Facing up to men’s health

Men sporting Movember moustaches, the Mo Bros, become walking, talking billboards. And the women in their lives, the Mo Sistas, can provide important support – even by just hiding the razor blades for 30 days. It’s estimated more than around 2 million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas worldwide now participate.

American businessman King Camp Gillette is widely acknowledged as inventing the safety razor in the early 1900s. In fact it was really the disposable aspect of razor blades that was the basis of Gillette’s success.
For many years, and until the introduction of the twin, triple and quadruple bladed razors, an image of King Gillette’s face appeared on every packet of blades – his face adorned (perhaps ironically) with his “trademark” moustache.
The oldest portrait of a shaved man with a moustache is said to date back to 300BC, but shaving with stone razors would have been possible even before then.
Moustaches now come in many shapes and sizes. The toothbrush style, favoured by such “famous” people as Adolf Hitler, Charlie Chaplin and Robert Mugabe, has understandably, gone out of fashion.
However, whatever style of moustache you fancy – handlebar, horseshoe, walrus or pencil thin – Movember’s the time to grow one. In Australia the Men’s Health partners are The Prostate Cancer Foundation and Beyond Blue: the national depression initiative.
Even when young men survive their aggressive adolescence, they are still more likely to indulge in dangerous lifestyle pursuits – smoking, eating and drinking to excess and exercising too little.
Self esteem, or lack of it, has an effect on men’s health; a critical issue in times of employment and financial uncertainty. When men feel they have no control over their lives they are sometimes burdened with feelings of guilt and shame.
One out of every six men suffers from depression at any one time; and men are more likely to suicide than women. Also, men often do not recognise the symptoms of depression, and so do not seek help.
The Pharmaceutical Society (PSA) with has produced a fact card titled Depression. It’s one of a series on mental health issues which includes topics such as: Anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Sleeping Problems and Relaxation Techniques.
There is also a Self Care fact card on Prostate Problems, which are common for men to develop as they get older. Of course, prostate problems don’t necessarily mean prostate cancer. Furthermore, some types of prostate cancer are very slow growing and may not cause significant problems; but other forms of prostate cancer grow quickly and are life-threatening. Check out the Prostate Problems fact card, and if you experience any of the symptoms listed, consult your doctor. In any event, have a prostate check if you’re over the age of 50.
The fact cards are available from High Wycombe Pharmacy.
Remember Movember is the ideal time to learn more about men’s health. For more information about competitions, prizes, activities and events and simply how to get more involved during the month of the moustache you can check out the website: au.movember.com.

Published by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and written by John Bell

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