Attn Attentive Women: June is Men’s Mental Health Month

By Shawn Gauthier

Antiquated but true: In the realm of healthcare, women often take the lead, ensuring their partners stay on top of everything from dental checkups to colonoscopies. Women frequently display exemplary assertiveness, and men benefit significantly from the June-Cleaver-level attention that’s keeping them healthy. 

On behalf of all men who should be taking care of their own damn selves, thank you.

Mens Mental Health Month

Speaking of June… June is Men’s Mental Health Month. When it comes to mental health, too many men are stuck in the Leave it to Beaver era. The whole family suffers when sensitive topics go undiscussed. This June, it’s vital for men (and women, please and thank you) to be proactive about men’s mental health.

Cancers vs Answers

A noticeably changing forearm splotch sparks a maybe-you-should-get-that-looked-at conversation.  If men never ask about mental health, mental health symptoms go unanswered. Colonoscopy awareness ramps up at age 50 (earlier if there’s a family history of colon cancer). Scatolgical humor may even spur colonoscopy prep talk among dude-friends. #BottomsUp! But mental health is different. Men actively avoid conversations about feelings or less tangible symptoms like restlessness, challenges with concentration, or impulsivity.

Procrastination, itself a potential symptom of ADHD, may lead men to miss a lifetime of opportunities to seek help. ADHD is often viewed as a childhood affliction (another emasculating stigma). If an ADHD diagnosis is missed in boyhood when surrounded by teachers and counselors, having a close, loving, keen observer recommend assessment could be the only hope to get loved ones on board for treatment. This is especially necessary when symptoms manifest not as hyperactivity but as inattentiveness. Markers like forgetfulness, making careless mistakes and being easily distracted get missed all too often. 

Time for a Tune-Up?

Just as prostate issues often carry a stigma, mental health issues like ADHD are similarly shrouded in embarrassment and misunderstanding. Yet, ADHD is not a personal failing but a condition rooted in neurobiological factors that can be effectively managed—much like fixing a flooded transmission or troubleshooting a smartphone. In fact, one good strategy is to frame mental health conversations around an analogy like needing a software update. ADHD treatment can involve recalibrating how your brain processes dopamine, akin to refreshing your device’s operating system. An ADHD assessment is no different than taking your mental software to the Genius Bar. And if your spouse/boyfriend/relationship runs better after that, you’ll only wish you’d had a conversation sooner.  

Sound like anyone you know? Other signs of ADHD, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, include: 

  • Answering questions before they are asked completely 
  • Difficulty listening closely when spoken to directly 
  • Losing things such as keys, wallets, and phones
  • Being unable to engage quietly in leisure activities
  • Talking excessively
  • A preference for quick fixes rather than taking the steps needed to gain greater rewards

Dude, Try Self-Awareness

Of course, men should take charge of their own mental health needs. They should reflect on their own well-being and consider whether symptoms like chronic procrastination or difficulty completing tasks indicate something more than just typical stress or fatigue.  Did you know Mental Wellness Coaching is a thing? Once your partner partners with the proper clinical support, ongoing engagement and coaching with regular check-ins, take the handholding responsibility off your plate.

It’s Personal, and It’s Personal

Consider the story of a couple whose relationship is affected by symptoms of undiagnosed ADHD. Delving into a topic that may feel too personal for all the Ward Cleavers out there may pay healthy dividends. What starts as an online assessment could lead to a deeper understanding of how ADHD is impacting daily life for you both. So it’s perfectly reasonable to initiate this tough, loving, personal mental health conversation for your own personal, purely selfish mental health reasons. Thank you again, and happy June. 

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