“How old do you have to be to be one of your clients?’
“Why do you ask, Steve?”
“Well, I’m only fifty but I’m not sleeping well, I forget things, I’m worried about stuff…”
The women in the room chimed in: MANOPAUSE!
I guess andropause is the actual term, but whatever you call it, it seems to be a time of life, usually between the ages of 40 and 65, wherein men experience their own version of The Change. There are physical symptoms (i.e. loss of energy, weight gain, sleeplessness) and psycho-emotional ramifications, like re-thinking the big issues. Manopause seems to be a time when men take pause – to think about values, mortality, how they want to spend the rest of their days, and other weighty subjects, most often between 2 and 5 am, unfortunately. The lack of sleep may explain the forgetfulness, but as any menopausal woman will tell you, being a little vague on the details may not just be a result of fatigue.
Anyhoo, the topic is receiving a lot of attention, notably in Time Magazine and the Huffington Post. The Time article highlights the gazillion-dollar testosterone industry (nothing new to the readers of this blog, thank you very much) but both also include real-life stories of men experiencing age-induced hormonal changes, with consequences to relationships, sense of self and productivity. And apparently, manopause is more common than previously acknowledged.
Anyone who is interested in a more traditional perspective might want to check out Henry Jaglom’s, The M Word. Based on Jaglom’s personal experiences of the women in his life, the film mixes fiction with real-life. Reviews have singled out non-actor Jane Van Voorhis for her naturalistic and intellectual contributions.