sad old man syndrome (2023)

sad old man syndrome (1)

Qual: Barry Langon-Lassagne CC 3.0

In the 29 years I am aCareerand Personal Coach, I have seen an increase in men over 50 reporting feeling blue, although not clinically sodepressive. They function well in their daily lives, but ride a bit dreary, which far fewer female customers complain about. That's why I callOld Sad Man Syndrome.

A man I call Bill is the director of a large non-profit organization in the Bay Area. He sees that people he considers inferior receive promotions and other favors. He goes to the gym and sees attractive women looking right through him - Mr. Cellophane. He comes home to watch CNN and see endless praise for women and people of color, and he, a white male, is disproportionately portrayed as evil or an idiot. He doesn't feel that way either and is sad that it's hisGenderso often depicted. He spends much of his evenings watching Netflix when he finds a movie that doesn't show a brave woman or a minority beating up a white man. In the session I had with him yesterday, he said something like, 'I can't even talk to my wife about this. She still thinks that the world belongs to men and that I should pull myself together and be more present with the family. I try, but I don't succeed often enough."

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At the end of this article, I'll give suggestions for alleviating Sad Old Man Syndrome, but first, it can be helpful to be aware of the factors that could be causative - just to realize that it's not all your fault, maybe it's not your fault.

Possible Causes of Sad Older Person Syndrome

1. Men are no longer the focus of a positive societyAttention.

As Bill said, media and aboveTrainingfocus disproportionately on women and their needs. Men are often portrayed as "rich", mean, rude or stupid people, while women are portrayed as dignified who they don't have, whose needs should take precedence.

Aside from the validity of that statement, it certainly can't be good for a man to feel irrelevant. Indeed, this is what leading feminist writers are doing.Fay Weldonfamous statement: "Men are irrelevant." Read a lotTEMPOThe article was "Men Are Obsolete".New York TimesColumnist Maureen Dowd's bestselling book, Are Men Necessary? One of the most popular stories of all timethe atlanticwas a Father's Day cover story: "The End of Humanity". Imagine how women would feel if they saw a constantDietof Woman as Nincompoop with bestselling and acclaimed books entitled "Are Women Necessary?" and "The End of Women".

2. Women can organize. men are not.There are countless women leaders in the workplace andPolicy, support groups, networking groups, activist groups. In contrast, former men's organizations such as the major Rotary service clubs Kiwanis and Lions have been pressured to accept women. Even so, the main women's care clubs - Soroptomist and Junior League - remain all-female. One of my clients was a longtime Rotarian, and when he said that only men's clubs were being pressured to join,a mancalled him sexist and that permanently silenced him on the subject.

If there were a National Organization for Men or an American Association of College Men, the media would not give them the huge amounts of free publicity that the National Organization for Women and the American Association of College Women do. They have also been derided as sexist and unnecessary, for example with widespread dismissals such as: "You don't need men's clubs. Every club is a men's club." One client said, "Sure, men can meet informally, but the relative lack of ready-made organizations where men can support each other as much as women makes me sad."

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3. Employability drops.Working outside the home is at the center of many men's livesidentity. After 40 and especially after 50, employability decreases. And because men's activism has far less support than women's, men have a particularly difficult situation. Certainly, my 40+ male clients have a harder time finding a good job than my female clients.


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4. Men's health deteriorates sooner. One of the reasons older men have a hard time finding or keeping good jobs is that they age worse than women: although their rate ofSmoke, drinking and obesity are similar to women, they die 5 years earlier. For every widower, there are 4.5 widows. And death is just the endpoint on a continuum of earlier decline and therefore lower employability.

Men's grief over her death can be compounded by knowing that although they die younger and suffer from the gender deficit, they are not focused on closing the gap, as was the case, for example, when women are underrepresented. in science, more focused on breast cancer than prostate cancer. (How many pink ribbons have you seen compared to the blue ones?) Even efforts to treat heart disease, which strikes men earlier and is deadlier, are focusing on women. For example, the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women initiative has graced millions of peoplecansand Coca-Cola bottles with the Go Red for Woman logo and website.

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Of course, these observations are subjective, so I conducted a PubMed review, which aggregates articles from 3,000 medical journals. Over the past 60 years (!), 95% of gender-specific articles have been about women. And when women were excluded from studies, it was usually for good reason, for example, the study drug was intended for people of childbearing age and researchers didn't want to risk exposing fetuses to an adult dose of an investigational drug.

5. Sexual decline.Perhaps caused in part by the earlier decline in men's health, theirsexualitydrops too, often literally. One man said, "I used to love sex. I was good at sex. Now I can't even stand up. Yes, I can take Viagra to get an erection so I can serve my wife, but Viagra doesn't increase sexual desire. my wife as for myself.” Although men remain sexually interested, like older women, they are often seen as invisible.Along with the other factors mentioned above, this can contribute to Sad Man Syndrome.

Treatment of Sad Old Man Syndrome

Here's what worked best for my clients. You may find one or more worth trying:

  • Some of it is not inevitable.For example, in the second half of life it is more difficult to find a good job, but it is far from impossible. It may just take more effort. To your credit, you've acquired skills and perspectives that a young man didn't have time to acquire. And it took you longer to get friends and co-workers to praise you. And while health decline is inevitable, its rate is partially within our control. You know: control weight, blood pressure, diabetes, play sports, don't smoke, keep upto emphasizemoderate, not withAlcoholor other mind-altering substances. Of course, all of this is easier said than done.
  • Find the silver lining.For example, if no one hires you for a decent job, then you have the opportunity to start a business or start early.retirementand doing things you wanted to find time to do but didn't have time for, or time to discover a new direction.
  • get busyFill your days and you might be too busy to feel bad: volunteer, take up a hobby, blog daily.
  • A practice.Daily exercise helps many depressed people. In the case of subclinical malaise, it is said to be even more effective.
  • cognitive behavior therapy.A few sessions with a good cognitive-behavioral therapist can help you break free of your unproductive thinking.

take it off

Being sick is more common than many people admit, perhaps especially in older men. If any of the above resonates with you, I hope you at least realize that you're not abnormal. And maybe recognizing that and trying one or more of these admittedly standard tactics might help.

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What is the old man syndrome? ›

The decline in testosterone as men age is sometimes called aging male syndrome or late-onset hypogonadism. It's also sometimes called “andropause,” like women's decline in hormones is called menopause. But men's testes don't stop making testosterone in the way that women's ovaries stop making estrogen at menopause.

What are signs of irritable male syndrome? ›

The irritable male syndrome (IMS) is a behavioural state of nervousness, irritability, lethargy and depression that occurs in adult male mammals following withdrawal of testosterone (T).

Why do men get crankier as they age? ›

According to medical science, it is because of the decreasing testosterone level that men experience mood swings, depression, and physical discomfort. Mayo clinic says that after 40 years of age, every year, a man's testosterone level decreases by 1%.

Why has my husband turned into a grumpy old man? ›

The stereotype of the grumpy old man could have its roots in a condition known as irritable male syndrome. It's clinically referred to as andropause, or male menopause. Like female menopause, andropause includes physical and emotional changes that also seem dependent on changes in hormone levels.

Do men become more emotional as they age? ›

A common symptom of midlife in men is to suddenly become more emotional. Men who have felt very little emotion for years find themselves moved to tears at movies, or find a lump in their throat when thinking about their family.

Why do people get angrier as they get older? ›

First, our dopamine levels decline as we age, making elderly people susceptible to dopamine-deficient depression. It's also well known that declining estrogen levels during menopause, along with resulting physical changes can cause women to experience irritability, sadness and anxiety.

What are 3 symptoms of andropause? ›

Some men develop depression, loss of sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and other physical and emotional symptoms when they reach their late 40s to early 50s.
  • mood swings and irritability.
  • loss of muscle mass and reduced ability to exercise.
  • fat redistribution, such as developing a large belly or "man boobs" (gynaecomastia)

Why do guys get angry easily? ›

Testosterone, a key hormone found in men and less so in women, has a big role to play in anger.

At what age do men lose interest? ›

It's natural for men to notice a gradual decrease in sex drive (libido) as they age. The degree of this decline varies. But most men maintain at least some amount of sexual interest into their 60s and 70s. But sometimes loss of sex drive is related to an underlying condition.

What age do men change the most? ›

Most growth happens during the teen years, but some men can continue growing and developing even into their 20s.

What age do men start to deteriorate? ›

New study says decline begins in our 50s

Researchers with Duke University's School of Medicine suggest that physical decline begins in the decade of the 50s and worsens as we age, especially for those who don't exercise.

Why is my 70 year old husband so angry? ›

Cognitive decline can cause aging adults to have sudden outbursts of anger. Symptoms of cognitive decline include memory loss and difficulty understanding basic information. Your loved one might become upset if he or she can't recall a particular word or remember the name of a familiar place.

How do you deal with a difficult old man? ›

Sometimes you might be the only person they are interacting with that day, so they unfairly take their anger out on you.
Make the older person feel like you really value what they are saying.
  1. Make sure to make eye contact.
  2. Paraphrase what the elderly person is saying.
  3. Ask questions throughout the conversation.

How often do grown men cry? ›

30 to 64. The average number of times a year that women cry emotional tears, as compared with 5 to 17 times per year for men, according to a study of self-reports from more than 7,000 people in 37 countries.

Why do men lack empathy? ›

A perhaps under-discussed reason for a lack of empathy for men is that it's protective to not feel too much for someone you may soon lose. And indeed men are more likely to be lost. For example, males come to be self-sacrificial.

Is it normal for a grown man to cry? ›

It's okay for men to cry. Crying can be a healthy way to process your emotions, and it can have a range of emotional and physical benefits. Hiding your emotions can make it harder to cope with your feelings and seek support.

Why do old people complain so much? ›

A Senior's Complaints Might Stem from Boredom

These emotions are often compounded when they are accompanied by limited mobility, reduced energy and other age-related changes that affect their independence, daily routines and functioning.

How far should seniors walk a day? ›

Adults aged 65 and older need: At least 150 minutes a week (for example, 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week) of moderate-intensity activity such as brisk walking. Or they need 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity activity such as hiking, jogging, or running.

Why do elderly talk about the past? ›

When they talk about their past, their memory ignites and emotion is likely involved, too. Research shows that as seniors remember the past, new pathways form in the brain that helps with communication. Also, it gives them an opportunity to practice communicating in a way that is meaningful to them.

What is a hot flush in a man? ›

Hot flashes feel the same to men and women: A sudden feeling of warmth or flushing that is most intense over the head and trunk, often accompanied by visible redness of the skin and by sweating, which can be profuse. Hot flashes are most common at night.

What does low estrogen feel like in men? ›

Symptoms of Low Estrogen in Men

Irritability. Depression. Forgetfulness. Oversleeping or sleeping too often.

At what age does andropause start? ›

Andropause refers to the symptoms men experience as their testosterone production levels decrease with age. After the age of 40, testosterone levels start to decline and the symptoms associated with andropause begin to manifest.

Do guys get hard when they're angry? ›

It should be noted that erections aren't just about sexual arousal, many men experience “reflex erections, which can happen when a man is nervous, scared, angry, or under stress.” Sounds like a definite combat liability- particularly with younger male troops.

Does anger increase with age? ›

Increased anger with age is a common problem, but you don't have to feel angry all the time. Blue Moon Senior Counseling offers therapy for anger management, stress, anxiety, and other common problems affecting older adults.

How often do 70 year olds make love? ›

Among people in their 70s, a 2015 study1 published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found 33% of sexually active men and 36% of sexually active women had sex at least twice a month. For people in their 80s, 19% of sexually active men and 32% of sexually active women had sex at least twice a month.

Can 80 year old man get hard? ›

If you keep your ticker healthy and your body in shape, you can have an erection over age 80. In fact, more than half of men (53%) over age 75 can achieve an erection. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is not an inevitable part of aging.

What does a 70 year old man want in bed? ›

What does a 70 year old man want in bed? They want to be appreciated in the bedroom. Reassuring someone in the bedroom is one of the best ways to make them open up to you and be fully present with you. Once they relax, they'll give themselves to the moment.

What is a man's prime age? ›

At what age are men considered to be in their prime? Physically, early to mid-20s. Intellectually and emotionally, men start to fully mature about age 40.

What is the most difficult age for a man? ›

The Most Difficult Age For Any Man is Probably Between 24 and 29, The Pressure To Be Something, To Be someone is So Immense. When everyone seems to be doing something for themselves, people seem to be living a life you only dream of.

What happens to a man's body at 70? ›

Your Bones, Joints, and Muscles

Your muscles get weaker, and the tendons -- which connect muscles to your skeleton -- get stiffer. This will decrease your strength and flexibility. In your 70s, you might lose an inch or two off your height as disks in your back flatten.

At what age do men stop getting stronger? ›

Typically, muscle mass and strength increase steadily from birth and reach their peak at around 30 to 35 years of age. After that, muscle power and performance decline slowly and linearly at first, and then faster after age 65 for women and 70 for men.

At what age do you physically decline? ›

After age 30, people tend to lose lean tissue. Your muscles, liver, kidney, and other organs may lose some of their cells. This process of muscle loss is called atrophy. Bones may lose some of their minerals and become less dense (a condition called osteopenia in the early stages and osteoporosis in the later stages).

What happens to men's bodies as they age? ›

With age, bones tend to shrink in size and density, weakening them and making them more susceptible to fracture. You might even become a bit shorter. Muscles generally lose strength, endurance and flexibility — factors that can affect your coordination, stability and balance.

Why do some men never age? ›

They found that genes have a lot to do with looking young. There are thousands of genes in everyone's DNA that focus on cell energy, skin formation, and antioxidant production, but "ageless" people express them differently, and often for longer while others peter out as they age.

At what age does a man stop ejaculating? ›

While some men may experience premature ejaculation, others may experience difficulty ejaculating at all. While there is no definite age at which male ejaculation ceases, it has been suggested that it may happen when a man reaches his late 40s or early 50s.

At what age do men decline physically? ›

After age 50, testosterone levels begin to dip, which causes changes in the way fat is distributed. You might notice extra weight developing around your midsection, less hair on your head and more hair in your nose and ears.

At what age do men stop changing? ›

Most boys reach their peak height around the age of 16. However, men still develop in other ways well into their twenties. Research has found that the brain doesn't fully develop until the age of 25 and men usually achieve peak muscle mass somewhere between the age of 20 and 30.

How do you deal with a grouchy old man? ›

Sometimes you might be the only person they are interacting with that day, so they unfairly take their anger out on you. Try not to take their negativity to heart.
Listen carefully.
  1. Make sure to make eye contact.
  2. Paraphrase what the elderly person is saying.
  3. Ask questions throughout the conversation.

At what age are men serious? ›

Ninety percent of men who have graduated from college are ready for the next step between ages 26 and 33; this is when they are most likely to consider marriage. But this window of opportunity stays open only for four to five years, and then the chances a man will marry start to decline.

Do older guys last longer? ›

Just as the refractory period increases with age, the volume of the ejaculate decreases. Men also notice that the ejaculation itself feels less and less explosive as they age; the semen leaks out rather than being forcefully expelled. Orgasms might also feel less intense. It takes longer for you to reach orgasm.


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