HYDERABAD: It’s a known fact that women undergo premenstrual syndrome (PMS). But did you know that men also go through something very similar? It’s called irritable male syndrome (IMS). Yes, you read it right! It does exist and is very common among men.
Just like women, men too show a difference in behaviour, get anxious and seem irritated. Unfortunately, the condition goes undiagnosed as most people believe it’s a classic case of a midlife crisis. “IMS is all about Andropause which happens when sex hormones are disturbed and reduces. It will have certain symptoms, which are physical and mental. It causes mood swings and anxiety. In men, depression gets manifested through aggression, just like it happens in children. As the testosterone and serotonin levels go down, they tend to become gloomy. This leads to frustration and anger, after which the man feels guilty for his behaviour. This affects relationships,” says clinical psychologist Radhika Acharya.
IMS usually occurs among men in the 40-60 age group and it depends on how they have been keeping themselves occupied. “If they continue to keep themselves engaged with productive tasks, the condition will not be severe. I have seen people becoming angry and anxious; we come across such cases all the time. Doctors will do their job, apart from that counselling is important to address the issues of anxiety, frustration and depression. Things turn extremely difficult when both the man and woman go through these emotions at the same time. Being understanding and accepting can solve the problem to a great extent,” says Radhika. She suggests attending anger management sessions, changing one’s lifestyle by doing something productive and involving in community activities. Also, people should not hesitate to seek professional help which will help them rationalise their emotions.
Dr Manjula Anagani, a gynaecologist, explains why IMS occurs in men and how one can identify it. “It is to do with male menopause. It is said that the testosterone level comes down in mammals every time the season changes and this causes a behavioural change. In 2004, studies revealed that men go through Andropause; it is more about hormonal, physical, psychological, interpersonal and social changes. This happens somewhere around 40-50 years and for some people after 70. Most of the time, like women, need dietary supplements, men too need the same to deal with this. People can become irrational, in women this was labelled as a psychological problem. But men, too, go through the exact same thing.”
In IMS, men tend to become angry, depressed and frustrated. This is because of the hormonal changes in the body, just like what happens in women. “Some people have hypersensitivity to hormones and they have IMS, it is not that everyone has it. The testosterone hormones in men keep changing -- they are high in the morning and low at night. In men, it is because of the hormonal changes that they have frustration, anxiety, aggression, but these emotions are not highlighted everywhere and all the time. It changes because of stress,” says Dr Rajini, a consultant gynaecologist.