The Male Period: Because It's a Real Thing
Have you ever seen a man get so emotional that you wonder if they are on their period? Actually, that might not be as far from the truth as you might think. In fact, there is such a thing as a male period, it’s called Irritable Male Syndrome. Also consider that transsexual men at different stages of transition actually do have a period.
Because of the way society holds men at these unrealistic standard of manhood, many of these men suffer in silence. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Uncovering the truth on IMS, or Irritable Male Syndrome, can help those who suffer with this condition, but also help loved ones be a great source of support when navigating these often murky waters.
What Is IMS, Anyway?
According to psychotherapist and author, Jed Diamond, in his book Irritable Male Syndrome, IMS is a state of hypersensitivity, frustration, anxiety, and anger that occurs in males and has been linked to biochemical changes, hormonal shifts, stress, and loss of male identity. It can manifest in two ways, either as depression or aggression.
The problem with IMS is the perception that men should not be emotional, which is ridiculous since all humans, whether male or female, experience the same range of emotions. In an effort t appear more “manly,” symptoms are hidden or ignored until the issue reaches unmanageable heights. But, knowing the potential for harm, the triggers, and having an action plan in place can help keep serious problems at bay.
IMS is not unlike any natural disaster, that, when left unchecked, can do much to destroy lives and relationships. Just like women, men experience shifts in their hormones. Everyone has both testosterone and estrogen in their bodies and the body always tries to strike a balance. However, things like the food we eat, the stress level in life, and the amount of sleep we get affects our body’s ability to convert hormones into the form necessary to achieve equilibrium.
The imbalance affects more than the man experiencing the hormonal imbalance. Many women who are in relationships with men who suffer from IMS report feeling like they are always walking on egg shells, that they live in constant fear of setting him off. Some have even stated that the emotional extremes were too much and have decided to call it quits. Given the increasing rate of male suicide or violent crimes which can be linked to this common phenomenon, it is no wonder, then, that men and women alike are searching for real answers to this growing problem.
The main symptom and barrier to resolving issues surrounding IMS is denial. In order to fix a problem, it first has to be faced. First, find out if IMS is really the issue by having a suspected male or someone who may suspect a problem in someone that they know take the quiz at www.theirritablemale.com. This quiz will let you know if IMS is the issue and, if so, let you know which one of the nine types it may be.
The next step would be to seek professional help. Some men feel that this is demeaning or “not manly”, but given the seriousness and potential risks associated with this condition, it’s worth the effort to explore all options.
Lastly, allow a man to be a man. This means fighting against the society misconception that a man is some sort of computer-like, emotionless machine and that’s simply not the case. While much emphasis is put on the female period, likely because women tend to be more expressive and experience a physical period in terms of bleeding, men experience similar shifts that affect their mood and temperament much like a female period does in women.
While it is easy to poke fun or dismiss it, IMS is a real problem faced by many men today. Unlike the primal man, men today cannot simply attack their predator or escape. Attempts to do such in our domesticated society is what causes the problems associated with IMS. But, IMS does not have to take over your life. By taking the steps necessary, IMS can be just another life cycle necessary, yet another monthly gift.