If you think you’re having a Mid Life Crisis, here’s what to do.
Most people have gone through more than one major life change by the time they reach middle age. They may have gone through a divorce, lost a loved one, or even raised a family. By the time they’re in their 40s or 50s, many people have already gone through all of the above experiences. This is why some people are surprised by a Mid Life Crisis. A Mid Life Crisis can be an entirely new experience after five or more decades of experiencing all of life’s highs and lows. However, despite how uncomfortable a Mid Life Crisis may be, it is completely normal (and very common). Middle age brings with it a slew of changes in one’s life.
Retirement, a newly empty nest, or physical/mental changes can be jarring. It’s understandable that so many people go through this time in their lives feeling disoriented, unsure of themselves, or restless. When it comes to dealing with a Mid LIfe Crisis, it’s important to know exactly what to look out for and what to do if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms. Despite the fact that going through a Mid LIfe Crisis can be overwhelming, following these steps will help you feel a lot more in control. They allow you to spend more time focusing on your happiness. In light of that, what else is crucial?
Is it possible to have a mid-life crisis and not have a Mid LIfe Crisis?
According to Psychology Today, the term “Mid Life Crisis” was coined in the 1960s, but it has only been around since then. According to the same Psychology Today article, the term “Mid Life Crisis” was coined by psychologist Elliot Jacques to describe a time in adults’ lives when they “reckon with their mortality.” More than just someone buying a high-end car or taking up a new hobby, the phenomenon can be more complex than is often depicted. Mid Life Crisis, according to Dr. Heather Lyons, a Baltimore-based psychotherapist and the co-founder of With Therapy, is a struggle with the realization that time is running out.
Adulthood can be a sensitive time for adults, which is why it’s common to feel a strong desire to achieve and create greater meaning in their lives at this stage of life. “Our finiteness or mortality can become particularly salient when we experience health issues, experience transition, hit a milestone, or lose a loved one,” Lyons says, emphasizing why midlife can be such a sensitive time for adults. Lyons points out that this is also a time when adults are more likely to suffer from mood disorders like depression.
What are the symptoms of a Mid Life Crisis?
Midlife crises come in all shapes and sizes, and they can manifest in many ways. Doctor Mark Mayfield, a licenced professional counsellor and the founder and CEO of Mayfield Counseling Centers, says that “many people are confronted with their mortality in their early forties to early fifties and realize that half of their lives are over.” The result is that people seek to understand their present and how it relates to their past as well as their hopes for the future. ”
“This can be a great time to reevaluate your goals and come to terms with your past. In this stage of life, the question, “Are you enough?” is frequently asked. It is possible to spiral into chaos if someone is unable to answer this question with an honest and vulnerable mindset. Having such a disorganized mindset can lead to impulsive and self-defeating decisions,” the author writes.
To avoid impulsive decisions, Dr. Mayfield advises, “I would suggest that we need to re-think the term’Mid LIfe Crisis,’ and replace it with something like a midlife reflection,”
The unique ways in which women go through their midlife crises
In middle age, both men and women experience midlife crises, but according to a Cleveland Clinic article, women’s midlife crises can present differently than men’s. Consider that many women go through menopause in their mid-40s, and this is not an anomaly at all. When it comes to women’s midlife crises, as the article explains, the most common cause of discomfort is hormonal changes. If you’re in the middle of a Mid LIfe Crisis, Healthline suggests that you seek professional help, learn about the symptoms of menopause and how to manage them, as well as seek therapy, speak with friends, journal, read and priorities healthy exercise and nutrition.
Mid Life Crisis: where and how to get help
No matter your age, it’s helpful to be aware of the significant (emotional, mental, and physical) changes that can occur as one approaches middle age. It’s important to reach out to a loved one if you notice that they are having difficulty with daily tasks or maintaining relationships, according to Dr. Lyons.
Working with a therapist can be beneficial if you think you’re going through a Mid LIfe Crisis. In order to work with a qualified professional who will benefit you and your particular needs, follow the advice of the American Psychological Association when looking for a therapist.
Midlife crises are characterized by what?
Here are 17 of the most common indicators of a woman’s Mid Life Crisis, according to experts.
1. Either you’re gaining or losing weight
According to Jennifer Wickham, a Mayo Clinic Health System licenced professional counsellor, “midlife crises often share similar traits with depression,” including drastic weight changes. A person’s weight gain or loss may also be a sign of an emotional crisis, according to the American Psychological Association.
In the words of Wickham, if you or a loved one is experiencing unusual or sudden changes, it’s a good idea to seek professional help in the form of a therapist.
2. It’s obvious that you’re emotionally sensitive
An emotional crisis may be imminent if you or someone you know suddenly loses interest in or enthusiasm for the things they used to enjoy. This could indicate a Mid LIfe Crisis.
An additional layer of complexity is added to the Mid LIfe Crisis by self-help author Yocheved Golani, who says that apathy affects one’s willingness to help oneself or seek outside assistance.
When you’re down and out, think of all the good things going on in your life every day, says Forbes Coaches Council member Christine Hueber. For Hueber, the best advice is to appreciate the things going right in your life and then take daily action to mould your life into what you want it to be. Keep moving forward, let go, and forget about the past.
3. THE PAIN YOU ARE FEELING IS UNUSUAL
Midlife crises are no exception to the rule when it comes to physical manifestations of mental illness. According to the Mayo Clinic, physical symptoms such as headaches and nausea that don’t go away despite standard medical treatment are often indicative of an emotional crisis.
Dr. Yolanda Reid Chassiakos tells the story of a woman who began experiencing physical symptoms, such as severe migraines, as a result of the stressors she was experiencing in her mid-twenties.
Finally, Chassiakos recommended a combination of prescription-strength medication and professional counselling to help alleviate the migraines
4.You are asking yourself questions that are deep and probing
Mid Life Crisis can be characterized by feelings of inadequacy, according to Dr. Robi Ludwig, Psy.D. and author of Your Best Age Is Now. At some point in your forties, you may begin to wonder if you’re on the right path in life. To put it another way, you feel the need to conduct a thorough self-evaluation of where you wanted to be in life and where you are now.
You may come to the realization that you’ve been following in the footsteps of your parents or that you’ve been following the “rules” of society without realizing it. Dr. Ludwig continues, “There’s suddenly a stronger desire to listen to one’s soul, and perhaps the crisis comes when you feel off-track.”
Keep in mind, however, that “because it can get you to eliminate those things that are no longer in sync with who you are today, a period of self-reflection can be positive.” Researchers from the British Psychological Society found that people who experience either a quarter or Mid LIfe Crisis by focusing on their purpose in the world are more likely to come up with creative solutions to their problems.
According to a press release from one of the study’s co-authors, “this enhanced curiosity may be the’silver lining’ of crisis.” “With this information in hand, people may find it easier to deal with the challenges of adult life.”
5. The decisions you make are hasty
Having the courage and self-assurance to say “no” and establish new boundaries in your life could be a sign that your midlife is changing. As it turns out, this isn’t necessarily a negative development.
For some, a Mid LIfe Crisis manifests itself through new relationships, new purchases or adventurous travel, or a change in appearance,” Dr. Lyons explains. Some people’s Mid LIfe Crisis can be seen in what they choose not to do, such as rejecting opportunities or establishing new boundaries that indicate a shift toward defining life by their own standards rather than those of others.
6.You don’t get enough rest to lastingly rest
Middle-aged women who can’t sleep at night may be suffering from menopause or other hormonal changes, which can make it difficult to sleep. When oestrogen levels begin to decline during menopause, a woman’s body becomes more vulnerable to environmental and other factors that disrupt sleep, which can lead to insomnia.
As a result, it’s critical not to confuse menopause with the onset of a Mid LIfe Crisis or other mental health issues. A lack of sleep may be a sign of a more serious mental health issue if you’re a middle-aged woman and have a number of the other symptoms listed here.
Insomnia has been linked to a lower quality of life and depression in both research and clinical practise. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America quotes LCSW Lara Schuster Effland in an article about the connection between depression and sleep issues.
Though clinical depression and a Mid LIfe Crisis are not the same, if you’re having trouble sleeping and have had problems with mental health in the past, talk to your doctor before you dismiss it as a normal part of getting older.
7. It’s hard to imagine what the future holds for you
Young people believe that they have all the time in the world and that all their dreams will come true when they grow up, says Dr. Ludwig. That changes in midlife, so all of these good things aren’t necessarily happening in the future. And it’s a scary time for some of us.”
Removing your rose-colored glasses is natural, but feeling pessimistic about the future or seeing nothing but gloomy predictions can cause you to spiral downward. She goes on to say that, believe it or not, those twenty-somethings have a lot to teach us about life. The “deficit model” is something we’ve been culturally trained to believe in, says Dr. Ludwig. “Those in their youth see the future in a more optimistic way, and that is something we need to be deliberate about in midlife because we’ve been culturally trained,” he continues.
8. Boredom is a constant companion in your life
According to Dr. Ludwig, boredom can be a sign of a Mid LIfe Crisis. This is a time when people can feel burdened by the responsibilities of adulthood and, as a result, become “stuck in a rut,” making it difficult to introduce pure joy into their lives.
Doing something different from what you’re used to could be a solution. Even if you’ve never baked before, you may want to sign up for a cake decorating class. If you find peace in music, see if there are any upcoming events in your area.
9. The loss you feel is overwhelming
The nagging suspicion that something is missing from your life, but you can’t put your finger on what it is, isn’t uncommon. As Dr. Ludwig puts it, “there is a dealing of some degree of loss,” but she doesn’t know if she’d call it clinical depression. For some, the loss of a dream or an idea of who they wanted to be can lead to feelings of disappointment and unease. Others may have achieved previous objectives (Corporate job? Check! We could go to Hawaii. Check! ), leaving you wondering, “Now what?”
Dr. Ludwig sees only the good in this scenario, and he says so right away: ‘At this point in our lives, we’re wiser and better acquainted with our own selves,’ she explains. “Even if we don’t reach our goals, we can set new ones.” Being optimistic about the future can be a good thing, “because we’re never going to arrive at the “there” place because there is always going to be a new “there,”” he writes in his essay.
10. BECOME TOO CONCERNED WITH YOUR OUTCOME
If you spend hours in front of a mirror to point out the new lines and wrinkles that are appearing, this could be a sign of something more serious. Doctor Ludwig says that some people will go to extremes in their quest for youth or perfection. It’s like that fake plant that’s too green and perfect, in that they tend to ruin themselves.” FEAR of LOSS OF APPEARANCE drives this behaviour, but it is the result of cultural brainwashing.
She says that single people are more likely to obsess about their appearance than those in committed relationships (who tend to care more about their weight and being fit). For men and women, this is a response to the physical changes that identify that there is an inevitable shift going on, but it doesn’t have to be any worse.
11. OR YOU DISCARD APPEARANCES TO THE FULLEST EXTENT
Women in their 30s and 40s may become obsessed with their appearance, but they may also stop using their brooms on a regular basis or throw out their beauty products.
According to Dr. Ludwig, “people should never give up on themselves,” but if they do, “they’re probably more inclined to experience a Mid Life Crisis.” He recommends finding a “older woman” role model to serve as motivation. Of course, not everyone is Christie Brinkley, but the fact that Christie Brinkley can look like that at 68 is wonderful. She appears to be in her twenties! Having this information is a plus, and I believe it has a ripple effect.”
12. A “OLD PERSON” IS HOW YOU SEE YOURSELF
Pause and ask yourself the following question: “How old do I really feel?” Having a Mid LIfe Crisis may occur if you believe you are older than your actual age, or if you describe yourself as a “old lady” or “over the hill.”
This theory is supported by scientific evidence: A ten-year study at the University of Waterloo found that those who have a more positive attitude toward ageing have higher levels of psychological well-being and life satisfaction than those who simply feel older.
According to Dr. Ludwig, you may have developed this negative narrative because of your surroundings. There are many reasons why someone in their middle years may begin to feel like an elderly person, and one of the most common is that someone is treating them like an elderly person or reading from a cultural script that has been internalised, she explains.
However, if you find it amusing to imagine yourself as a more youthful version of yourself, you’re not alone. However, according to research from Florida State University in 2016, many middle and older-aged females are likely to keep their perceptions of themselves as youthful to improve their emotional well being.
13. YOU FEEL OK AFTER A WHILE
Despite the term “middle-escents,” which refers to people in their mid-40s and 50s, Dr. Ludwig argues that this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Learning to embrace new experiences and new things into one’s life, as well as incorporating optimism and dreams, is what this course is about.”
14. BUT THERE ARE TIMES WHEN IT’S NOT PERFECT
In an article for Neuro Spa Therapy Centers, the distinction between clinical depression and midlife crises is critical for everyone to understand so that they can get the most effective treatment possible.
According to the post, “the most distinguishing factor is the frequency with which these feelings occur.” People going through a Mid LIfe Crisis may go through periods of feeling fine, whereas people who are depressed are constantly feeling down and dealing with the symptoms.” “A Mid LIfe Crisis is not a depression; depression is a long-term, biologically based mood disorder.”
It’s critical that you tell your doctor right away if you’re experiencing persistent or incapacitating feelings of despair, sadness, anxiety, or apathy.
15. As you get older, you begin to believe that the best years of your life are yet to come
The belief that all of your life’s wonderful events have already occurred can indicate that you are in crisis mode. Dr. Ludwig says, “Again, it’s about losing that sense of excitement.”
But she claims this is a misconception. In her words, “Isn’t it sad how we teach our children that happiness is a thing that can only be had in childhood?” Many people have the best times of their lives as they get older, and this is something we tend to overlook culturally.” Why? Having a positive outlook on life isn’t a function of your age, but rather a function of how happy you are and how good you feel about yourself.
16. A MID LIFE CRISIS IS SOUNDING LIKE EVERY BAD DAY
Current research indicates that the so-called ‘crisis’ may not exist despite the term “Mid LIfe Crisis” having been coined in 1965. Researchers at the University of Alberta found that after 40, people’s happiness doesn’t suddenly vanish. As a general rule, happiness begins to rise in our teens and early twenties.
We must redefine “Mid LIfe Crisis” and make it something positive, says Dr. Ludwig. People, places, and things can be introduced to you during times of crisis, as you evaluate what is no longer working in your life.
According to Dr. Leah Millheiser, an OB/GYN and NAMS-Certified Menopause Practitioner, middle-aged women in the 21st century are not like middle-aged women in the 1970s and 80s. There’s been a change in attitude, she claims. “Women in their 40s and 50s today are empowered and in better shape than they were when they had children. These individuals are resolutely declaring, “I’m not going to let this bring me down!”