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how men can handle embarrassing medical conditions

Shame and embarrassment are powerful human emotions, and sometimes they may even be warranted. For instance, it’s understandable to feel a little embarrassed if you’ve twisted your ankle trying to perform a pro-athlete skateboarding trick your first time at the skatepark. Does it define your character forever? Of course not, but your emotions aren’t misplaced. As long as your embarrassment goes no further than a slightly wounded ego then everything is going to be ok.

However, it is a bad idea to feel these emotions over something you can’t change. This is especially true of health conditions outside of your control, such as needing a colostomy bag or learning more about gynecomastia when you’ve been diagnosed with that condition. 

In this post, we’ll discuss why men should never be embarrassed about a health condition. Women should never have to feel this way either, of course. Still, men have had a historically bad time regarding opening up about this, and tend to view changing capabilities as shameful. Let’s flip the script on those perceptions with the following advice: 


Health Conditions Do Not Define You

Many people feel ashamed or guilty about their health conditions because they think it speaks negatively of their character or worth as a person. However, health conditions are not a reflection of personal worth or character in any way, shape or form. 

While sometimes past actions can contribute to a particular health issue - for instance it might be that a smoking habit has caused you stained yellow teeth - you don’t have to define yourself by this and can always look to changing habits and solutions. If you have no control, then it’s important to remember that regardless of a person's habits or lifestyle choices, health conditions are normal part of life and can happen to everyone.


You’re Not Weak

Health issues are not a sign of weakness: Because they feel as if a personal flaw or weakness caused it, many guys feel ashamed of their health issues. But managing a health condition requires a lot of fortitude, bravery, and resilience, and it’s important to give yourself credit for that. 

It can be challenging to manage a health condition, but this is not an indication of fragility, especially not on your off or bad days. Taking charge of your life and welfare shows courage and determination to keep up with, and living each day at a time is courageous.


There’s Always Help Out There

Looking for help is absolutely not a shameful act, in fact, it shows great humility and foresight. You might be considered a leader for many people, such as a football team you coach, or an office department you run - but because of your worsening mental health, you ask for help from a trusted and impartial source. Does this undermine your authority or values as a leader? Absolutely not, quite the opposite, it sets a fantastic example.

Help for those with a wide range of health conditions is readily available from various services, support groups, and medical specialists. You can learn how to manage your condition and get over any guilt or stigma you may be experiencing by asking for assistance because talking can help anyone move forward with confidence.


Try Not To Compare Yourself To Others

Everyone is unique, and it’s important to remember that. People can be affected by health problems in various ways. It's essential to keep in mind that every person's experience is unique and real - even if your response doesn’t quite match up with someone else’s.

It doesn't make your experience any less valid just because someone else's disease is less severe than yours or they exhibit different symptoms. Remember that everyone's journey is different; never compare yourself to others. It will help lighten the load of thinking you should act in a certain way or remove the desire to be perfect all of the time despite the bad news.


While Unwanted, They Can Build Greater Empathy

Because they believe a condition like this makes them different, many guys feel ashamed of their health conditions. They can, however, be a source of compassion and empathy for others and yourself. 

You may contribute to eradicating the stigma associated with health concerns and fostering a more understanding and compassionate society by sharing your experiences with others or contributing to support groups. It can also make other people experiencing similar things feel less alone. Perhaps you can use your own perspective to make that so. Times have never been better for discussing topics like that.

With this advice, we hope you can see you should never feel embarrassed about a health condition and instead feel some sense of comfort that you’re not the odd one out for having it.

Written by:
#MenWhoBlog MemberBlogging GuruThought Leader

James' passion for exploration and sense of duty to his community extends beyond himself. This means he is dedicated to providing a positive role model for other men and especially younger guys that need support so that they can thrive and be future positive contributors to society. This includes sharing wisdom, ideas, tips, and advice on subjects that all men should be familiar with, including: family travel, men's health, relationships, DIY advice for home and yard, car care, food, drinks, and technology. Additionally, he's a travel advisor and a leading men's travel influencer who has been featured in media ranging from New York Times to the Chicago Tribune, and LA Times. He's also been cited by LA Weekly "Top Travel Bloggers To Watch 2023" and featured by Muck Rack: "Top 10 Outdoor Journalists for 2022".

He and his wife Heather live in St Joseph, Michigan - across the lake from Chicago.