This post was made in partnership with Depend® brand. All opinions are my own.
Going to the doctor is not something that most people look forward to. It is one of the many chores that adults have to tackle, and sometimes, it gets put to the wayside. People may feel that they can get away with putting off their appointments because they feel fine, so often, years go by with no checkups.
This phenomenon is especially common among men. In a society where men may feel like they’re supposed to be strong and in charge, going to the doctor may feel like a weakness. However, it can be an incredible strength.
Just because one feels fine doesn’t mean that one is fine. With 1 in 8 men being diagnosed with prostate cancer, and with often no signs or symptoms, it is extremely important for men to go in for routine exams with their doctors.
One of the things that most of us hear regularly as an excuse not to go is, “This doesn’t run in my family.” Whether your loved one is talking about cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or anything else, having a genetic predisposition is only one of many, many factors when considering whether someone will become ill.
In my own experience, five of my loved ones currently have or have been diagnosed in the past with prostate cancer. Different heights, weights, life experiences, and financial situations – and not one of them is related by blood. They are all my family members, but between marriage and adoption, there is not a single blood relation among them.
The only reason that all five of these special men found out that they had prostate cancer was through a routine exam. Not one of them felt sick during diagnosis and they had no reason to believe that they would get this news.
The thing about saying, “It doesn’t run in my family” is that it can’t be true when it comes to prostate cancer. It runs in any family as much as it runs in every family. Which is why the Depend Stand Strong For Men’s Health program is so essential. It is so important for men to get checked because our men’s health doesn’t just have an impact on their lives, it has an impact on their loved ones’ lives.
So how do we encourage the men in our lives to go see the doctor? It is not an easy task sometimes, but there are ways.
Use Personal Examples
One of the best ways to plant a seed is by using your own life as an example. By taking the attention (temporarily) off of them and putting it onto you, they may feel more disarmed. This conversation is about them, but it’s really about your connection with them.
Think of a time where you didn’t want to do something, but the result was significant. The time when you went to the doctor with a small stomach ache and had an appendectomy. Or the car was getting an oil change and you found out there was a hole in the oil tank.
Comparing their situation with something similar, but not about them, can sometimes be enough to get them thinking.
Express Care With Minimal Pressure
No one likes to be pressured into doing things. When we feel pressure, either we do the thing with resentment or we push back against the pressure and refuse to do it at all. This isn’t the way you’re going to accomplish your goal, so try to take a different approach.
Let your loved one know that you love them, so that is where the encouragement is coming from. You’d feel so much better if they wouldn’t mind seeing a doctor. You won’t push them, but you care about their health, and you only ever want what is best for them.
At that point, drop it. Continuing the conversation at that moment won’t get you any further (unless you feel like your loved one is coming around), so pick it up another time to keep their resistance to the idea lower.
Emphasize The Person’s Importance To The Family
While we are all individual people, we are all connected to someone in some way. Whether you are talking to your husband, your grandpa, your uncle, or your best friend, they are a relation that is important to you.
Let them know how important they are. Let them know that you hope that they will meet their great-grandchild one day or that you want them to be at your wedding. Remind them that the yearly trip to the Grand Canyon wouldn’t be the same without them. They are special and you want them to be here for as long as they can be.
Offer To Help
Some people feel like they just don’t have the time for medical care. If that is the case with your loved one, offer to take a load off of their mind. You do the research to find a new doctor. You call to make the appointment with their information. You give them the information to put directly into their calendar so that all they have to do is show up.
It can be overwhelming to start from scratch with a doctor, so your doing all the legwork may make the entire situation easier for them. And in the end, you’ve still reached your goal.
When it comes to health, you need to advocate for yourself and your body as well as those of your loved ones. No one can fix something that they aren’t aware of, so it is time to start collecting all of the information and empower one another to prioritize their health.