Psychotherapist Diamond (Male Menopause
) focuses on how hormonal changes and chronic stress can trigger "irritable male syndrome: a state of hypersensitivity, anxiety, frustration, and anger." Drawing a parallel to premenstrual syndrome, he explains how IMS can result at any time of life, but primarily in puberty and midlife, from shifting testosterone levels; he also shows how it has roots in the changing role of women, workplace situations, increased stress and interpersonal relationships, which threaten male self-esteem. The disorder's earliest symptom is irritability, which untreated can spiral into anger, violence or depression. Diamond focuses on the syndrome's blaming behavior, often directed toward women. "We can have an almost irrational need to break away and be free.... We often see our partners as the ones who are holding us back," he writes. So Diamond includes diagnostic questionnaires and counsels men on how to recognize and handle these difficult feelings. He also offers specific steps for others to help an IMS man in denial, plus what to do if either partner wants to leave the relationship. While some advice is familiar—eat right, exercise, consider taking medications, nurture your spiritual side—Diamond's insights may help men most by giving them context and explanation for what they're feeling physically and emotionally, thus helping IMS men to take steps to feel better about themselves. Agent, Nancy Ellis-Bell.