As a society, we like teasing men when they have a cold. I’m not going to lie, I’ve been one to poke fun at men and their “man colds“. But, due to unfortunate circumstances, I now see things in a new light.

It’s no secret that when men are sick, they are far less likely to go to the doctor than women. In fact, 60% of men avoid doctor visits. Some may call it stubbornness or stupidity, but I believe this carelessness partially stems from societal expectations and lifelong double standards.

Men are expected to be strong, to tough it out, to push through their chronic coughs and fevers, and to live in a world where they will sleep when they die. But, as someone who has seen too many men suddenly die from completely preventable and/or curable diseases, I beg of you men, PLEASE go to the doctor.

When you feel like sh*t, walk in the clinic and tell your doctor you feel like sh*t. There’s no shame in receiving medical care and I’m sorry if society has made you feel that there is. I’m sorry we live in a world that holds you to ridiculous standards to prove your manhood. I’m sorry the phrase “man cold” even exists. I’m sorry if as a boy, you were taught to dismiss any physical or emotional pain. I’m sorry that suicide rates are 4x higher in men than women. I’m sorry that you’re told to “be a man” even if that means sacrificing the state of your mental and/or physical well-being. I’m sorry that even in 2019, double standards exist, and you are suffering because of it. But, I’m not sorry for nagging you to go to the doctor when you’re sick. I will not apologize for being concerned about your physical and mental health when you were wrongfully taught not to be.

There are times when medical intervention is ABSOLUTELY necessary. If you come down with something that has lasted more than a few days or progressed quickly, please GO TO THE DOCTOR. Men have a shorter life expectancy partially due to their negligence to seek out healthcare. They are also more likely to die from 8 out of the 10 most common causes of death than women. Sadly, this even includes completely preventable and treatable illnesses such as the flu.

So, men, please acknowledge when you’re sick and go see a doctor. Better yet, get your yearly checkups and vaccines. There are illnesses even the strongest whiskey cannot cure.

Photo by Rex Pickar on Unsplash

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