Feature Archive

Both Sexes Make Mistakes in Caring for Health

WebMD takes aim at common health blunders men and women make.

WebMD Feature

Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario

We are besieged daily by health advice: Take this, eat that, don't do the other. Yet even the most health aware -- not to mention the doctor averse -- can make mistakes in caring for themselves.

Common Health Mistakes Men Make

The conventional wisdom says that the average man takes better care of his car than his body . "All male health blunders come from the essential male blunder, and that is the notion (many men have) that a real man is a man with no vulnerabilities," Terry Real, MSW, a family therapist and author in Watertown, Mass., tells WebMD

"Unless something is falling off," Larrian Gillespie, MD, a urologist in California, tells WebMD, "men won't go to the doctor."

Men have a shorter life expectancy compared with women, Real says, because they don't take care of themselves. "They don't recognize that they need help, they don't seek it, and when they do seek it, they don't do what the doctor days." The bottom line, Real says, is that men die. "I could call that a big blunder -- costly."

Men experience depression differently than women, says Real, who is author of You're Not Crazy It's Your Hormones. "A woman knows she is depressed, feels the pain, asks for help. But even if a man knows what he is experiencing, he won't ask for help."

Some of the symptoms of depression include feeling sad, sleeping too little or too much, a drop in libido, and a feeling that nothing in life is giving pleasure.