As men age, taking care of their own health becomes more important than before. Regular visits to the doctor are vital, but they become even more important once men turn 45. Unfortunately, aging is an inescapable process that everyone must go through. As men approach their late forties or early fifties, the frequency of medical appointments and tests increases significantly. However, some men experience stress from attending medical appointments. This stress could also arise from the fear of minor medical procedures such as routine vaccinations, preventive care visits, or basic care.
A 2014 survey carried out by the CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) concluded that men are three times more likely than women to go five years without visiting a doctor. Men often do not receive adequate care, despite being at a higher risk for serious health issues.
Phobia of Doctors
A phobia is an irrational and extreme fear of something. Latrophobia is the clinical term for fear of doctors and usually manifests itself as intense anxiety. This fear could have numerous factors as its origin. It could be the fear of the pain of particular procedures or the fear of an anticipated diagnosis. Some men are also terrified of needles, which results in fear of blood tests or vaccinations.
Signs and Symptoms of Latrophobia
- Attempting to self-treat instead of visiting a doctor when sick
- Canceling or constantly rescheduling doctor appointments so as to avoid having to deal with the fear
- The thought of an upcoming appointment causes loss of appetite, loss of sleep or the inability to concentrate
Leading Obstacles to Receive Health Care Among Men
Men are more likely to come up with excuses for not making appointments to visit their doctor on a recurring basis. Some of the most common excuses given by men are listed below:
According to a 2016 survey carried out by Orlando Health, 24 percent of the participants claimed that busyness was their primary reason for evading medical appointments. The main reason for failing to make time for medical care is not seeing it as a priority.
The only way to help men get past this excuse is by walking them through the logistics. Help them figure out the free time within their schedule and a convenient clinic or provider that suits their needs. Some men also find it easier to tackle health issues when accompanied by a partner or friend.
Many men steer clear of doctors due to the fear of the actual appointment or of the news that they might receive after the results of an exam or test. Most men are not ready to come to terms with the fact that they might have to change their lifestyle habits due to the news received from test results.
These men should seek moral support from their social circles. This involves talking to partners or friends that have already gone through similar doctor visits so as to get a better idea of what is to be expected.
Most men are uncomfortable with embarrassing physical inspections. Some men get so uncomfortable with the idea of such exams that it affects their blood pressure.
This obstacle can be tackled by helping men pick a provider that they would feel most comfortable with. It is also helpful to assist them in researching what to expect from such exams. An awkward physical inspection could prevent possible major health issues.
They Don’t Need Advice
Attempting to advise peers or parents can be an incredibly difficult task. In most cases, older individuals or parents end up feeling babied when a younger person constantly urges them to visit a doctor.
The best way of dealing with this is to bring yourself to their level. This can be done by subtly dropping in your own experiences into conversations with them. This might suggest to them that they, too, will experience great relief once they have visited a doctor.