While most of our readers are women in their 20’s and 30’s, this article might be relevant to some of you, particularly those with male family members in their late forties and fifties. Andropause is the male equivalent of menopause, although people don’t talk about it much. Today we have invited Menopause expert Cathy Taylor to contribute to this issue. One of her contacts, who prefers to be anonymous, writes this article. Here goes:
“Andropause correlates directly with depression – a major player in the notorious mid-life crisis period men face in their late 40´s to late 50´s. There are a wide variety of symptoms and conditions men experience during this mid-life transition – everything from the mental (i.e. irritability) to the physical (loss of libido, lack of energy, and weight gain.) Depression, left untreated, can be a disabling condition.
Andropause depression is due to dropping levels of testosterone. Low testosterone levels cause many depressive symptoms – among them, a general indifference to events surrounding you, the inability to concentrate, extreme irritability, and memory loss. We might stress over things that might otherwise be worry-free in a normal situation and brood over certain matters. Our memory might go down the drain and we begin to see our lives in a negative light.
Energy levels plummet and enthusiasm for the activities we used to enjoy become flat-lined. Insomnia and restlessness is also a common symptom. Normal everyday things can become a burden to us, and the simplest shout of a child can make us excessively irritable.
Psychologists use a variety of battery tests to figure out whether you suffer from depression. Besides handing you test sheets to work with, they also place you under observation – noticing your behavior, tendencies, and habits while talking to them. Men tend to be rebellious creatures by nature. We love shrugging off our faults and being poised in the midst of emotional trouble. We take on the role as masculine creatures – lion kings of the jungle that reign over the sprawling landscape we call life.
Men can be in full denial when it comes to questions about their sexual ability and prowess. Refusing to understand that we aren’t who we once were with our sexual performance as a result of Andropause is in our blood. Fellas, it is time to become aware and acquainted with the severity of your depression. Off the bat, there are facts supporting depression as a major problem. For one, men carry out 80% of all suicides in the United States.
The majority of people with this condition never seek the advice and counsel of therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists. Probably the most shocking fact of all is the male suicide rate is highest during the Andropause years. You read correctly – highest during the years we’re specifically talking about.
How do we deal with these devastating changes to our lives? How can we manage stress to reduce the chances of clinical depression? For one, we must follow a daily exercise regimen. That coupled with a caffeine-free diet will boost our immune systems to fight disease. It will also slow down the aging process. Aim to maintain that explosive 30-inch, vertical leap well into your 60s!
Another is doing the activities we love. Don’t stray from playing your pick-up basketball games with buddies or building those go-carts from scratch as a hobby. Stick to them and enjoy the satisfaction of doing so. Distract yourself from your current condition without ignoring it completely.
Maintain a social network of friends and family that will cheer you up when you need it most. Something as simple as having your young child shove a hand drawing of a red school bus in your face can provide for laughs and smiles. The most important piece of advice is to accept your condition and make accommodations. For example, low testosterone levels can easily be supplemented with testosterone cream.
It’s bound to happen to all of us, and you either have the choice of making the best of it or letting it overwhelm you. Awareness is critical, and an optimistic attitude, followed with physical activity and a solid nutritional plan, is the best means of fighting Andropause, anti-aging, and the demon known as depression.”
Insightful, isn’t it? Well, for me personally, it will be quite a while before I reach that state in life. But for those of you with family that is going through this, may this be a useful piece. Here are some links that can help with depression:
Resources for helping overcome your depression: