As healthcare organizations around the country prepare to recognize National Men’s Health Week, take a moment to think about the facts when it comes to men and their mental and emotional health.
A significant number of men are affected by mental illness.
Because men are widely discouraged from openly discussing their health and wellness—especially their mental health—many men believe they are suffering alone with their issues. However, 6 million men in the U.S. are affected by depression each year. In addition, suicide has increased to become the 7th leading cause of death among American males. Men are also commonly affected by bipolar disorder, clinical anxiety disorders, and eating disorders. If you notice any of the following changes in yourself or in a loved one, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.
- Loss of interest in hobbies and other activities.
- Mood swings.
- Misuse of drugs or alcohol.
- Engaging in high-risk activities.
- Recurring feelings of sadness, loneliness, or guilt.
- Repetitive negative thoughts, thoughts of suicide.
- Declining performance at work or school.
- Symptoms of physical illness without a clear cause.
- Changes in energy level or sleep habits.
- Lack of focus, difficulty concentrating.
The above list is not exhaustive. If you are having trouble coping with daily life or you notice mood and behavioral symptoms getting in the way of your daily routine, it’s time to ask your doctor about your mental health resources.
Mental health is directly tied to physical health.
Your mental health doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Mental health feeds into your physical health and vice versa. For example, did you know that suffering from clinical depression can increase the risk of developing coronary artery disease by up to 64%? With heart disease already topping the list of causes of death among American men, it’s essential to consider the relationship between your mental health and your physical health. In addition, mental illnesses can cause various physical symptoms. Mental health symptoms may also be caused by underlying physical health disorders. That’s why it’s important to not only address those symptoms as they arise but also attend regular physical health screenings. Here’s a look at the health screenings adult men should regularly have.
- Annual physical – including blood tests to screen for cholesterol, blood sugar, and thyroid hormones.
- STD testing – talk to your primary care physician to determine the appropriate testing frequency and test types for your needs.
- Blood pressure – check frequently including when you visit your doctor for a regular physical.
- Colonoscopy – schedule a screening once every 10 years after age 50, or sooner as directed by your physician.
- PSA screening – prostate cancer screening, talk to your doctor for individual screening recommendations based on your health history.
How NexGen EAP Can Help.
- Counseling through NexGen EAP comes with 24/7/365 access to Master’s level counselors with at least 5 years of experience answering every call.
- Virtual Concierge component of NexGen EAP can assist with research on any topic, and help maintain work/life balance.
- Financial Consultations and Resources are available to lend a hand with money management and budgeting to stretch dollars as far as possible.
- Wellness Coaching and Support provides 1-on-1 access to wellness experts and individualized resources for all areas of wellbeing, from nutrition and fitness to relaxation and restoration.
- Health Advocacy is there to provide benefit information and assistance navigating your health plan.
- Self By Design is a mindset app integrated into the NexGen EAP mobile app. Created to support you in becoming the best version of yourself, use this wellbeing app to stay inspired and work towards your wellness goals.