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Irritable male syndrome

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Dec. 29--Red sports car, divorce, infidelity. These are thought to be signs of a stereotypical male midlife crisis. This could also be IMS.

Irritable male syndrome (IMS) is a term used to refer to various degrees of hypersensitivity, feelings of withdrawal, sadness, anxiety, frustration, being unenthusiastic or uninterested.

All these symptoms can be a result of a variety of conditions and are treatable.

Just as women go through hormonal changes later in life, drops in testosterone levels cause behavioral effects in men.

Testosterone is a hormone and as men age hormone levels naturally decline. For men, testosterone is the vital sex hormone that kick starts puberty and regulates sex drive.

Stress can also contribute to IMS. In a recent study, 46 percent of the men surveyed stated they felt often or almost always stressed and 40 percent claim they are rarely sexually satisfied, 55 percent stated they had a strong fear of failure and 62 percent expressed a desire to "get away from it all."

Mood swings related to stress can include anger, tenseness, sarcasm, hostility, unloving, defensiveness, dissatisfaction, impatience, argumentative and demanding.

More than six million men are diagnosed with depression each year, advises the National Institutes of Mental Health.

Males tend to "act-out" their depression symptoms, whereas females tend to "act-in" the symptoms.

This results in women seeking help for their depression symptoms while men deal with symptoms by self-destructiveness, drug use, gambling, womanizing and workaholism.

This can cause premature aging, early death and inability to maintain relationships with others.

Symptoms of depression are similar sadness, feelings of hopelessness, pessimism, feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities, decreased energy, fatigue, being "slowed down," difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions, difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping, appetite and/or weight changes, thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts, restlessness and irritability.

Depression is treatable, it is important for individuals to seek treatment from health care professionals to determine the appropriate course of action.


Is Your Relationship Being Undermined by Male Menopause, Irritable Male Syndrome, or Male-Type Depression?

--He flares up quickly.

He is easily annoyed, becomes grumpy, or impatient.

He has trouble controlling his temper.

He drinks or uses other substances to relieve stress.

He feels empty or "burned out."

He feels that people continue to disappoint him.

He feels emotionally numb and closed down.

Your sexual relationship is less enjoyable.

Your sexual desire for each other is decreasing.

Even though you love each other, you don't feel "in love" in the way would like to be.

If you answer "yes" to 5 or more of these statements, it is likely that you need help.

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