*braces for karmic rock to back of head as cosmic retribution for even mentioning that shit*
Like me, you might have thought you were getting your mood disorders/mental health issues somewhat under control in your late 30s. You found a decent partner. Got sober. Came to terms with your sexuality. Put down roots. Maybe had kids. Got your shit together. And then... it all falls away from under you.
Midlife troubles are more than just a perceptual glitch that runs you into an existential culvert. It is an actual, material, physiological thing. If you thought you knew irrationality, buckle up bitches because your hormones can take you to parts of nuttytown you never knew existed.
It is almost impossible to convey to the uninitiated just how hard the endocrine fluctuations that manifest at this juncture- for both women and men- can hit you. Nobody talks about it, especially in relation to the male experience, but I'm here to tell you it's real and it can fuck. you. up. I hadn't had explicitly suicidal thoughts for about 15 years... until I hit 41-42. Suddenly I was all the way back to a late teens-level of depressive ideation and hideous mood instability. I'm only barely perimenopausal (the nebulous stage before menopause, typically 35-50) and I wanted to walk off a fucking cliff.
Testosterone and oestrogen are present in and vital to all genders. They respond to all sorts of bodily travails and seasonal cues. Levels start to change and can swing out of relative balance in middle age, surging and dropping in response to each other. That unaccustomed state can be devastatingly disruptive to anyone who is already struggling with depression, bipolar, schizoid disorders etc. etc. It's a natural process, but this is me begging anyone reading this - especially men, who are often totally oblivious to their own hormonal fortunes- to prepare themselves psychologically and emotionally for the mental fallout. Pay extra attention. Get extra help. Just suck it up and tell your friends and family you're having trouble as soon you notice the needle pointing down.
None of this might have had any relevance whatsoever to Bennington's action. But I'm seeing a worrying pattern emerging in midlife depressives and fuck-all attention being paid to the physiological changes that are more than likely exacerbating it.
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