Health is a Self-Love Journey
Health is a Self-Love Journey
By Bennett Schnyder
My health journey is ongoing.
When I was in middle school, I was overweight; but I was one of the most bubbly and happy people you’d meet. In high school I lost weight but was then obsessed with my body image. This created a lot of anxiety. Like a teeter totter, either my physical health was under control or my mental health. Rarely both.
Now, in my 30’s, I feel that I have finally started to find a balance. I eat (relatively) well and work out five to six times a week. I take testosterone and anxiety medication. I try to make time for myself while juggling a career, flipping houses, and recording The Gayly Dose.
But even when positive steps are taken, I find myself constantly making comparisons to others. People call Instagram the “highlight reel of your life”, and what they don’t realize is that it wears on your mental health as well as others. Seeing friends on vacation calls attention to the fact that you’re at work. Friends posting about their [insert overpriced, flashy, overpromoted, brand name here] outfit makes you take a closer look at your bank account. Seeing an Instagram account with one bajillion followers; Am I good enough? Don’t even get me started on Grindr and other hook-up apps. FML. Social media can truly affect your mental health.
I try to make sure my life doesn’t revolve around my sexuality. Our sexuality doesn’t define you or me, right? But the exception to that rule is in your healthcare. Your doctor is someone you should be able to trust. No matter how shameful or taboo, you must be able to tell your healthcare provider your deepest and darkest “secrets” so that they are able to treat you appropriately. Maintaining good sexual health in addition to physical and mental health is crucial in living a better life.
This week’s episode of The Gayly Dose revolves around just that: reasons why an LGBT+ doctor is so important when it comes to a well-rounded healthcare plan. We are joined by two medical professionals, Dr. T.C. Elliot and Physician’s Assistant Jeremiah Robinson. The provided incredible insight into what it means to be healthy gay man. Like, did you know:
- The prevalence of depression among gay men is three times higher than the general adult population.
- 1 in 10 men who are HIV positive will be diagnosed with rectal cancer.
- 1 in 2 African American MSM (men who have sex with men) are HIV positive; more than half do not know they are positive.
- On average, gay men should test for HIV and STI’s (sexually transmitted infection) every 4-5 months or more frequently based on their sexual activity.
These stats speak for themselves. If you choose to go to a doctor who doesn’t specifically treat LGBT+ patients, there might be a chance they may overlook something. It gives a whole new meaning to “what what in the butt”, ammiright? I’ve spoken to a few doctors in my life who had no idea what PrEP was, let alone whether or not I should be/stay on it. This is just one example of what could be overlooked. The consequences of this could be dire.
While my health journey is ongoing it is good to know there are knowledgeable and specific experts who can guide me on my journey. From all of us at The Gayly Dose to all of you dolls out there: have fun, be safe, and please take care of yourselves.