SUPPORT: The Nautical Naturopath David Kemp encourages men to take their health seriously.
SUPPORT: The Nautical Naturopath David Kemp encourages men to take their health seriously. Shannen McDonald

Behind a mid-life crisis: How men can be hit hard

MOST people have heard of the term mid-life crisis before, but what about male menopause?

Whitsunday naturopath David Kemp says it's a health concern that needs to be taken seriously.

Affecting men from about the age of 40, Mr Kemp said male menopause was often passed off as depression but there was more to be considered.

After having a nervous breakdown and experiencing a multitude of health concerns masked by prescribed medication, Mr Kemp, at the age of 52, decided to try find a different solution to achieve health.

Embarking on a career change and deciding to re-educate himself to become a practising naturopath, Mr Kemp's lived experiences remain his guiding light as he helps others find their healthiest selves.

Practising as the Nautical Naturopath in Cannonvale, Mr Kemp said just like women, men also experience a change in hormone levels as a mature adult, usually starting the menopause process earlier than women.

"Men face a lot of the same issues women face, just in a different direction," Mr Kemp said.

Experiencing a drop in testosterone and an increase in estrogen resulting in a hormone imbalance, male menopause can manifest as other health concerns such as increased alcohol and food consumption, drug use or erratic decisions, often described as a mid-life crisis.

An advocate for men's health, Mr Kemp said there was usually a strong feeling of internalised failure and a lot of "what if" questioning.

"Men can feel a dampening effect, become less social, withdrawn and experience a decrease in vitality and libido," Mr Kemp said.

"They may get angry easily. These behaviours are exacerbated as a means for men to hide their pain behind."

Mr Kemp said he wants men to feel comfortable about talking about their health.

"I want us to move towards true friendship where we can truly talk about what we are facing," he said.

He said the best way forward was to seek professional help and start the process towards better overall health.