they are FEELING about their challenges and stresses” Karen says.