The biggest betrayal, as I found out with my father, was the way postwar America destroyed our economic base. When we lose our jobs, or are in constant fear of losing our jobs, at the same time we are going through midlife, it can be devastating.
Many of us take out our frustrations in violent ways, directed at ourselves or those around us. We become impotent with rage. Unable to assume our positions as men, more and more of us are left in limbo. Continue reading “Fear and Stress over Job Losses (3)”
Nearly three-quarters of all households have had a close encounter with layoffs since 1980, according to a poll by the New York Times. We once thought the high-tech industry was the place to be for secure work.
We now know that there is no greater job security working for a dot-com company than for a traditional company. In her excellent book Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man, feminist author Susan Fluid concludes that the male stress, shame, depression, and violence are not just a problem of individual men, but a product of the social betrayal of men that occurred after World War II. Continue reading “Fear and Stress over Job Losses (2)”
Many of us blame ourselves when we lose our jobs. If we have a job, we are constantly worried about losing it. For most of us our identity, our pride, our passion, even our sexuality, is tied up with our work. If we are not working, we don’t feel fully alive—not a whole man, not fully human.
Yet recent economic trends have left millions of us permanently unemployed or underemployed. Tens of millions of jobs have been erased in North America in the last 20 years, according to a New York Times analysis of Labor Department statistics. In the last 20 years North America has transformed itself into a postindustrial society. Continue reading “Fear and Stress over Job Losses”
One of the core issues I hear from men in midlife is that deep inside they don’t really feel a strong sense of male identity. This comes from the hidden shame that most of us are afraid to admit, even to ourselves. It often leads to the excessive striving and worry that causes so much stress in our lives. Continue reading “Why Do Grown Men Act and Feel Like Boys?”
That’s why antidepressant medications that block the re-uptake of serotonin can be of help to men and women who are vulnerable. Some believe that excessive worry is a result of our genetic heritage. Others believe it is a result of environmental stress. In truth, it is both. Continue reading “Wired to Worry: A Major Source of Stress (3)”
The key to success in life isn’t to avoid worrying, but to know when to worry and how to do it well. I remember worrying that I wouldn’t be a good father, that I wouldn’t be able to support my family. My father’s old failures kept me awake at night. Continue reading “Wired to Worry: A Major Source of Stress (2)”
Recent research on brain functioning has shown that depression is one of several mood disorders that has toxic worry at its center. According to Dr. Edward M. Hallowell, “People need to know how much we now understand about the treatable conditions that involve worry—such as depression, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and attention deficit disorder.” Continue reading “Wired to Worry: A Major Source of Stress”