Hormones are powerful.
The anguish of male hormonal cycles.
- early nesting,
- peak production, and
While each stage is fundamentally crucial, each is distinct in the targeted changes that will unfold. For example, puberty is a crucial time in the development of the capacity for adult intimacy. Unfortunately, males are short-changed in critical areas that need support. Pushed into the direction of "doing" their life, boys learn quickly to not express their emotions. Grades, school, are you a jock on the football team. These are the acceptable topics that a boy is allowed.
On the surface, While mainstream culture notices the voice cracking spontaneously outside of his control, what is often missed by his support structure is that the voice cracking belies an internal world that is cracking just as often and its outcome is in the hands of all of us.
As anxiety-provoking as puberty can be naturally, when we super-impose the good and bad of modern society into the youth's environment, we get a new outcome. Modern society has modern health issues. Fast food, inattention to developmental needs, environmental toxins. The fast-paced society produces overstimulated or understimulated personalities. Testing for these conditions is a valuable option for the modern family. As an alternative to being diagnosed with ADHD, ADD, depression, teen suicide, perhaps stepping back one step and looking at our nature can be the best solution a parent can offer.
Early Nesters versus Empty Nesters
A large portion of the male group in their 16-26 age range have a hormonal need to nest, despite pop culture and the millions of pages of scientific journals that infer or explicitly state otherwise. Did you know that men at that age want a committed partner, children, and to settle down? Sounds like fiction doesn't it? By then, the young man has spent roughly 10 years talking about "school, jobs, career, money, sex" -- while he distances himself from emotional expression. Nature cracks his psyche with the occasional dream of how it could be, and he longs for it though he doesn't speak of it.
"Men ALive" writer, Jed Diamond, PhD., LCSW says: "Although most of us now accept that women and men have “male” and “female” hormones, it is more difficult to accept that men also have hormonal cycles".
According to endocrinologist Dr. Estelle Ramey, a professor at Georgetown University Medical School, “The evidence of them may be less dramatic, but the monthly changes are no less real.” But if men do have hormonal cycles, why don’t they recognize or talk about them? Dr. Ramey believes it is because men respond to their cycles in a way that is a function of their “culturally acquired self-image. They deny them.” This denial is the main reason she believes the largely male scientific and medical communities have taken so long to recognize hormonal cycles in men.
I suspect that we’d all be better off if we recognized that men, like women, have our own challenges dealing with our hormones. The great philosophers tell us to “know thyself.” Knowing and accepting our hormonal cycles may be the most important knowledge we can have about what it means to be a man.
Men Are The Producers
Ambitious, driven, successful. The productive years for men are 27-42. For men that are lucky to have found their passion or right career, these are the peak years devoting 100% of their energy to producing. Where do they get the time and energy they need for family and friends? They borrow from their hormonal system. He may be in a work environment that requires traveling, long hours, intense mental focus. Each of these has a consequence on the hormones because they impact diet, daily routine, sleep, and exercise. This is a good time to test everything but especially cortisol, cardio, and IGF-1.
The Midlife Crisis has its roots in Hormones
Around the age of 45-50 men often hit that "mid-life crisis" and everything starts to look like it's time to trade it in; car, career, partner, kids This emotional reaction has physiological roots.. Rather than seeking a boost from a new sports car, or a new partner, most men would be better served by simple hormone and neurotransmitter testing. Testing can uncover potentially low testosterone levels, which may be the source of depression or dissatisfaction.
In her groundbreaking book, Gail Sheehy says" unlike women, ''most men don't recognize -- or refuse to accept -- that they continue to go through different stages throughout their adult lives.'' Men notoriously don't like to ask directions, discuss their problems, ''read books about their health or stop to re-examine where they have been in the journey of their lives.'' Sheehy claims that men are more stressed by emotion than women and even flooded by dangerous chemicals so that they have to stonewall or withdraw from the intimate discussion as an innate defense mechanism. John Gottman, a psychologist at the University of Washington, goes so far as to say that ''it may be more desirable biologically for women to get issues aired and settled and for men to avoid them.''
Remember the men in your life and help them understand the importance of planning for the spikes and plunges of natural hormone cycles that occur in every decade of a man's life.