Anyone who has seen Piku will certainly know what this article is about. You must have come across, at least at some point in your life, grumpy old men who are complaining about almost everything that comes under their notice. Perhaps, you have crossed your 60s and you feel that you are getting grumpier by the day. This article will help you to know about Grumpy Old Men Syndrome.
However, this entire concept of old-aged people being grumpy is total balderdash. According to Heidi White, a professor of medicine in the geriatrics department of Duke University, ‘Older people tend to be happier than the general population.’
This statement is certainly contrary to the common perception. But one needs to know that this modern ageist society has often discriminated elderly and distinguished them in narrow divisions such as happy and grumpy.
These so-called grumpy old men are what they are because of a reason. Sometimes, a lifestyle shift can often herald a change in their attitude and make it more sombre than usual. For instance, if they are retired then they are no longer subjected to work under somebody or order somebody to do something. This can take a toll on them and as a result, they take some time to come out of it.
In addition, old age brings its own set of difficulties which are certainly hard to deal with. With old age, your hearing and sight tend to get weaker, along with increased efforts to do the daily physical activities that you normally did with minimum or no effort. Resultantly, this can mark a shift in your attitude and make you, as the title of this article goes, a grumpy old man.
If these changes are taken from an optimistic point of view, then you will certainly be able to escape this category and become a much happier person. With the advancement of age, ideally, your concerns about other people and their problems should decrease, unless they significantly impact you and your life.
In your 60s and above, you have lived your life the way you want and presumably, you have your family to be with. So, you don’t need to put up with other people’s problems anymore.
This can make you more patient and content with your life. Be that as it may, when your old age seems to be a burden for you and your close ones observe a drastic change in your personality, then perhaps it’s best to look for some underlying condition.
Grumpy old men syndrome: Why are grumpy old men grumpy?
1. Hormonal changes
Just like menopause, men also face a similar phase in life, which is called andropause. This is characterised by a gradual reduction in the testosterone levels of men which can make them feel more depressed than they normally would feel.
Living with a grumpy person who does not talk to anyone or has no social skills whatsoever, can become extremely difficult for both parties. When you spend less time talking to people and socialising with them, it creates a barrier between you and society. Gradually, you lose all your social skills and before you know it, you feel more depressed and lonely in your little world.
According to research, significant changes in the mood levels of adults can indicate the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. These are often indicated by apathy, social withdrawal, depression, etc.
4. Chronic pain
Now, this is one of the most common factors of grumpy person psychology. When a person is suffering from chronic pain, he or she can become extremely irritable and hard to be with. It takes an exorbitant amount of patience to deal with such people. Not only that, but the pain will hinder the adult’s sleep cycle which only makes the situation a lot worse than before.
If you find yourself or your closed one facing these situations in life, then there are certain ways to reach out to them and help them.
4 Ways to become less grumpy
1. Focus and listen
One of the effective ways to deal with loneliness and depression is to get out of your mind and talk to people. Listen to what they have to say instead of talking about yourself every time. You can spare them the account of the pain you experience in your joints, back, etc.
2. Seek professional support
If you feel that your attitude has changed significantly and irrevocably to the point you don’t know how to change it, you can seek a professional therapist. They might help you recognise an underlying medical condition if present. Not only that but they might also hook your attention to different people who are suffering a similar situation.
3. Be a part of a support group
Being lonely at any stage of your life is not a pretty thing, especially when you are old. Old age brings baggage of problems that might be insurmountable to deal with in the beginning. Therefore, reach out to your friends, or be a part of a support group that can help you to move on in life and accept the changes with grace.
You can take an exercise class if it’s possible for you or be a part of a religious organisation. Just about anything that helps you focus your mind on something concrete and meaningful.
4. Be resilient
Old age is undoubtedly hard. It heralds a new phase in your life with the plethora of struggles and hassles that ask you and you only to deal with it. It might seem hard in the beginning, but eventually, with acceptance, you’ll be able to move on gracefully.
It is certainly easier than done, but with time, learn to accept it and perceive it positively with an open mind.
These are some of the things that you can do or ask your loved ones who are facing old-age problems to do it. These will certainly pull you out of the category of grumpy old men and make you more open and receptive to life in general.
Recommended reading: 7 Tips To Stop Ageing And Look Young