What is a midlife crisis? Arrived halfway through their lives, some people realize that they have reached a point between youth and old age: a crisis is born. We call it the midlife crisis.
This midlife crisis brings about radical changes in daily life, the couple, work, relationships with friends and behavior.
The midlife crisis or mid-life crisis is a term used in Western society to describe the period of doubt that some people experience at “half their life”, resulting in a sensation of moving from youth to old age. Sometimes, events during those years, such as aging, the death of parents, the departure of the children’s home can trigger this crisis. The sufferer then wishes to make radical changes in his everyday life or in his professional situation, his marriage or his romantic relationships.
1 – What Is a Midlife Crisis?
The midlife crisis is between the ages of 35 and 55 and affects people in almost every forty years.
It begins on average around the age of 38 years with a period of doubt during which the person becomes aware of his personal journey and time passing. It is a deep questioning about the meaning of life, which can impact all areas: professional, loving, friendly, family, or financial.
A personal or professional event is always at the origin of the crisis:
– loss of employment, professional difficulties;
– divorce, separation or marital conflict;
– the loss of a parent or the departure of the children;
– physical changes such as wrinkles, white hair or menopause;
– the appearance of a disease.
This existential crisis can be expressed by a simple transient depression, or lead to significant psychological disorders.
2 – Description of the Midlife Crisis
Academic research since the 1980s has rejected the idea that the midlife crisis affected most adults. According to one study, about 10% of adults exhibit the psychological symptoms of this crisis due to their age or aging. It is thought that personality type and psychological history predispose some people to the midlife crisis. People affected by this disorder show a variety of symptoms and behaviors.
Many forty-year-olds experience events that can lead to a period of psychological stress or depression, such as the death of a loved one or a job failure. However, these events may occur sooner or later. In this case, the crisis of “quarantine” is called a crisis of adulthood.
Some studies suggest that some crops are more sensitive to this phenomenon than others. In particular, a study showed a very low prevalence of this midlife crisis among Japanese and Indian culture people, highlighting that this crisis has a deep cultural origin. The authors of this study hypothesized that the “youth culture” present in Western society would explain, at least in part, this crisis.
Some researchers have shown that quarantine is the time for reflection and self-questioning, but that this questioning does not necessarily lead to a psychological crisis.
*** At work
So what is the middle age crisis manifested at work? This can be manifested by deep boredom, the feeling of not evolving, that our professional status is almost definitive without the perspective of evolution and thus of valorization and increase. But, also the fear of unemployment and the anxiety of being easily replaced by younger people. It is a moment when one feels at the same time overcome by events and angry by the lack of consideration of one’s peers.
It seems that the way is dead and that the closet or the door is not far. The desire to change jobs is there, but the fear of losing everything is stronger, we can easily indulge in a stable financial situation, acceptable hours so what’s the point, except that the days are long and boredom well present.
This results in much stronger stress and irritation that affects relationships with employees and is often accompanied by huge frustrations.
But there are also unintended situations that can favor the midlife crisis, such as the loss of a job that pushes an employee to completely question himself in order not to find himself at the mercy of a future dismissal and more we are getting older and the more difficult it is to find work. In this case, it can be a stepping stone to starting a business.
*** In a relationship with
What is the middle age crisis in men and women? The midlife crisis in men is different than in women. For her, it is the biological clock that helps to remind her with menopause, which is not always acceptable because at age forty a woman is still desirable, perhaps even more than thirty, but the culture of the youth of our modern society already condemns it.
There is also the anxiety of being alone with your spouse when the children leave home. She finds time for her, but nobody in front to tell him that she is beautiful and value it. It is a time when she should feel deeply fulfilled in many areas which accentuate the feeling of discomfort and disgust. Even if today, it is easier to meet new people.
In the man is the famous demon of noon with this desire to please much younger conquests to reassure and feel alive again and postpone the fateful moment of becoming a senior. For this, he wants to change his look, behavior, car and asks the question of infidelity to give spice to its existence. The man tries to find a second youth because he realizes that time passes and he does not want to have regrets.
3 – Characteristics of the Midlife Crisis
The crisis of the quarantine settles in general progressively. The person has the impression of a routine that oppresses him.
She becomes irritable with those around her, feels empty and helpless because her responsibilities remind her that it is difficult to change things.
Different symptoms are expressed to varying degrees during the midlife crisis:
– great weariness and an abatement;
– irritability vis-à-vis his entourage;
– a desire for change in almost all areas (purchase of a new car, a new wardrobe, a new house);
– a feeling of anger, sometimes violent crises;
– feeling depressed, loss of motivation and malaise;
– a questioning;
– the appearance of a professional routine or the fear of losing one’s job;
– anxiety, and sleep disorders.
Approximately 10% of the 40-year-olds are experiencing a midlife crisis. This crisis can occur between 35 and 50 years old (a study in 1990 showed that the average age of this crisis is 46 years). The midlife crisis lasts 3 to 10 years in men and 2 to 5 years in women. The analysis identified a dozen topics on which people passing quarantine change their minds.
The midlife crisis may be due to aging itself or in combination with the following causes:
– Work or career;
– Relationship between spouses;
– Independence of the children or desire to have them finally … while being aware of his advanced age;
– Aging or death of parents;
– Physical changes due to aging (wrinkles, menopause, etc.).
The midlife crisis seems to affect men and women differently. According to researchers the trigger for this crisis differs in men and women. In humans, a trigger is often an event in professional life.
*** What is the middle age crisis in a man?
In humans, it is characterized as follows:
– A trigger is often an event of professional life, a threat of unemployment or a desire for change.
– The imminent menopause of the wife, putting an end to the possibility of having children again, can also be a triggering factor of the “demon of noon”, that is to say, the desire to seduce women younger. The conquests allow him to feel alive and to fight against old age.
– It often changes appearance, behavior, car and asks the question of infidelity.
– He is harder with his family. He criticizes, thinks irrationally and provokes until the argument.
*** What is the middle age crisis in a woman?
On the contrary, in women:
– The biological clock and the imminent arrival of menopause often trigger the questioning.
– The anxiety of being alone with one’s spouse when the children leave home is often about the woman, it is the “empty nest crisis”. After investing in their education for years, she struggles to manage their departure.
– She then finds time for her and needs to feel beautiful, valued and seductive.
– The woman also changes her values and makes a “crisis of feminism” where she rejects the sense of duty.
4 – Theory of the Crisis of Quarantine (Midlife Crisis) According to Psychoanalysis
For Catherine Bidan, existential analyst, the crisis of the quarantine corresponds to a too great gap between the personality or the ego and the true identity:
It is a crisis of meaning, a real opportunity nonetheless, to become what we really are, to reinvent ourselves and make a fresh start by approaching the present and the future differently. The crisis is a temporary stop that requires to stop to find the keys to apprehend the meaning of his life. This obligation is suggested to us by the lack of external references or by the large gap between what we believe we are and what we are truly authentic.
In this gap is created a gap that opens an existential emptiness but also the opportunity for an existential analysis towards development, self-awareness and fulfilling personal fulfillment and true.
5 – Quarantine (Midlife) Crisis: How to Manage It?
The midlife crisis is not an illness. It is sometimes necessary for the life of some people. To manage it better and to understand the causes, personal work for several months, even several years is necessary.
– Take the time to take stock, to note the various achievements of his life, can take a step back: the person will realize that she has accomplished much more than she thought.
– Then make a list of his projects and dreams (realistic) can project into the future with less apprehension.
– By going step by step, it is possible to get out of the midlife crisis and to reap all the benefits. Simple small adjustments such as the recovery of projects, weight loss, a change of clothing style or hairdressing make it possible not to let go, to value and take time for oneself.
*** How to cope?
The best thing is obviously to become aware of it and to talk about it to those around you, to your spouse, your friends, your family, often at the same age. People have similar concerns and fight with others and often easier.
You do not have to change your life and flatten everything out, but by making small adjustments, taking up projects left fallow, not letting go, taking more time for yourself.
Often we have put children, our couple, our work above all, it may be time to backtrack and get back to the center of our concerns. Resume the theater class that made us dream at 20 years old, get back to writing, painting and allow yourself to let go.
The danger lies in the desire to commit the irreparable as leaving or deceiving his spouse to want to rejuvenate at any price. This error is the cause of non-communication with the person with whom one has built something during his previous life. […]
But rest assured there are solutions to face the crisis of quarantine and if it is properly managed it can even become a springboard to save his couple or reorientate professionally because we must not forget that we are in the middle of his life and at least 20 years before retirement …
As a Conclusion
How long does the midlife crisis last? Know that this crisis can be a transient phenomenon that does not last long if it is well taken in hand, it can even be beneficial, because it is the opportunity to take stock and to leave well for the rest of his life and accept more easily to switch into the category of seniors and yes, in the professional world we are already senior at 40, it is also often at work that we hear about it for the first time.
On the other hand, it is illusory to believe that the crisis of the quarantine passes alone if one seeks to ignore it and minimize the consequences, then of course for some, it takes place without major problem depends on the personal situation of each.
The frustrations accumulated over time arise unexpectedly and generate negative thoughts that turn into anger or depression.
It is also difficult to say at what age the crisis occurs, generally, it is between 35 and 50 years, but the statistics speak more specifically of 43 to 48 years because, with the prolongation of the life, the crisis tends to occur later.
So there is no precise answer to the question how long is the quarantine crisis because it is quite variable depending on the individuals it can go from several months to several years, the researchers estimate that it lasts in an average of 2 to 5 years for women and 3 to 10 years for men.