Everyone knows the caricature of the cantankerous old man. Shaky and twitchy, easily surprised or frightened; in the old cartoons he usually had a cane, one foot wrapped up in bandages, and a long white beard. He often had an ear trumpet and his tag line was usually, Eh? Whatcha say, sonny?
Contemporary to the time the cartoons were made, in the 1930s that old man would probably have been a Civil War veteran, and the kids who laughed at that cartoon are now elderly themselves.
The More Things Change
Thanks to more advanced medicine, a larger range of drugs, better food, and a society that is more mobile and educated, there are very few of the caricature old men anymore, this side of a nursing home, at any rate. Today’s elderly have tiny hearing aids, if they need them.
They have access to surgeries that the folks in the 1930s could only have dreamed of. They have had regular medical, dental, and auxiliary care.
They drive cars and travel: in short anything a person living today has access to. Today’s adults do not have to look forward to the time they are elderly with the horror of previous generations.
That is the way it looks, anyway, but there is a segment of middle aged men, living today, who feel every bit as querulous as the old cartoon man. Anxiety is a constant presence with them, and they find themselves afraid of nearly everything. They cannot guess at what is wrong with them past their smothering blanket of anxiety.
To tell them that their anxiety is a symptom of male menopause would be of little comfort to them, because the prospect of growing older and dying is still more fodder for their fear.
As a boy is growing up he is often told to be tough, strong, and stoic. He is trained up to be a man of action, a hard charger, and that it is a sign of weakness to cry. Some get past their training enough to grow out of this mindset, some live it without question, and some become frightened and anxious because they cannot cope and feel that they are less of a man because of it.
These feelings become very painful and acute, especially as they feel the reality of growing older. Again, if they were told that this is another symptom of male menopause, it would not be much of a comfort for them.
The aggregate of psychological symptoms for male menopause are these: anxiety and/or fear, increased irritability, trouble making decisions, ,loss of self-confidence, depression, purposelessness, feeling of loneliness and not being loved, forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, and feelings of unattractiveness.
If you have a friend, or a loved one or an acquaintance who exhibits one or more of these symptoms, he needs medical help, and not just for his psychological problems. He needs to see a physician that understands male menopause, who can help him with the undoubted physical problems he is struggling under. This poor man is in hell, and needs a friend to lend him a hand up.