Sat, Jan 30, 2016 - Page 5 News List

Strong women irk ‘maladjusted men’

By Hsieh Chia-chun and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

An increasing number of men who feel intimidated by the success of women in society are suffering from burnout syndrome, psychiatrist Yang Tsung-tsai (楊聰財) said.

The number of male patients with burnout has increased by about 30 percent in the past few years, said Yang, director of the Yang Tsung-tsai Psychiatric Clinic in Taipei.

Burnout syndrome used to be predominantly found in professional women who had to deal with severe stress both in the workplace and at home, Yang said.

However, as women’s status in the workplace and at home improves with the advancement of gender equality, certain “maladjusted men” have become prone to burnout syndrome, Yang said.

Yang said that one of his patients, a middle-aged man, said he felt “puny” and was under “constant anxiety,” because he was outranked at his office by a female supervisor, and was often defied by his “professionally successful and strong-willed” wife.

Yang quoted the patient as saying that his condition worsened after Democratic Progressive Party Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) was elected president.

People with burnout are often unaware of their condition, Yang said, adding that people should watch for symptoms such as fatigue, unmanageable anxiety levels, inability to focus, muscle tension, insomnia, shallow breathing and diarrhea.

“Treatment might prevent the syndrome from developing into chronic depression,” he said.

Experiencing high levels of stress at work and in private life contribute to burnout and more than 1 million people in the nation are afflicted by it, said Liu Cheng-tsun (劉誠崇), a psychiatrist at the clinic.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is an effective treatment for the syndrome, Liu said, adding that prescription drugs and muscle relaxation techniques might need to be employed in some cases.

“Effective communication and the division of labor at home, or changing jobs are useful coping strategies that prevent the condition from worsening,” Liu said.

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