WACO, Texas – Men’s health is being highlighted this month to bring awareness to the alarming U.S. health statistics surrounding this topic.
According to the CDC, heart disease and cancer are the leading cause of death in men – among other health issues.
Texans Recovering Crisis Program says 35 percent of the patients seeking their services this summer were men affected by numerous health and wellness issues.
Project Manager Vince Erickson says most men, depending on their culture or environment, have a difficult time expressing what they are going through. This results in isolation – which affects their mental health – and he says this goes hand-in-hand with physical health.
“We need to be cognitive of these things, so we can not only take care of ourselves, but take care of the other people in our lives,” Erickson said.
He says another important factor is something we have all experienced.
“Men are being affected by COVID,” Erickson said. “It can affect our sleep, there is anxiety that happens, there’s depression that can happen, anger and irritability.”
Erickson says there are eight dimensions of wellness, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. He says having a balance is vital to improving and maintaining health wellness.
Baylor Scott & White Urologist Adam Ylitalo says he has also seen the affects of COVID on his male patients.
“Their biggest struggle right now is anxiety or depression,” Ylitalo said. “We are in a very tough time, and guys miss out on those screening times where they can get that help they need – whether it’s medication or just talking about issues.”
Ylitalo says men don’t make doctor’s visits a priority – which should be done at least once a year. Those visits are essential to screen and check issues which could be going unnoticed.
“You know, diabetes, high blood pressure,” Ylitalo said. “If you catch them early and treat them early, you can take care of them where you don’t have those downstream effects.”