I often describe Andropause or Male Menopause as adolescence the second time around or as puberty in reverse.

During puberty male hormones such as testosterone surge mightily. We’ve all experienced the signs. As Michael Gurian, author of The Wonder of Boys says, “When a boy hits puberty, the influence of testosterone on the brain increases manifold. His testosterone level itself will increase in quantities ten to twenty times more than girls. His genitals will increase to eight times their previous size. His body will process anywhere between five to seven surges of testosterone per day. You can expect him to masturbate continually, bump into things a lot, be moody and aggressive, require a great deal of sleep, lose his temper, want sex as soon as he gets up the emotional guts to propose to a partner, and have a massive sexual fantasy life.”

Do any of these changes sound familiar to you?

Think about what we’re seeing at this time of life:

• Mood swings.
• Hormonal shifts
• Confusion about sexuality
• Desire to break away from family and at the same time clinging tightly to family for support
• Obsession with the latest toys and gadgets
• Need for intimacy and fears of getting close
• Physical changes in the body
• Questions about identity and direction in life

I think we all recognize these signs. But are we looking at a fifteen year-old or a fifty year-old? Re-title Gurian’s book in your mind and call it The Wonder of Mid-life Men and think about our dropping testosterone. Do any of the changes feel familiar?

Action Option:

Think back at some of your own changes when you were going through puberty. Which were the most upsetting? Which were the most difficult? Now think about the changes you may have experienced going through Andropause. Do you see any similarities? Are there any changes you would like to make about how you go through this change of life?

The similarity between adolescence and Andropause is one of the reasons that mid-life parents have such a difficult time dealing with their teen-age kids. They are both working through the same issues. When Dad freaks out thinking about his daughter’s emerging sexuality, it is often because he is also dealing with changes in his own sexuality. When father has difficulty setting reasonable limits on his son’s behavior, it is often because he is having trouble setting limits for himself.

For more details on Male Menopause and its relationship to Adolescence please visit my Male Menopause website.

Author's Bio: 

Jed Diamond, PhD is the Founder and Director of the MenAlive, a health program that helps men live long and well. Though focused on men’s health, MenAlive is also for women who care about the health of the men in their lives. Diamond has been a licensed psychotherapist for over 40 years and is the author of nine books including the international best-selling Male Menopause and Surviving Male Menopause that have thus far been translated into 22 foreign languages.