Monday, March 30, 2009



By Mshaka


I just read a “comment” that was made to a local online news site whereby the reader used the term “Man-A-Pause” in his/her comment to an article. It was used in reference to someone called “Lester” and sought to explain his irrational behaviors and confusing public statements.

I think that the person got the word wrong – on purpose. But I understood it … like it … and would like to expound on it.

So what is the “man-a-pause” that this individual named “Lester” is purportedly going through?

Well ‘man-a-pause’ is simply a ‘multi-dimensional set of changes in a man, whereby he experiences a number of seriously life changing symptoms’ … Some physical… some psychological.

What are some of these symptoms? Psychological irritability and indecisiveness, and sometimes depression that is tied to significant events… (events like losing an election.) It can also involve mood swings… whereby one time the person is happy (like at winning their seat) and then they swing to being very unhappy… (like at not getting enough public attention).

Another symptom is selective memory loss. So for example, a former leader might forget that when he was in high office for 28 years, he made sure that the opposition leader was never sworn in at the Government House. But now that he is in a similar category, he is demanding to be sworn in there.

While I cannot speak to many of the physical symptoms that this person named ‘Lester’ is going through… I would like to comment on the symptom of weight gain… something many men in ‘middlescence’ have recognized… and many older men like the person called ‘Lester’ might have and still might be experiencing. In one popular case, an individual boasts of having been an athlete and cricketer… yet one is hard pressed to imagine that… based on the size and weight that he carries now…

As a part of this bloated physiology… there is an accompanying inflated sense of self… an inflated sense of importance… a bloating of one’s ego… “I am now the big “O” leader… you Miss G G…. are duty bound to install me in the G House…” Puffed up on the outside… puffed up on the inside!

There are spiritual dimensions to ‘man-a-pause’ also whereby the individual apparently has longings to be seen as a demi-god and have lots and lots of people pay attention to and follow him. Additionally, there may be reported episodes of involvement with off-beat quasi ritual magic (purpose - for example - to influence up coming court cases). There is also a great restlessness and yearning for people to worship you… and if not you… someone dead who is a family member. Accompanying all of this is an unrealistic sense of importance… “I sent a letter to the Queen”…

Confusion and irrationality are classic symptoms of ‘man-a-pause’. They show up in the statements that people make and in their public decisions. “We will challenge the results in these constituencies… because of the problems on election day in these and other areas… including my constituency… But I will not challenge the results in mine… There were problems… but… I accept these results.”

For those of you who like to do research, I must warn you that ‘man-a-pause’ should not be confused with male menopause, andropause or hypogonadism. That disorder, though not fully recognized by the medical profession, is said to impact men in their fifties and sixties. Our exemplary reference, Lester, is purported to be in his mid-seventies!  So he would conceivably already have gone through the symptoms of andropause…

Though some of the symptoms are similar, ‘man-a-pause’ has one distinguishing factor: These symptoms are mostly psychological, related to an increasingly irrational desire for power: an increasingly rabid do-anything-to-get-the-power mentality; a very bloated and singular belief that only-I-can-lead-this-country mindset; and, a very smooth, silky, slick ability to use gibberish to win and influence unwitting voters.

‘Man-A-Pause’, as evidenced by this person who the reader identified as ‘Lester’, is a pervasive pattern of grandiose behaviors where the individual is preoccupied with fantasies of being the best, brightest and in charge of everything. This person will use the biggest words or phrases that no one else uses…  and they will use them over and over… (I hope that this is pellucidly clear). The individual diagnosed with ‘man-a-pause’ lacks empathy (for example – for the people of Barbuda), while he and his cronies steal others blind (like the people of Barbuda). This individual also has a sense of entitlement (my family will rule for generations).

So as you can see… the person who identified ‘Lester’ as having ‘man-a-pause’, in reality conducted a lay person’s diagnosis of an individual who has a potentially serious disorder… a disorder, though not categorized in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM 4-TR) is a disease which should concern all of us.

Certainly… I am un-easy about having any of our ‘Lesters’ walking around our country with ‘man-a-pause’ and not being under the care of a good psychiatrist or psychologist.

If the ‘Lester’ that that online reader referenced in their post reads this blog… (I doubt it), I urge him to take a pause and seek medical or psychological care.