The anxiety felt by many men during the andropausal life stage in most cases can be strongly linked to a complex set of physical and cognitive changes that occur at this time due to a drop in his testosterone level. So, the hormone misbalance, we mentioned in all other symptoms review, plays a vital role in anxiety issues development as well. Actually, other male menopause symptoms - loss of energy and vitality, insomnia, lessened libido, hot flashes and night sweats as well as an increase in body weight - can contribute to the episodes off frequent feelings of panic, negativity, and restlessness.
If you never experienced strong incidents of anxiety, you may underestimate the devastating effect on mental and physical health and general wellbeing. It can be characterized by excessive, exaggerated anxiety and worry about everyday life events with no obvious reasons for worry. People always expect disaster and can't stop worrying about health, money, family, work, or school. In many episodes, the worry is absolutely unrealistic or largely out of proportion for the situation. Daily life becomes a constant state of worry, fear, and dread. Eventually, the anxiety so dominates the person's thinking that it interferes with daily functioning, including work, school, social activities, and relationships.
So, the fact that these people anxiety is mere a symptom of male menopause would be probably of little comfort to them, because the prospect of growing older and dying is still more fodder for their fear. As a boy is growing up he is often told to be tough, strong, and stoic. He is trained up to be a man of action, a hard charger, and that it is a sign of weakness to cry. Some get past their training enough to grow out of this mindset, some live it without question, and some become frightened and anxious because they cannot cope and feel that they are less of a man because of it. These feelings become very painful and acute, especially as they feel the reality of growing older.
But there is so much you can do even before you get to the critical state, which impairs your functionality, starting from simple lifestyle changes and ending with hormone replacement therapy as the most serious step to resolve your andropause related problems.
Other Anxiety Disorders
While it is reasonable to assume that main reason for your anxiety lies in the hormonal changes, associated with male menopause, you have to consider other possible reasons as well. It is also common for an anxiety disorder to accompany depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, or another anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders can also co-exist with illnesses such as heart disease, high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, thyroid conditions, and migraine headaches. In such instances, the accompanying disorders will also need to be treated.
It is worth to mention that most anxiety disorders begin in childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. Most anxiety symptoms in older adults are linked to a search for an unrecognized general medical condition, a substance abuse disorder, or major depression with secondary anxiety symptoms.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) classifies the anxiety disorders into the following categories:
- Anxiety due to a general medical condition. The essential feature of Anxiety Disorder Due to a General Medical Condition is clinically significant anxiety that is judged to be due to the direct physiological effects of a general medical condition. Symptoms can include prominent, generalized anxiety symptoms, Panic Attacks, or obsessions or compulsions.
- Substance-induced anxiety disorder. Distinctive anxiety symptoms (i.e., generalized anxiety, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, or phobia symptoms) determined to be caused by the effects of a psychoactive substance is the primary feature of a substance-induced psychotic disorder. A substance may induce psychotic symptoms during intoxication (i.e., while the individual is under the influence of the drug) or during withdrawal (i.e., after an individual stops using the drug).
- Generalized anxiety disorder. The essential feature of GAD is anxiety, which is generalized and persistent but not restricted to, or even strongly predominating in, any particular environmental circumstances. As in other anxiety disorders the dominant symptoms are highly variable, but complaints of continuous feelings of nervousness, trembling, muscular tension, sweating, lightheadedness, palpitations, dizziness, and epigastric discomfort are common.
- Panic disorder. Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder characterized by unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear accompanied by physical symptoms that may include chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, or abdominal distress. These sensations often mimic symptoms of a heart attack or other life-threatening medical conditions. Left untreated, people with panic disorder can develop so many phobias about places or situations where panic attacks have occurred that they become housebound.
- Acute stress disorder. Acute Stress Disorder is a type of anxiety disorder that develops within one month after a severe traumatic event or experience. Distressing dissociative symptoms are common, including depersonalization, derealization, or dissociative amnesia. Anxiety, irritability, depression, and diminished ability to experience pleasure are pretty common. There may be problems falling or staying asleep. A person with Acute Stress Disorder will avoid any reminders of the trauma but re-experiencing the event in dreams, nightmares, or painful memories.
- Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD may develop from a terrifying event or ordeal that a person has experienced, witnessed or learned about, especially one that is Life threatening or causes physical harm. This traumatic experience causes the person to feel intense fear, horror or a sense of helplessness. The stress caused by trauma can affect all aspects of a person's life including mental, emotional and physical well being.
- Adjustment disorder with anxious features.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder where the sufferer feels compelled to spend a great deal of time doing things over and over again such as washing their hands, checking things, or counting things.
- Social phobia also referred to as social anxiety disorder. Social Phobia involves a fear of social situations and is usually associated with low self-esteem and fear of criticism. Sufferers may display symptoms of flushing, hand tremor, nausea, or urgency to urinate which may progress to panic attacks. Avoidance is often marked, and in extreme cases may result in virtually complete social isolation.
- Specific phobia also referred to as simple phobia. Specific phobias have been further broken down by the DSM-IV-TR to include animal type, such as fear of dogs (cynophobia), cats (ailurophobia), bees (apiphobia), spiders (arachnophobia), snakes (ophidiophobia); natural environment type, such as fear of heights (acrophobia), water (hydrophobia), or thunderstorms (astraphobia); blood injection/injury type, such as fear of pain (algophobia) or of being beaten (rhabdophobia); situational type, such as fear of flying (pteromerhanophobia), elevators, or enclosed spaces; and other type.
In spite of the severe negative effect on the human life, most anxiety disorders are very treatable. If you experience such condition, you will not easily trust this statement. The reason is that, while you have the ability to recover, anxiety changes your perception so much, that your fears become worse rather than better. This is the most natural thing in the world. Anxiety often feels like something that has invaded your life, something you have to resist and oppose. However, the worst problems come from our efforts to resist and remove anxiety, rather than from the anxiety itself.
Do not let it go, do not suffer silently. If the anxiety is easily manageable, may be you can deal with that by changing your life to the better, bring there more pleasure and joy, and learning simple relaxation and meditation techniques. Natural supplements may help you as well.
However, if the anxiety grip is severe and unbearable, you need to seek for professional assistance – your psychotherapist. Life is short – it is a pity to spend it worrying about everything!
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