What’s a midlife crisis?

What’s a midlife crisis?

Perhaps you’ve heard the term, or you might know someone in a predicament where they made drastic changes to their life and lifestyles. It can be a sudden complete makeover to your appearance, splurging on unnecessary items or self-critical of your life decisions. These might just be one of the many signs of the dreaded midlife crisis.

Midlife crisis is defined as a period of psychological stress occurring in middle age, thought to be triggered by a physical, occupational, or domestic event. This will occur in middle-aged individuals, typically 40 – 60 years old. Factors that triggered the crisis includes going through divorce, poor job satisfaction or realization of their ageing process. Likewise, for young adults, between 20s and mid 30s, might undergo ‘quarter-life crisis’ such as facing insecurities over their career, relationships or financial situation after graduating from their high school.

Any crisis regardless of age can be detrimental to your life. This might lead to depression or take an emotional and physical toll on our health. Here are 3 signs of a midlife crisis:

  • Making big changes that aren’t in character
    Everyone wants to look good and feel good. However, individuals experiencing midlife crisis may spend hours staring at the mirror, trying desperately to hide their age. They will go to extremes to achieve a look of youth and perfection. Examples could be going for plastic surgery, dyeing out your grey hair or trying to fit into your old dress or shirt just to look young again. There is a fear that time is not on their side and need to feel young again.
  • Feeling of apathy
    Activities which used to bring pleasure now are boring. They might find losing interest in the job they once liked, and put their life on autopilot. They stop giving attention to their spouse and express restlessness at every single thing. This might be a sign that they realized many of their dreams have gone unfulfilled or they could no longer accomplished anything greater in life. It is a loss of their purpose in life.
  • Strong sense of jealousy
    Continuously they will compare their success and quality of life with others. They might be envious of other relationship or marriage and they will take no pleasure in their friends’ successes. This might lead to having the desire to quit a good job just to emulate friends and make themselves feel better or try to find a better life partner.

Every individual will go through a transition period and an adjustment during their mid-years where they will question their life choices. For some, a way to cope with these feelings is to make overly dramatic, life-changing decisions regarding relationships, money and appearance. However, the best way to cope is to see the value in your own self and appreciate your own success. To do that requires a lot of soul searching and being honest with oneself.

Join us at College of Allied Educators to learn more about how you can learn more about yourself and others, and discover how you can help yourself overcome doubts, fears, disagreements, and challenges in order to build a happier, more meaningful life.


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