Yeah Yeah … we’ve all heard that men don’t have feelings like women. Most people kick guys to the curb in that category. Typical stereotypes show how tough men are and how they can handle stuff without expressing emotions. Since they were young, they got the message: keep a stiff upper lip, don’t ask for help, never show weakness, hold everything in. Men get stuck where they have always been – silent when suffering.
With health needs from hep C, men endure many symptoms. They try to keep going and shrug it off. This can lead to a lot of inner conflict. They’re no different than a woman who is sick. They battle fatigue, anemia, fear of treatment, jaundice, ascites, and even isolation.
What kind of emotional support for men with hepatitis C is really there when they need it?
By listening to the talk going on inside their heads, men can notice how they are feeling. If their thoughts keep circling around the same thing – heads up. For example, a man who constantly reads the warning labels on meds may be afraid of the long-term side effects of hep C or its treatment. If he keeps rehearsing a conversation that ended poorly, chances are, he feels regret. Maybe he feels angry, or it could be that he is nervous. Either way, it might be a sign that he wants his side to be understood and feels disconnected or lonely.
By exploring the relationships in his family, a man can test the waters to see if it’s okay to tell someone how he really feels. He might say that there’s a lot on his mind regarding health decisions. By telling others that it makes him feel tense with worry, there is some relief. Others may be glad, especially if he has been distant or quiet. If there have been outbursts of anger, they can understand that it’s not their fault.
When guys are stressed out, they may not say so… instead, they could show it in other ways. They may complain about physical symptoms. They could get angry at a story in the news and talk about it for hours. Chances are, if they are not expressing resentment for being sick, they will have resentment toward people or situations.
If a dude starts noticing his feelings about having the hepatitis C virus, he can take action. If he is too tired to get physically active, he may find another way to direct it such as working on a hobby or skill. Staying active can keep his thoughts and feelings from creating a cycle of despair.
A guy’s first line of action is to look inside himself. Next, by looking around, he may find much needed support. Step back and look: actions speak louder than words and tell a lot about how a man is feeling. By taking good actions, he can quit burying his emotions and take steps toward feeling better mentally and physically.