What is midlife crisis?
Aging is a process that can sometimes feel uncomfortable while we go through profound, abrupt changes throughout our lives. A midlife crisis isn’t a psychological disorder per se, but it’s still an uncomfortable period of transition between 40 and 55, although there’s some variability in the timing of midlife crises. Men and women experience midlife crises somewhat differently.
A midlife crisis is a conflict between a person’s perception of themselves and their lives as they think they are and what they want them to be. It’s generated by the desire to change one’s identity. A middle-aged person who is content with their life standing can experience depression but will not experience a midlife crisis.
Consider the following symptoms of a midlife crisis common to both men and women:
• Feeling unfulfilled in life
• Intense feelings of nostalgia, chronic reminiscence about the past
• Feelings of boredom, emptiness and meaninglessness
• Impulsive, often rash actions
• Dramatic changes in behavior and appearance
• Marital infidelity or constant thoughts about infidelity
• Constantly comparing oneself to others, who seem happier or more fulfilled
• Intense feelings of regret
How can counselling help?
Counselling can help people experiencing a midlife crisis in following ways
- Improve your relationship with yourself and others
- “Should I stay or Should I go” – understand the confusing questions when marriage falls apart and make informed choice instead of impulsive choice
- Talk about the disappointments and challenges they’ve faced in life.
- Decide what they want the future to look like.
- Find meaning in life’s changes.
- Identify new goals.
- Regain a sense of control over life.
- Establish better relationships with adult children.