A few months before Mel Gibson’s shamelessly racist and violent phone calls to his now ex-girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva, came out in news — the actor wrote her a letter, apologising for his temper tantrums.
In the handwritten letter, of which a copy was obtained by mega gossip site TMZ.com, Gibson rambles on about how his violent temper was a result of his male menopause. “I’m so ragged I could drink or commit a crime. The anger seems to be out of my control. I need to do something about it...” he wrote.
Random crying and screaming, associated with menopause, are no longer just associated with women. Real men it seems, not only do cry and scream, but also have massive mood swings and loose interest in sex (yes, it can happen!) Men too are pausing (pun intended).
“Men can suffer from a condition similar to the female menopause, but the correct term for it is male andropause. It’s a condition in which the testosterone, dubbed the ultimate male hormone, decreases,” says Dr Kapil Juneja, consultant, Urology and Andrology at Moolchand Medcity in New Delhi.
“And the effects of this can be many — from emotional instability to physical fatigue to loss of sexual prowess. But andropause isn’t only an age-related syndrome. It can happen due to acute illness, depression or even a genetic problem,” adds Dr Juneja.
“But you can’t diagnose it on the basis of suddenly loosing your temper one day or not feeling sexually aroused.” he explains.
“The society expects men to be in control all the time. And with so many responsibilities weighing down on us, it’s not really a surprise that male menopause is now a lifestyle problem,” says Sumeet Srivastava, a 36 year-old corporate professional.
So, it seems as long as men continue to chase the alpha male ideal, they will continue to tether on an emotional cliff.