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How to Emotionally Support Someone with Gynecomastia

April 9, 2021

We all have certain parts of our bodies that bother us. Big or small, it’s natural to want to change some aspect of our appearance. While these features don’t always have too much of an impact on our lives, there are some that affect a person more than others. When it comes to men, they may be unhappy with the way their chest looks. Some men experience an excess amount of breast tissue. This can cause issues with self-image and confidence, and even lead to more serious emotional problems.

If you know someone who may be experiencing this issue, there are ways to notice signs that are cause for concern and provide support.

What Is Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is excess growth of breast tissue. It most often occurs in boys as they go through puberty, but for most goes away as they get older. It can also occur in adulthood as a result of steroids, marajuana, hormone imbalances, certain medications, and medical issues. 

Causes and Impact

There are many factors that can lead to gynecomastia. Some of these include hormonal imbalance, low testosterone, obesity, sudden weight gain, certain medication, and steroids.

Oftentimes, gynecomastia occurs during puberty due to changes in hormones. This period of life is a difficult and emotionally turbulent time for kids. This is often when they become more aware of their bodies and start to struggle with insecurities. Mostly, they are just trying to fit in and be normal. An unwanted change in physical appearance can lead to bullying and self-consciousness. This may make them not want to participate in certain activities or wear certain clothes. They might do anything to try and hide their gynecomastia, which isn’t healthy or sustainable.

If the gynecomastia persists into adulthood, it can have serious consequences on one’s quality of life. 

Adult gynecomastia onset can be alarming when it happens, but if treated right away, may not carry the same devastating impact. 

Emotional and Psychological Effects

Whether you are a child or an adult, gynecomastia can leave lasting and damaging psychological effects. An insecurity like this can lead to serious mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety. It can also cause emotional isolation, feelings of loneliness, and a development of harmful habits to cope with stress. It’s important to be aware of the symptoms of these issues and pay attention to your loved one’s behaviors. Not everyone with gynecomastia will experience these conditions, but either way it’s crucial that you check in with this person and ask questions about how they are feeling.

Identifying Issues

As a loved one, it is important to look for signs of instability. 

Is he becoming withdrawn? Has he stopped participating or showing interest in his usual activities? Has there been a noticeable decrease in performance and motivation at school or work? Does he avoid intimacy? Does he wear baggy clothing? Does he avoid taking off his shirt at the pool or beach

Noticing the symptoms early will help minimize the long-term damage of the gynecomastia. 

Treatment Options

Talking to a doctor can help determine the cause of gynecomastia and the most appropriate solution for it. This may come in the form of simply keeping up with a healthier diet and exercise, or maybe generating more balanced hormones. For some, the most effective treatment for gynecomastia is a male breast reduction surgery. This involves a surgeon removing the excess breast tissue and fat in the area to create a flatter and more defined chest.

Schedule a Consultation

If you have more questions about gynecomastia symptoms, treatment, or support, Dr. Cruise is here to help. With over 15 years of experience, Dr. Cruise is a board-certified plastic surgeon who is passionate about using his skills to better peoples’ lives. If you are interested in his services and expertise, fill out an online form to schedule a consultation.

Plastic Surgeon | Website | + posts

Dr. Joseph Cruise is a board-certified plastic surgeon with over 20 years of experience. Regarded as one of the top gynecomastia surgeons in the world, Dr. Cruise has gynecomastia-specific content that can be found at Dr. Cruise has dedicated his career to cosmetic surgery but has also had extensive training in General Surgery, Hand Surgery, and Microvascular Surgery. Dr. Joseph Cruise is also a member of the Rhinoplasty Society as well as the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

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