However, the men refuse to acknowledge that they too, like the women suffer from decline in hormone as they age. As stated by Northern California psychotherapist Jed Diamond, men show all effects of menopause, from irritability to mood swings, flagging sex drive to loss of muscle strength and male identity. He says that a man's midlife crisis is just another aspect of male menopause or the medically known andropause.
While the women under go change in hormonal levels with cessation of menstrual cycle and inability to reproduce, men can continue to reproduce. But the men evidently experience a decline in testosterone levels. "We've taken a slice and assumed it was the whole picture. There are a number of changes that men go through: hormonal, physiological, interpersonal, sexual and spiritual," The Daily Telegraph quoted Diamond as saying.
He added: "When you think of midlife crisis, you think of the psychological or social changes, like when men act in a way that focuses upon youth.
"We ignore the hormonal and physiological changes. With women, we think the opposite, emphasising the physiological changes." He went on to embark his study after figuring out that irritability is a symptom of menopause in men is a problem in its own.
A study conducted on 6000 men and set up a quiz on his website, which around 60,000 men have attended worldwide. Louann Brizendine, a neuropsychiatrist at the University of California-San Francisco, said that many of his theories are true, anecdotally, for men nationwide.
Brizendine said: "The concept of a midlife crisis has been questioned, but nonetheless, there is a correlation between declining testosterone and age in men.
"For some men, the decline in testosterone affects them in mood, muscle strength and sexual function.
"There is good evidence that declining testosterone in some men can make their mood decline, and some men have increased moodiness and irritability.'
The irritable male syndrome causes four main causes of irritability, one of them being decline in testosterone. Men become angrier because they feel less "like themselves,'said Diamond. Other changes include stress, biochemical changes in the brain and changes in male identity and male roles in society cause irritability.
Diamond has also authored the book 'The Irritable Male Syndrome: Managing the Four Key Causes of Aggression and Depression' and has also created an online support at menalive.com. The site aims at educating men world wide about the little known phenomenon.