The term ‘mid-life’ crisis was first identified by psychologist Carl Jung who described it as a normal part of the maturing process.
A ‘mid-life’ crisis has often been associated with depression but mental health experts now say that it’s more likely to be called a ‘mid-life’ transition.
It can be a time when we take stock of where we are in life and make some adjustments to the way we live. It can also be a time of reflection: without making major life changes.
‘Mid-life’ transitions are now looked on as a more normal part of life and might occur anywhere between 35 through to 60 years of age.
The age that it strikes each of us will depend on many factors such as our lifestyle, relationships and how long we may expect to live. A ‘mid-life’ transition will typically occur around significant life events such as a “zero” birthday or when children finish high school or university. Other trigger factors may be stress due to high levels of debt or the loss of a parent or loved one.
More often the term “mid-life” crisis has been associated with men but contrary to popular belief, both men and women are equally likely to experience a transition or crisis. However, the type of ‘mid-life’ event or crisis is likely to look very different for both genders.
Research shows that men are more likely to want to prove something and while the stereotypical purchase of a sports car may be synonymous with this; it’s more often a case of men gauging their worth by their job performance.
Women on the other hand are more likely to seek validity in their relationships and evaluate their performance as a mother and wife.
Both men and women may feel an urge to follow up on some dreams that may be unfulfilled due to family responsibilities. It is typical for both men and women to be afraid of ageing or not attaining goals they have set themselves.
A ‘mid-life’ transition is an internal process and without proper understanding it can lead a person to make irrational decisions that they may regret later such as leaving a job, divorcing a spouse or making poor financial decisions.
Here are our top 5 tips when it comes to dealing with a mid-life transition:
- Acknowledge it – Acknowledging the changes happening can help you find a way to move past it.
- Think Before Making Any Radical Changes – Before quitting a job, buying an expensive car, or leaving a spouse, talk to family members and friends or a professional. Sometimes, having an outside opinion can provide a useful perspective.
- Get financial advice if you are making any sort of financial decision
- Get Professional Help – There are many different kinds of personal coaching, therapy, medicine, and holistic treatments that can be beneficial.
- Use new thoughts and ideas in a positive way.
- Talk About it with your Loved Ones. Be honest and open with your loved ones.
A mid-life transition is not necessarily a negative thing as it can often lead to positive changes and motivation to take on new challenges or a different direction. However, the process will be different for everyone and can develop into depression or into an opportunity for growth depending on many factors including the love and support of family and friends or guidance from a professional.