Have you ever seen a male friend or family member with enlarged male breasts? If so, they may have gynecomastia. This condition can have negative psychological effects on those living with it. Read on to learn more about the toll gynecomastia can have on a male’s confidence and feelings of self-worth.
Gynecomastia is a condition that affects males of all ages. It causes male breast enlargement due to glandular tissue in one or both breasts. It is usually caused by a hormonal imbalance, which can result in an increase in glandular breast tissue. The second most common cause is anabolic steroid use which is used to build muscles. For some adolescent boys, gynecomastia may resolve on its own. However, if gynecomastia persists past the teen years, it will most likely stick around.
Impact on Self-Esteem and Confidence
This increase in male breast tissue can take a negative toll on a male’s self-worth and confidence. This can result in a number of negative mental health effects, including the following:
Gynecomastia can have a psychological impact on those living with it. One of the first emotional responses is often anxiety, as patients are unsure regarding the outcome of diagnosis and a possible treatment plan. Gynecomastia can also cause anxiety around social interactions where a male should take their shirt off such as spending time at the pool or beach.
Men living with gynecomastia often experience a negative self-image due to their enlarged breasts. They may experience feelings of shame to expose their body or incompleteness due to social phobia.
The most severe psychological issue associated with gynecomastia is depression. Individuals may feel that they have a low quality of life due to their condition. While women generally reach out to friends and relatives when they are experiencing psychological issues, men with gynecomastia have shown that they tend to conceal their mental condition. This can lead to feelings of helplessness.
Many gynecomastia patients feel as if they don’t “fit in” with peers, which can lead to loneliness. Many males with gynecomastia, especially teens, tend to withdraw from social functions, which can lead to continued isolation as they grow into adults. Individuals may also withdraw from family and friends to conceal their breast enlargement to avoid possible teasing or judgment.
Some patients with gynecomastia may believe that weight loss can help to reduce their excess breast tissue. While weight loss may be helpful in cases of pseudo gynecomastia, however, male breast reduction surgery is the best solution for true gynecomastia. Because of this, some patients may begin to control their eating habits in a disordered way, leading to dangerous conditions such as anorexia.
Schedule a Consultation
As you can see, gynecomastia can take an enormous toll on the mental health of those living with it. If you or a loved one are dealing with gynecomastia and are seeking treatment, Dr. Delgado can help. The most effective solution for treating gynecomastia is male breast reduction surgery. If you are interested in discussing your gynecomastia surgery options, please contact Dr. Delgado today to schedule a consultation appointment.