I've been so focused on writing for women, that I've missed something crucial about the mid-life transition. Men feel it too! Some men get so stressed that researchers have given it a name, IMS, Irritable Male syndrome. No, it's for real, I found this on a website at http://midlifetransition.org/.
According to Men's Health Magazine up to 30% of men experience it: some of the symptoms are
hypersensitivity, anxiety, frustration, and anger. Your mid-life man may be tired, and tired of being tired, not feeling understood, not as prone to be sexually as active as he was and tending to feel depressed about his life and accomplishments. According to some doctors mentioned on this site, lower testosterone levels are at the root of it. It's male menopause, or Andropause.
What's different from women is that men deny anything is wrong and don't talk to anyone about it because they are supposed to be the strong ones, holding the fort together, never showing emotional weakness, plus they often have difficulty talking about their feelings, especially around their sexuality.
If you are a woman in mid-life, you are most likely married to a man in mid-life and you may recognize some of the symptoms. It's probably easier to refer your favourite sufferer of IMS to a website, so have him check out the site linked above on the mid-life transition. Especially if you think he may be depressed, and have trouble reaching out for help. Dr William Pollack from Harvard is quoted as saying mid-life crisis is a code word for male depression, and it can be treated.
In any case, the word transition says it all - this is usually a temporary state - and if one does a little bit of soul searching and reflection, one comes through the other side with a deeper understanding of the human experience.
ps men's self-medication favourites as listed on this site: alcohol, TV, sports, and sex.
women's self-medication: food, friends and 'love'. Interesting differences....