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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Andropause - the male midlife crisis

For years, many have dismissed the changes that middle-aged men experience both mentally and physically and simply attributed them to mid-life crises. However, we now know these changes are more than just circumstance or because of other extraneous factors, but instead, are largely due to an inevitable decline in male hormones, resulting in andropause, the male equivalent of menopause.
Unfortunately, andropause is often misdiagnosed, or never treated or addressed at all due to the vagueness and wide variety of its symptoms. During the middle-age or mid-life years, most men are settled, have established themselves and have reached a point of stability that instead of being comforting, may cause some to question choices they've made, reevaluating their lives and accomplishments.
This mid-way point through one's life also causes many to think about an end to their youth, growing older, retirement, and their own mortality. Also, during this period of time, parents are aging, or needing our care at the same time our children are growing up and leaving the nest. All of these events and situations that are seemingly causing classic signs of mid-life crisis may actually be directly related to a decrease in hormones such as androgen and testosterone.
Unlike their female counterparts, men are able to reproduce well past andropause, although sperm quality and production may still be seriously affected. Testosterone, necessary for the production of healthy sperm, usually begins to naturally diminish after a man reaches the age of 40.
Symptoms of andropause may surface as early as the mid 30s, or in some men, as late as their 60s, but are most common during the 40s and 50s, and include the following:
- Difficulties with memory, alertness or concentration.
- Decreased muscle tone, weight gain, and an increase in body fat.
- Changes in urinary function or habits.
- Lack of energy or strength, decreased desire for physical activity.
- Mild to moderate depression and or irritability.
- A diminished sex drive coupled with a decrease in sexual function or ability.
- Changes in hair growth or loss, as well as noticeable changes in skin quality.
- Hot flashes, similar to those experienced by female's during menopause.
Treatment for andropause may involve the use of hormone replacement therapy, known as HRT, for men who are experiencing more severe symptoms of the condition. HRT may be useful for improving mood, relieving depression, increasing energy, and reducing anger or irritability. Many men who have received hormone replacement therapy including testosterone also report an increase in their libido as well as a decrease in insomnia or sleep problems.
For most men, a holistic or natural approach such as lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise, are usually all that is necessary to control symptoms of andropause. Experts recommend a diet rich with fiber, vitamins and minerals, particularly C, D, E, and zinc, which can be found naturally in foods such as leafy green vegetables, or through supplements.
These small changes not only help to reduce signs of andropause, but also offer many physical benefits for the body in general. A regular exercise program, at least three times per week, helps to reduce stress, increase heart rate and blood circulation, and also boosts the body's natural immune system.
Read latest research on this interesting male menopause phenomenon at:

The Mid Life Opportunity ( is a community for Mid Lifers. Advice and Guidance will soon be available from The Mid Life Coaching Panel. It’s free to join so what are you waiting for?

Please take 1 minute to complete the 2010 Mid Life Survey: Click here

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Female Midlife Crisis

Drinking too much? Feeling worthless? Obsessively shopping? You could be having a FEMALE midlife crisis

This is the headline in a recent article in The Daily Mail written by Lorna Martin. Lorna describes the affect that a midlife crisis has had on two of her friends:

 “A friend was recently made redundant from her high-flying job as a magazine editor. 
Now 39, this is the first time since she left school at 17 that she has not had a job. Unsurprisingly, it has hit her hard. Once confident and outgoing, she now struggles to get out of bed in the morning. 
She used to live to work. It gave her a nice lifestyle, a good social circle, a sense of belonging to something and the means with which to buy an ever-changing wardrobe of designer clothes. Now, she feels she has nothing to live for. 

Another friend, 44, who prioritised family over career, has, at least on the outside, a very enviable life. But with both of her children now away at university, she doesn't quite know what to do with herself. 
She is always asking: 'Is this it?' The last time I met her, she half-jokingly said she'd like to have an affair just to inject a bit of excitement into her life. 
Neither of my friends would appreciate being told this, but I think they're both having a bit of a midlife crisis. A midlife crisis is not just a male thing, and it is only a cliché until you have one.”

 So what does a female midlife crisis look like? Is it an addiction to Botox and plastic surgery in a futile attempt to turn back time and cling on to one's youth? 
Or is it, like Eva Longoria's character in Desperate Housewives, an affair with a teenager? Is it packing everything in and doing a Shirley Valentine? 
For many, it may not be quite as dramatic. Less acute symptoms may be boredom, a feeling of worthlessness, loneliness and lack of meaning, depression and anxiety. Or drinking too much, repeatedly changing jobs or partners, or obsessively shopping but never quite finding the satisfaction you are looking for. 
It could be triggered by divorce, diagnosis of a serious illness, redundancy, an empty nest, the loss of a parent. Or it can just occur, seemingly out of the blue. 

The important question is: Why?

In the midlife crisis, we realise that our basic childhood and adolescent dreams of immortality and specialness have all been a bit of a fantasy. 
And this, essentially, is what a midlife crisis forces us to confront - the harsh realities of adult life. 
No matter how much we compete with each other and no matter how hard we try, the truth is we're all just the same.

It's usually at midlife that we realise life's not quite so simple. We realise the pretty painful fact that bad things happen to good people and vice-versa. 

Although this sounds grim to some, it can be incredibly liberating. It can force us to stop drifting through life. It can make us stop and think carefully about the choices we make, their impact on others and what we want to do with the rest of our journey. 

Once they've begun to recover from the initial crisis, women tend to handle the whole thing as a challenge, even an opportunity. 

 It may not feel like it at the time, but a midlife crisis can be an unexpected gift.

The Mid Life Opportunity ( is a community for Mid Lifers. Advice and Guidance will soon be available from The Mid Life Coaching Panel. It’s free to join so what are you waiting for?

Please take 1 minute to complete the 2010 Mid Life Survey: Click here

Thursday, May 20, 2010

When Relationships And Marriages Go Wrong in Mid Life – Steps To Bring It Back From The Brink

Guest post by Dana Flannery

The two most common times for a marriage to break down is after the birth of the first child, and as the last child leaves home.  Sex, infidelity, boredom, finances or even just the endless towels on the bathroom floor, marriages and relationships go wrong for so many reasons. The mid-life breakdown is often the most complicated and difficult as it corresponds with such a tumultuous time in your life.  No matter what the reason, once you start to see the signs, you need to take action to turn it around before it’s too late.

  1. Marriage Counselling.  It can be a hard task to get your partner to agree to marriage counselling but, if necessary, you can attend alone.  A good marriage counsellor is not so concerned with who did what to whom, but more interested in resolving your communication and emotional problems.  Marriage Counselling can be tough, you will be forced to examine your own behaviours (and your partner will be required to examine their behaviours, too) to make the changes necessary to get back on track.  Often the counsellor will see you together (if both parties are willing) and then individually before helping you to resolve your issues.

  1. Use the “I feel, I need” method of conflict resolution.  You may feel like you are constantly asking for help and constantly being ignored.  This is, more often than not, a communication problem rather than meanness or apathy on the part of your partner.  The “I feel, I need” method is a proven way to cut down on communication problems and is a favourite of cognitive psychologists.  All conflict resolutions should be structured as “I feel (emotion), I need (solution to problem).  For example, “I feel stagnated, I need more freedom to explore my interests” – not, “This marriage bores me”.  Once you commence using this structure you may learn that you have more trouble identifying your emotions than you once thought and this can be a particularly helpful way to manage excessive anger or frustration. 
  1. Listen.  Don’t just hear what your partner is saying; listen to how he/she is feeling.  Try to determine if he/she is really upset about a single incident or if it is a sign of an underlying frustration.  For example, your partner may say “I am sick of you working all weekend” may simply mean, “I feel sad because I miss you and love you and want to spend more quality time with you.” 
  1. Have a dirty weekend!  It may sound a bit ridiculous but revisiting the excitement and fun of your early sexual relationship will bring back happy memories and fond feelings.  Don’t be afraid to try something new in the bedroom and ask your partner what they would like.  Ensure plenty of give and take and spend time ensuring both you and your partner thoroughly enjoy the experience. 
  1. Find something new that you have in common.  Take time out to try new hobbies and interests that you can share.  This will go a long way to introducing new conversation and renewed enthusiasm for each other’s company. 
  1. Forgive.  Agree to wipe the slate clean for both parties and put in place strategies to avoid ending up in the same unhappy place again.  This is going to be tough but just keep telling yourself that if it’s worth saving, it’s worth a little sacrifice – for both of you. 
Even if you are currently happy, it never hurts to put some measures in place to save your relationship or marriage in the future.  Sex, Love, Relationships, Marriages – it’s all very complicated, sometimes it just takes a little extra work to bring back that spark.
About the Author:  Dana Flannery is a happily married Marriage Celebrant who has helped many couples who have survived bad patches and gone on to lovingly renew their wedding vows.  Find out more about Dana at Brisbane Civil Celebrant
The Mid Life Opportunity ( is a community for Mid Lifers. Advice and Guidance will soon be available from The Mid Life Coaching Panel. It’s free to join so what are you waiting for?

Please take 1 minute to complete the 2010 Mid Life Survey: Click here

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Mid Life Crisis Survival Kit

During Mid Life many people feel a growing dissatisfaction with their life. This leads to the inevitable questions about the meaning of our present place in the world and is usually accompanied by a sudden encounter with the concept of our own mortality. This can lead to a frightening conclusion - Is this it!? Is this ME for the rest of my life!?

Highly painful periods of personal re-evaluation can leave us running aground in shallow waters of despair unless we have a map and compass. The Mid Life Crisis Survival Kit provides both. Its world map helps the reader to understand his/her place in it and the coaching tools provide an opportunity to plot a route home - wherever that might be now. 

By the end of the book, the world will be a smaller and less frightening place as you find not just a path to understanding yourself better in Mid Life, but also the courage to express yourself authentically and with purpose.

Customer Review:
The Mid Life Crisis Survival Kit does exactly what it says on the tin. It helps you negotiate the choppy waters of mid-life, which so unexpectedly turn out to be filled with rapids and piranhas… By focusing on the future rather than dwelling on the past, it enables you to work out what you want for the rest of your life and how to get it. It doesn’t make the crisis go away, but it does encourage you to take responsibility for your own life and put structures in place that will make it easier to achieve your goals. Both inspirational and practical, it will repay careful study. It is clearly written from the heart.

Click on the link: The Mid Life Crisis Survival Kit to purchase your copy of this excellent reference book.
The Mid Life Opportunity ( is a community for Mid Lifers. Advice and Guidance will soon be available from The Mid Life Coaching Panel. It’s free to join so what are you waiting for?

Please take 1 minute to complete the 2010 Mid Life Survey: Click here

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Improve your mid-life memory - simple!

Are you forgetful? Here’s something that will help you …

Do you sometimes walk from one end of the house to the other then forget why you’re there? Do you go upstairs to fetch something, take something else with you ‘because you’re going upstairs’, then return without doing the thing that you went to do in the first place?  You do? You’re not alone. Most of us suffer from the same problems and this doesn’t get any better as we go through mid life – that’s the bad news.
The good news is that there is a free product on the internet which will help you to remember those things that you don’t want to forget. It’s extremely easy to use and you can use it on the internet through a browser, or download some software to use directly on your laptop.

The name of this nifty little item is Evernote (

You can use Evernote to capture your ideas, snapshots, voice memos, save interesting web pages with the click of a mouse  and just about anything else that you want to remember. You can photograph a favourite restaurant menu, for example, or an article that you see in a magazine while you’re waiting to see the doctor. Save it in Evernote and you’ve got it for ever (or until you delete it). All of the items that you save can be labelled and sorted so that they’re easy to find.

Evernote also has the ability to recognize printed and handwritten text within snapshots and images. Try it. Take a photo of a street sign, wine label, or business card. Add it to your Evernote account, give it a few minutes to process, then search for the text.

It’s a very handy piece of software and recommended to Mid Lifers everywhere.

(Please note: The Mid Life Opportunity has no association with Evernote and will receive no financial benefit from this article)

The Mid Life Opportunity ( is a community for Mid Lifers. Advice and Guidance will soon be available from experts on the Mid Life Coaching Panel – Relationships, Career, Finance, Health and Lifestyles. It’s free to join so what are you waiting for?

If you would like some help now with aspects of your life, contact Better Life Coaching:

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mid Life Happiness – the 3 Basic Rules

There are 3 basic rules to ensure midlife happiness:

Rule 1: Be happy in your own time
Some people find it hard to accept that they are growing older, they seek perpetual youth.

Some have facelifts, botox injections and other cosmetic surgery to try to keep the ravages of time at bay. This may look very attractive for a time but often ends with the person looking a parody of his or her previous self. ‘Trout pout’ anyone?

Some wear clothes that would look much better on their children (rule 1a – If you are old enough to have worn it when it was in fashion last time around, don’t wear it this time!).

Some people in midlife decide to start again with a younger partner – ‘Cougar’ women take a toyboy, midlife men might opt for a 20 something female with long legs. Whilst this might seem attractive in the short term, once the initial excitement has died down, the couple find themselves living together with little in common. They watched different TV programmes when they were children, they grew up listening to different music and they wore different styles of clothes – they come from different ‘times’ and unless they are very fortunate, they are very unlikely to feel comfortable with each other in the long term.

Rule 2: Be happy in your own skin
We are all born with the hand of cards that we are given. Some will grow up as beautiful people, others won’t. Some will become thought leaders in their spheres, most won’t.

‘Show me the boy and I will show you the man’, a popular saying that rings very true. Most of us don’t change greatly as we get older, we play the hand that we were dealt.

Many people, though, are not happy with the cards that they were dealt and call ‘foul’. Most women are not happy with some aspects of their looks. Some go to great lengths to change their appearance with nose jobs, boob jobs, tummy tucks and all kinds of plastic surgery. This goes far beyond trying to keep their youth (see Rule 1) and is an attempt to change their looks, to give themselves characteristics that they wished they’d been born with.

Whilst some attempts at remodelling your looks can be beneficial, particularly for self-esteem and confidence, it is important to draw the line.

A midlife crisis is often triggered by a person not being able to come to terms with living in their own skin.

Rule 3: Be happy in your own life
Many people feel that they need to ‘fit in’, that they need to conform to a norm with which they aren’t really comfortable. Teenagers, in particular, feel that they must be part of a crowd and fall victim to peer pressure. Their friends all have tattoos, so they feel that they should have tattoos, even if they don’t like them (and will regret having them in later life, particularly if they include someone’s name!)

Midlifers are less inclined to worry about peer pressure but the ‘green-eyed monster’ of jealousy is a very real part of the life of many people in midlife. We all lead different lives and however happy we are, however well off we are, there will always be people who seem to be doing better than us. Some of them will indeed be doing better than us, either because they were dealt a better hand at birth (see Rule 2) or because they work harder than we do (often both).

The grass always seems greener in somebody else’s life. However, when the green-eyed monster rears its head, take a few moments to consider the other aspects of the person’s life – these may not be quite so rosy. Your rich friend may be doing very nicely in the big house, driving the expensive car but behind closed doors their relationship may be falling apart. Their kids might be taking drugs and mixing with the wrong ‘friends’.

Don’t try to ‘keep up with the Jones’ out of jealousy, to make yourself look better or more acceptable to your friends. You may find yourself deeply in debt if you overstretch yourself unnecessarily.

To be happy in your life, accept what you have – but don’t let that stop you from striving to achieve greatness. There is a difference between making the most of your life and trying to live your life imitating someone else.

What do you think? Please leave a comment. Thanks, Rob

The Mid Life Opportunity ( is a community for Mid Lifers. Advice and Guidance will soon be available from The Mid Life Coaching Panel. It’s free to join so what are you waiting for?
If you would like some help now with aspects of your life, contact Better Life Coaching:

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Why Men Get Hormonal in Mid Life, Too

Guest post by Liberty Kontranowski

When women experience menopause, blame for any kind of hot flush, emotional outburst or lost night of sleep suddenly has a scapegoat. Something’s wrong? It’s “The Change.” Feeling weepy? “The Change.” The car won’t start? It’s because of “The Change,” don’t you know? Everything, and I mean everything gets blamed on The Change.

But what about men? Don’t they experience a time in their lives when physical changes couple up with hormonal ones and they become one giant mess, just like their female counterparts? Indeed, they do. In fact, science has documented such a phenomenon and has given it a most fitting name: Manopause. Well actually, the scientific name for it is andropause, but I like Manopause much, much better.

Here, a look at Manopause and its symptoms. The hows and whys concerning the manly version of The Change.

 1. Decreased sex drive; trouble achieving and/or sustaining erections (impotence)  To learn more about this, you can view an article about Andropause and how Viagra can help.
2. Lack of energy; sense of lethargy; decrease in strength or endurance; difficulty sleeping
3. Sadness, grouchiness, despair; decrease in life enjoyment; decreased performance at work, home or other obligations; anger, anxiety, memory loss
4. Decrease in muscle mass; thinning bones; weight gain
5. Night sweats

Beginning at age 30, men begin losing testosterone little by little (about one percent a year) throughout midlife and beyond. Thus, manopause tends to be a gradual change that can last many years, whereas female menopause happens more quickly and ends within a couple of years.

Manopause sufferers can see great results when treated with Testosterone Replacement Therapy. The primary goal of TRT is to restore sexual functions, enhance bone density (in an effort to ward off osteoporosis) and to bring about a sense of mental wellness and overall well-being.

When treated correctly, not only will regular testosterone levels be achieved, but the secondary hormones related to testosterone (DHT and estradiol) will be positively affected as well.

Currently, Testosterone Replacement therapies can be found in pill form, injectables (shots), implantable long-acting slow release pellets, patches and gels.  As with any medications, be sure you discuss your medical history at length with your doctor before deciding on the best type of therapy. TRT can have some negative side effects, so weighing the risks versus the benefits is certainly in order.
While living with Manopause is no picnic, it is encouraging to know that the medical community has recognized it as a real, treatable condition. Recognizing symptoms for what they are and being tested for low testosterone levels can be the first step in determining whether or not you’re suffering with andropause and if so, whether you’re a candidate for Replacement Therapy.

Now, go grab yourself a hand fan and blame your fiftieth hot flush of the day on what else...? The Change!

Liberty Kontranowski is a valued writer and blogger on the eDrugstore.MD writing team, with hundreds of health articles published online and in print.  eDrugstore.MD, a US located online pharmacy prescribes lifestyle medications such as Cialis Online. 
The Mid Life Opportunity ( is a community for Mid Lifers. Advice and Guidance will soon be available from The Mid Life Coaching Panel. It’s free to join so what are you waiting for?
If you would like some help now with aspects of your life, contact Better Life Coaching:

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The 2010 'Mid Life Outlook on Life' Survey

The Mid Life Opportunity is a web community for people in mid life (a state of mind more than a physical age). Many Mid Lifers are very happy with their lives, others are not so fortunate. In order to understand this better, the 2010 Mid Life survey will run throughout the year. Results will be posted on the website:
We would greatly appreciate if you would take 1 minute of your time to complete the survey (or a bit longer if you want to add comments). We would also be very grateful if you would send this on to friends and relatives.  Many thanks.

Please take 1 minute to complete the 2010 Mid Life survey: Click here to take the 2010 survey

The Mid Life Opportunity ( is a community for Mid Lifers. Advice and Guidance will soon be available from The Mid Life Coaching Panel. It’s free to join so what are you waiting for?

If you would like some help now with aspects of your life, contact Better Life Coaching: