Tag Archives: men’s health

Wake up Men #mhaw2017

So here is a statistic for you……

The Biggest killer of men under 45 in this country is suicide!!!

Of the 6000 or more lives lost in Britain to suicide EVERY YEAR, 75% are men!

A little late but still

With all the terrible diseases we could  catch, all the accidents we could have, all the potential ways we could kill each other, men still kill themselve more freuently than any thing else.

QUESTION – what goes on in our heads, as men, that leads us to take this, most ultimate, step with such staggering regularity?

ANSWER – No one knows

WHY? Because we are stubborn and flatley refuse to talk about it

What else could it be? There is no evidence to suggest that men get hit harder than women by depression.

Rather than talk aboit it we bury our heads in the sand (or bottle) and our depression remains hidden away behind a mask and  multitude of ‘im fine’s

Its not the way we have been raised, we learn that feelings and talking about them is not for ‘real men’. Men get on with it and are ‘fine’ 

The problem with this is that we do have feelings and at times of stress they can get away from us and when they do……we are totally unequiped to deal with it.

I undetstand the stress that, as men, we go through. Maybe more now than at any point in my life. I have been through talking therapy (and I hate it), I have been on pills and wasted countless days staring at the floor, I have experienced the black clouds that decend and engolf you.

Im self employed and that bring stress and now I worry will I be able to provide for Harper, do I earn enough to give her the education she needs etc. Its ‘normal’ parent pressure i guess but it doesnt take much to see how it can snowball out of control.

The reality is that what Harper needs is her dad, and for him not to become another statistic. 

The  older I get the more I realise that its not just a nice phrase it is ‘good to talk’ 

As men we need to to do it more about all our health issues both seen and unseen




What makes a man?

A bit of a different topic today…….OK a totally different topic really (only a very tenuous link to ‘swimmers’ if I’m honest)

My wife and I had been trying for a while to start a family, with no success. I am a fairly healthy male, don’t smoke, don’t drink keep myself reasonably active, there was no real reason why, it just didn’t happen for us.

Then, about 2 years ago we made an appointment with the fertility clinic and went through a serious of tests. Like I said I am reasonably fit and healthy and I reassured my wife that whatever the problems where not to worry about it, we would get through it. 

The truth is I assumed the problem was on her end. 

When the results came back, that my sperm count was through the roof, mobility was excellent but morphology was incredibly rubbish, I had no idea what that ment. Turns out, basically that all my swimmers were misshapen. Chances of us having a family naturally was practically zero. 

Suddenly, for the 1st time in my life, I started to question my masculinity. 

I felt like less of a man!

Biologically, the one thing I was supposed to do – I couldn’t. 
All I wanted to do was hide. We were offered counselling,  I declined – I don’t want my friends and family to know so why would I tell a total stranger!!

Gradually, the realisation that in all likelihood I would never be a father settled in. I talked to Louise about it, put on a brave face, said I was OK. 

Inside I was really not 

What sort of a husband couldn’t provide for his wife? 

It wasnt just me that my inability for be ‘a man’ impacted on, it ment that Louise could never be a mother and it was my fault.

All nonsense of course, but that’s what it felt like

Does not being able to reproduce impact on your feelings of masculinity? 

Absolutely it does. 

Should it? 

Unreservedly no!

Slowly but surely I agreed to start talking to a few friends about it, self depreciating humour helped (typically male) and, to my surprise, not one of my friends were anything but supportive.

No one judged me, no one laughed at me, (there were a few jokes about the swim coach whose swimmers couldn’t swim. 😂) but that was it.

All the fear of being thought less of a man was in my head. 

Louise and I agreed to put our names on the fertility clinic list for ICSI (regular IVF wouldn’t work for us due to my morphology) in the knowledge we couldn’t afford more than the one round on the NHS. 

We agreed that if it didn’t work we would move forwards, together, enjoy more elaborate holidays, maybe a nicer car, but we would move forwards.

I slowly discovered that being a good husband, son, brother, uncle or even just a good human-being had nothing to do with my ability to reproduce. 

I have always kinda paid lip service to Movember, but this year it took on a new meaning for me. 

Suddenly I realised that, as a man, I don’t want to talk about what’s wrong with me, I don’t want to go to the doctors, I’m a man – Im fine.

The biggest killer of men my age is suicide! 

How many men could be saved if they opened up and talked about the pressure of being a man? 

No one is bullet proof, no one expects us to be able to cope with everything life throws at us and, if your friends are worth having no one will judge you. 

Being tough or  having a stiff upper lip isn’t what makes us manly. Men cry, men get upset, men have difficulties with pressure and fears about health.

Real men admit it and talk about it. 

The last 2 years have changed me as a man, they have made me see that we don’t have to bottle things up, we can talk, we can admit we struggle and it doesn’t impact on our masculinity. 

I hope that, in 2017, more men realise there is support out there for us……and using it isn’t a sign of weakness