The Irritable Male Syndrome : Managing the Four Key Causes of Depression and Aggression , by Jed Diamond

Book Classification : Men's Health - Nonfiction


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The Irritable Male Syndrome : Managing the Four Key Causes of Depression and Aggression , by Jed Diamond
Hardcover - 304 pages
First Edition, September 29, 2004
Published by Rodale Books
ISBN 1-57954-798-2 / ISBN 1579547982

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Review

If a man you know is grumpy and gloomy, or exhibits any of a dozen other symptoms [ix], he may be experiencing hormonal changes.

The name Irritable Male Syndrome or IMS came from a scientific journal article written in 2002 by Gerald A. Lincoln, Ph.D. [20] He defined it as "a behavioural state of nervousness, irritability, lethargy, and depression that occurs in adult mammals following the withdrawal of testosterone." [21]

Psychotherapist Jed Diamond, a staff member of the World Congress on Men's Health, has been popularizing the name and the idea. His own definition of IMS is: "A state of hypersensitivity, anxiety, frustration and anger that occurs in males as is associated with biochemical changes, hormonal fluctuations, stress, and loss of male identity." [7]

A "syndrome" is simply a group of symptoms that point to an undesirable condition. [22]

Buy the book The Irritable Male Syndrome - Managing the Four Key Causes of Depression and Aggression by Jed Diamond

It is now recognized that many men feel stress (Chapter 7) and other negative emotions due to hormone cycles similar to PMS in women [165-170] and also due to andropause, or male menopause. [16] These trends were documented by questionaires filled out by 9,500 men. [vii] Jed Diamond's book summarizes everything now known about this subject, including a discussion of mood and testosterone cycles [164-165].

Women are often the first to observe the changes in men's mood and behavior. Men may deny that a change has taken place, or may immerse themselves in work, or in eating and drinking. [42] An entire chapter is devoted to "Dealing With Denial -- What to do when the irritable man says, 'I'm not irritable. It's you who has the problem.'" [173]

Relationships between the sexes are at risk. The author asks, "Us and them: Why are men so angry at women?" [31] Before answering this questions, the author considers the views of anthropologist David D. Gilmore, author of such books as Manhood in the Making : Cultural Concepts of Masculinity (1991) and Misogyny : The Male Malady (2001). Gilmore had concluded that one of the important realities is that men are frightened, and sometimes enraged, by the particular kinds of dependency that men and women have on each other. [32-33] Jed Diamond relates the observations made by others to the irritability and dispair brought about by hormonal changes. [33]

IMS also increases the danger of violent personal behavior, of which the World Health Organization identifies three types. [30-31]

For those who wish to know more about why the condition occurs, the author cites both biological and social factors.

To see how evolution has brought us to this point, the author considers the fact that natural selection increases whatever feelings and behaviors correspond to increasing the probability of passing on our genes to future generations. [104] IMS is related to the fact that each of us is a descendent only of people who were successful at reproducing, that each of us is the outcome of "an unbroken chain of reproductive success" [104] The relative amounts of activity in the right and left sides of the brain are also related to anxiety, sadness and other negative feelings. [221]

In addition to biological causes, there are also modern environmental factors. Modern-day stress [137] has its own characteristics. In some ways, we are living in an "age of rage." [144]

The difference between "acting out" IMS and "acting in" IMS [74] is so important that the author has written a separate chapter on each.

The author reports on effective treatments using diet, vitamins, medication, and other methods. [200-209] Some of the treatments involve self-help exercises, such as the decision to "make new choices" [220] or to "forgive the past" [222], but there are also medical treatments.

The Irritable Male Syndrome is recommended for men who wish to explore the biological reasons for why they feel more negative emotions as they get older, or the spouse or family member of a man who may be showing this tendency.

Book review by Mike Lepore for crimsonbird.com

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The Irritable Male Syndrome : Managing the Four Key Causes of Depression and Aggression
by Jed Diamond
ISBN 1-57954-798-2 / ISBN 1579547982

Book Description from the Publisher

In his latest breakthrough book on male health and well-being, best-selling author Jed Diamond presents the most up-to-date research from around the globe to reveal why so many normally loving husbands, fathers, and sons suddenly become irritable, angry, and withdrawn. The Irritable Male Syndrome is the first book to describe the phenomenon of the same name and offer a program for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. It identifies the four common triggers of IMS -- fluctuating testosterone levels, biochemical imbalances, loss of masculine identity, and stress -- and then shows men and their partners how best to treat this emerging problem.

Research shows that up to 30 percent of men, especially those in adolescence and midlife, exhibit symptoms of IMS. In its mildest forms, IMS can cause men to be moody and irritable. At its worst, it can lead to violence and even suicide. The pain and destruction affect not only the men themselves but also their families, their communities, and the world at large.

Just as PMS has become a recognized problem in women, IMS -- thanks to this book -- will soon be acknowledged as a genuine affliction among men. The Irritable Male Syndrome will revolutionize the detection, understanding, and treatment of male depression, bringing relief and happiness back to the lives of millions of men and their loved ones.

Book Description from the Publisher

It turns out that it's not only women who suffer from hormone related irritability. Depression, anger, fatigue, moodiness, anxiety, lethargy, low libido, and confusion are just some of the symptoms of a recently identified condition that affects men.

IMS (Irritable Male Syndrome) is in some ways similar to male menopause, but it can affect men of all ages. What often triggers IMS is acute or chronic stress. Focusing on two crucial times of life when male hormones are shifting rapidly -- adolescence/young adulthood and midlife -- Jed Diamond reports on the latest research from international experts on men's health and hormones; describes in detail the symptoms of IMS; explains how the volatile mood swings of the syndrome can wreak havoc with a man's closest relationships and provides advice on preventing, diagnosing, and treating IMS.

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This is an Amazon.com link for
The Irritable Male Syndrome : Managing the Four Key Causes of Depression and Aggression
by Jed Diamond
ISBN 1-57954-798-2 / ISBN 1579547982