Cover image by Nicole de Kohrs
We live in an unprecedented time when focus on mental health has taken the helm from a focus on physical health or general physical well being.
During the time of the pandemic, many had to live in isolation and then the emotional aspect of that became an illness or even a cause of suicide.
Given the importance of this topic, FSHN went on to interview Sophia Thomas AANP President https://www.aanp.org
ET- I am delighted that we have an opportunity to ask you questions about today’s wellness focus given the change of lifestyle that has been imposed on the world. Can you please tell us what do you see has happened to it and where is it going?
ST- Living the life of wellness is not in the focus right now.
We have 40% of the man seeking help as many have more complications from COVID than women. The impact of not feeling well has had a tremendous impact on the family causing a delay in seeking health care for any symptom.
At this point, some man looked for help without asking for it from the family members- wife or mother. Some live alone and gradually slipped into bad habits routine when it comes to food intake or exercise. Even sleep hours moved with work from home, affording to switch the day and night routine completely.
ET- what do you think started that switch?
ST- Many men out of boredom or loneliness started drinking at 5 PM then sooner and waking up later each day till day and night routine was opposite to our biological clock.
ET- Why and you think it is a bad thing given they can work at leisure from home?
ST- Our biological clock has imprinted functions that need to happen during the sunlight for gathering vitamins, initiate hormone production and get minerals from our food so that, during our dark light absent sleep the body uses it to heal and detox. Without it, people get sick and eventually become depressed. even suicidal or aggressive from toxins not being released.
ET- Can you share some key elements that have changed as a result of the change to the daily lifestyle?
ST- Absolutely, even in 13-14-year-old males experience the loss of serotonin that caused a spike in suicide in the age group.
As to grown man, erectile disfunction became the most prominent problem they tackle. many have lost work and not being able to provide for their family or themselves the loss of self-esteem caused lower production of testosterone. This is a good example of when emotional health plays a role in physical wellness.
ET- can you tell us what else may impact the man during this time?
ST- Eventual dysfunction from Covid 19 due to lower oxygen and less movement layered by mental anxiety to name a few. The weakened muscle due to none exercise delivers fewer nutrients to the entire body causing atrophy in random areas. That is when mental weakness turns into depression and can lead to suicide.
ET- Can you recommend some form of prevention for man to take action on?
ST- One I can recommend is to take screening of PHQ9 and monitor the levels to manage the body and mind.
I always recommend movement as a good recovery to health, added with socializing on the facetime or phone.
A good routine of healthy habits will assure well being more than dealing with the already created problem. Prevention of health mental or physical problem is in a lifestyle not at the hospital emergency room.
ET- Thank you for your wise and practical advice. We are looking forward to a new sustainable way of life that supports any age.