Brain Food: Are you suffering from...

Irritable Male Syndrome?

by Helen Kirwan-Taylor
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Do you find your colleagues' usual jovial banter suddenly becoming offensive, even hurtful? Does your assistant avoid you, taking refuge on the phone every time you pass her desk? If so, these are symptoms of what Gerald Lincoln, a researcher at the Medical Research Council, has coined Irritable Male Syndrome. Men under stress, or simply entering middle age, are known to experience sudden drops in testosterone, provoking a flood of negativity, crankiness, misery and even tears. Doctors are actively looking into treatments, one of which is testosterone replacement therapy, but of course there are risks. Many women would prefer to have a miserable, snappy, middle-aged husband than someone who suddenly feels 22 again. Suspect he's getting treatment if he starts talking about mountain climbing and discovers a new passion for disco hopping on family holidays.

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