Therapies and Treatments for Male Mid-life Crisis and Male Menopause.

If you’re experiencing symptoms that could be caused by male menopause, see your healthcare provider. You will get tested for hormone levels, and you can also expect to discuss your work and personal life to see if your symptoms may be caused by problems such as stress, anxiety, poor sleep, or excess weight.

What are talk therapies?

If stress or anxiety are affecting you, you may benefit from some form of professional talk therapy, also called psychotherapy. One useful type of talk therapy is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). This type of psychotherapy is based on the idea that your thought patterns affect your emotions, which can then affect your behaviors.

CBT can teach people different ways of thinking, behaving, and reacting to situations to help reduce anger, anxiety or depression. For example, CBT recognizes that negative, worrying thoughts can lead to fearful, worrisome feelings and actions. Purposefully reframing your thoughts to be more positive can lead to more positive feelings and helpful behaviors.

With a therapist using CBT, you will:
- identify specific problems or issues in your daily life
- increase your awareness of negative thought patterns and how they can impact your life
- identify negative thinking and reframe it in a way that changes how you feel
- learn new behaviors and put them into practice

Exposure therapy is a technique used in CBT that has patients confront the fears underlying their anxiety. This helps get individuals back doing activities that they have been avoiding due to anxiety. Relaxation techniques are used to help manage anxiety while doing the exposure therapy.
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is another type of therapy that can be used specifically to treat anxiety. ACT teaches strategies such as mindfulness to reduce anxiety. It is a newer form of therapy than CBT, so at this time, less information is available on its long-term effectiveness.

Anger Management Therapy.

Anger is a common response to feelings of threat, stress, helplessness, or frustration. It is a totally normal emotion, just like fear or happiness. Everybody experiences anger at some point in their lives. Feelings of anger can trigger the release of cortisol and/or adrenaline, both of which are hormones that work together in the fight, flight, or freeze response that is an adaptive response that helps get us out of difficult or dangerous situations. Anger is also a normal way to deal with negative feelings and can motivate us to find solutions to the problems that are causing the anger.

Repeated bouts of anger on its own, with no appropriate trigger, is not normal. Unfortunately, anger outbursts are a common symptom during male midlife. Managing anger is possible and help is available if anger is affecting relationships and other important parts of your life. Common anger management therapies and techniques are often blended into different types of talk therapies.

These Anger Management therapies and techniques include:
1 - Joining a support group for anger management. This will help you understand your anger including your key triggers. Group support is very useful to develop strategies and skills that will help you manage anger and any other difficult emotions that may be appearing with no apparent cause.
2 - Individual counselling. There are various techniques and tools that can be used to help manage anger. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), discussed in the Talk Therapies section is a common approach that typically shows successful results.
3 - Cognitive restructuring. This is an element of several types of talk therapies, and it can also be applied on its own. Cognitive restructuring involves adjusting unhelpful, inflammatory thoughts and beliefs by identifying and challenging them. It can also be applied to other parts of daily life to help manage stress, improve relationships and improve professional behaviours.
4 - Identifying triggers. This therapy helps you to detect what things, people, and/or events set off an anger outburst. Once triggers are identified, anger management therapy will help you develop alternative healthy responses.
5 - Deep breathing techniques, visualization techniques, and/or meditation can be used to slow down your heart and breath rates and calm your nervous system. This is an excellent practice that can be used ‘in the moment’, and it helps ‘take down the temperature’.
6 - Progressive muscle relaxation is often part of a meditation or visualization technique that helps to release tension, change your focus away from your anger, and calm your nervous system.
7 - Emotion labeling. Learning to identify and label your emotions is a big step towards controlling them.

Anger can be a very destructive emotion, causing distress and damage to yourself and others. When you are ready to seek counselling specifically to manage your anger, make sure you find a qualified therapist. There are many different therapists out there, and doing some homework will ensure that you get a good match between your therapist and your needs.

Ask (and get satisfactory answers) to the following questions:
1. What are their qualifications?
2. Are they certified and regulated by a professional body?
3. What is their specialization, if they have one?
4. How long have they been practicing, and is all of that experience in anger management?
5. What techniques do they use most commonly?
6. Do they have any positive reviews from past clients?
7. How do they define success, and what is their success rate?

There is no shame in seeking help. If this is a new approach for you, trust in the process. Seeking help is a huge step towards resolving your anger, repairing any damage you may have caused in your life, and finding peace during this challenging time of life.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy.

If testosterone levels are low (hypogonadism) there are benefits from testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). Testosterone replacement therapy is available in oral, transdermal, transbuccal, intramuscular, and subcutaneous implant forms. In some cases, testosterone may be self-injected, however this is only safe when prescribed by a physician and with proper and sufficient training. Any use of testosterone without a prescription can be dangerous as there are many side-effects, including more aggressive and irritable behaviour, more acne, increased skin oils and causing or worsening of sleep apnea.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Studies have revealed a clear association between low testosterone levels and changes in sexual function, body composition (body fat distribution), physical functioning and mobility, and increased risk of diabetes, late life persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia), unexplained anemia of aging, osteoporosis and bone fractures. However, it is important to distinguish between low testosterone from illness or injury (true hypogonadism) and declining levels of testosterone because of increasing age.

Testosterone has been shown to clearly benefit younger men with hypogonadism. However, the use of testosterone replacement therapy in aging men is controversial, as neither the long-term benefits of improved health outcomes nor the long-term risks of testosterone therapy are known. Further studies are underway to determine if testosterone therapy might stimulate growth of metastatic prostate and breast cancer. Testosterone therapy may also increase the risk of heart attack and stroke and contribute to the formation of blood clots in the veins.

Anxiety Medications.

There are medications that work specifically to reduce the symptoms of anxiety including panic attacks and extreme worry and fear. Benzodiazepines are the most common class of anti-anxiety medications. They are very effective in helping to reduce anxiety, and they start working more quickly than most antidepressant medications. Benzodiazepines are the first-line treatment for generalized anxiety disorder.

Anxiety Medications.
Unfortunately, it is easy to build up tolerance to benzodiazepines and start requiring higher and higher dosages to get the same calming effect. It is possible to become dependent on them and to experience withdrawal symptoms when the medication is stopped. Because of this, your health care provider will probably only prescribe benzodiazepines for a short period of time. If you are on benzodiazepines, your healthcare provider can work with you to safely decrease your dosages when you are ready to stop using them.

Antidepressants are helpful to treat anxiety as well as depression. Anxiety is closely linked to the neurotransmitter molecule serotonin. Taking Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) can help anxiety by working to maintain high circulating levels of serotonin in the blood. The Science section provides more detail on serotonin, and how it works to help in the treatment of anxiety.

Beta-blockers are a medication usually used to treat high blood pressure. They are very useful to help relieve the physical symptoms of anxiety, including rapid heartbeat and shaking or trembling. They can also be used on an as-needed basis to help with episodes of acute anxiety, including some predictable forms of social anxiety such as public speaking or performing.