These days most of us lead
stressful lives, working long hours and dealing with many demands. While it is
rare to experience panic attacks, many people experience significant stress. The
Male Stress Survival Guide is aimed at a general readership, discussing the
many kinds of causes of stress in men and ways to reduce stress. There are 9
chapters, spelling out gender differences, the distinction between good stress
and bad stress, the biological causes and effects of stress, warnings signs of
stress, the pressures on young boys and men, hidden stresses, stress at work,
stress in marriage and midlife, and living with stress. Author Georgia Witkin
writes in straightforward language and provides many lists full of
information. She gives lots of cases of particular men who suffer stress to
make it easier for readers to relate to the experience. She also includes
plenty of scientific data from recent experimental literature, which helps to
reassure the reader that she knows what she is talking about.
The problem with the category of
stress is that it is so broad. Anxiety is closely connected with depression,
insomnia, impatience, anger, alcohol and substance abuse, sexual disorders, and
a host of other bodily problems. Stress is both a cause and an effect of the
other problems. So The Male Stress Survival Guide has to cover a very
broad range of life issues. Witkin's discussion of each particular topic is fairly
brief, providing some essential details but not going into detail. So this
self-help book may be a good starting point for men who are feeling stressed
out, and it does give plenty of suggestions about how to cope with the problems
and stay healthy. But for those who have serious anxiety issues, the book is
unlikely to give enough information or guidance to really solve the problems.
© 2004 Christian
Perring. All rights reserved.
Perring, Ph.D., is Academic Chair of the Arts & Humanities
Division and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island. He is also
editor of Metapsychology Online Review. His main research is on
philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.