What Is Midlife Crisis?
In the day and age when life seems so fast, people all over the world feel like they’ve missed the boat to joy and success. They feel like they’re stuck in the same old spot while everyone’s going places. All that pressure probably gets them thinking: “Where did it all go wrong?” This psychological phenomenon, filled with identity and self-confidence problems, is what we deem as midlife crisis.
The term “midlife crisis” was first coined in the 60s when Elliott Jaques described it as a psychological crisis fueled by thoughts of fast-approaching death and failure. This condition manifests through depression, remorse, and anxiety. People try to replicate a lifestyle more suited for the young to face these uneasy feelings. And, in some cases, they try to right the wrongs from their past.
While this period is mentioned regularly in popular culture, most people seem to identify this crisis with straight, middle-class males who go out buying sports cars and dating younger women. But in the bigger picture of demographically affected people, it’s not only exclusive to them. All races, genders, and sexual orientations can go through a midlife crisis. This condition isn’t exclusive to any group.
Midlife crisis often hits people of a particular age group — between 45 and 64. It’s said that males can suffer from it up to ten, while females, in extreme cases, go through it for up to five years. The most common triggers for this so-called crisis include work problems, couple issues, children growing up, parents passing away, or aging bodies. All of that translates into remorse, fear of humiliation, youth fetishization, and sexuality extremes (Know the most unusual sexual behaviors ever here). Here are some possible indicators or side effects of both female and male midlife crisis:
Depression is one of the clear indicators of a mid-life crisis and one of the most common illnesses of modern society. Whether it’s chemically driven or not, there’s no doubt it plays a significant role in a stressed-out adult. Midlife crises tend to put both men and women through a series of unresolved scenarios linked to depression itself.
This ailment manifests differently between individuals — from shifting mood swings to body problems. Therefore, it’s safe to say it’s a variable condition. That is precisely what makes it hard to handle. It will manifest as a lack of energy in most people. They will feel like an empty shell, without any juice left to run their motor. A common side effect will be plenty of unresolved tasks and neglected chores.
Another quite obvious indicator that somebody might be suffering from depression is lack of appetite. Aside from it being bad for the person’s body, it’ll make social interaction way harder. Healthy people tend to gather around food — suffering people don’t. In extreme cases, it can even lead to severe weight loss, sometimes on the verge of anorexia.
Once a person is out of focus and begins questioning their life decisions, they could be virtue-signaling that something’s wrong with them. And if their energy levels appear to have dropped, and they start evading meals, depression is likely the culprit. Unfortunately, middle-aged adults often seem to respond radically. They try to resolve these problems with pure materialistic and nihilistic actions.
Bigger Demands From Relationships
Even if the crisis manifests differently in males and females at times, both always affect relationships. People going through ti might feel like they’re missing out on sex and might start demanding more in the sack. Whether it’s kinky stuff or more frequent intercourse, it almost always ends badly. Often, their partners aren’t into it or just can’t live up to their desires.
The frustration caused by the lack of sexual gratification could result in impulsive decisions and, in a lot of cases, affairs and infidelity. That can further lead to divorces and broken households. Interestingly enough, both sexes usually go for younger lovers. Such a huge age gap in affairs represents these people’s desire to return to their younger years and once again feel attractive like back in the day.
On the other hand, those who don’t delve into infidelity project their new sexual fantasies onto often unwilling partners. Some argue that people suffering from midlife crisis might endanger others if they let their impulses overcome them. Even if they’re unaware and don’t want to hurt others, their psychological problems could take the best of them.
Another classic sign of significant life problems is when adults become nostalgic. But not in the way of seeing an old photo and remembering childhood, but in the form of always bringing up adolescent times or even trying to recreate them. Their crisis of adult life may sometimes even lead them to some pathetic actions, like shaming family and friends.
People who’ve gone through midlife crisis talk about how they were obsessed with the randomness of their younger lives. They were predominantly troubled by all of their missed opportunities. That inevitably led to their trying to swim in those waters once again, often failing miserably.
That usually happens once or soon after they hit their 40th birthday. They begin thinking about their mortality more. And that fear of wasted years usually takes them on their desperate quest for exciting. But all that remains at the end of the day is guilt and shame.
Drinking Problems or Substance Abuse
The crisis of adult life fools people into believing substance abuse can help their situation. Although some try to replicate their high school or college days, others know they can’t. That’s why they turn to alcoholism full of self-loathing. Drugs usually accompany their whiskeys and beers, making the situation even worse.
Although alcohol is present everywhere, it plays a crucial part in the crises of adult life. Trying to numb the pain of depression and anger, men and women often turn toward the bottle. However, that is a path that only leads to them going deeper down the rabbit hole. These actions can often escalate into domestic violence or self-abuse. In other cases, it’s only embarrassing behavior that shames family and friends.
All of that only further hurts both them and their close ones. It can often blur the reality just enough so that those in crisis lose track of what they’re running from. Overall, since not everyone can buy a sports car or get a hot young lover, many people decide to take the easy route toward numbing their pain — a quick fix. Cases of midlife crisis don’t always involve alcohol and drugs, but when they do, they become a living hell!