Is your middle-aged friend or loved one buying expensive accessories and sports cars despite being out of budget, getting fancy bling, and Botox injections all of a sudden? What do these behaviors have in common? These may be the signs of someone going through a midlife crisis. It is a psychological phase and happens to many men and women in their middle ages between 35 and 55.
A quarter-life crisis can dig a huge hole in people’s retirement accounts and savings, and the process can be excruciating for many people. Most people manage to deal with a midlife crisis effectively without too much trouble. However, some struggle to maintain a balance in their life like before. The concept of “passing of youth” affects millions of people dealing with these feelings daily. The good news is, therapists / psychologists can help you manage your feelings and emotions during this period and save you from making harmful decisions.
What is Mid-Life Crisis / Quarter-Life Crisis?
Mid-life crisis is a phase of transitioning identity and self-confidence that occurs in middle-aged individuals, typically aging between 35 to 55 years old. It is thought that as the age increases, so does the risk for depression, remorse, and anxiety. A midlife crisis is a psychological phenomenon bringing all these issues together and is usually triggered by events highlighting people’s growing age, lack of success or accomplishments, and inevitable mortality. It is experienced by both genders but in different manners due to different stressors and expectations.
The mid-life crisis is different in different strata of people. For example, if you have been successful and achieved most of your accomplishments before reaching mid-life, you will pass it with no depression. On the other hand, if you haven’t completed your desired goals by the mid-thirties, you are more likely to go through a stressful period.
Signs and Symptoms of Mid-Life Crisis / Quarter-Life Crisis
The signs and symptoms of middle life crisis are as follows:
- Drastic Changes in Mood, Habits, and Impulsive Decision-Making
As an adult going through a midlife crisis, you are more likely to change your habits, feeling the need to overcome new challenges to increase self-worth. People suffering from this phase may seem irritable or angry without warning. If you’re going through such a process, you may demonstrate an erratic decision-making process.
- Shifts in Sleeping Habits
Changes in sleeping patterns are common if you’re facing a midlife crisis. This usually includes the inability to sleep or oversleeping – staying up worrying or oversleeping due to depression and negative self-talk.
- Obsession with Appearance
A mid-life crisis might include changes in personal appearance, including clothing style, makeup, and workout routine. “I’m not young anymore” is the feeling that haunts the mind the most and causes the obsession with appearance and efforts to look younger.
- Bouts of Depression
Symptoms of a midlife crisis may include sadness and depression. These bouts of depression cause hurdles in achieving goals or even in simple tasks.
- Thoughts of Death and Dying
Suffering from a midlife crisis makes you overthink about your death. The realization that youth is gone and you are approaching the end of life can be traumatic. It increases anxiety, and everyday life becomes difficult. You may develop feelings of defeat and think “It’s too late” or “What’s the point?” Remember that it is never too late to fulfill your dreams.
- Listless and Bored
As people reach mid-life, their hobbies start to fade out. The things they once liked are no longer appealing or ailments prohibit them. People going through the crisis phase often turn towards religion and spirituality. While spirituality and religious beliefs may have a calming effect on the mind, extreme behavioral changes can be problematic.
- Increased Alcohol and Drugs Consumption
With the realization of growing age and regrets of not being accomplished enough in life comes the increased risk of alcohol over-consumption and drug abuse. Drinking problems and self-medication issues arise as a way to cover up the feelings of regret and depression.
The blame game is a common sign of a midlife crisis. Often partners tend to blame each other for their failures or shortcomings. Parents blame their children for taking too much of their time and effort. This can be traumatic both for the individual and the family members and damages relationships. Couples’ Counseling and Family Therapy can be of help in such circumstances.
Strategies to Overcome Mid-life Crisis / Quarter-Life Crisis
Getting help from professional therapists / psychologists is the best way to deal with a mid-life crisis. Nevertheless, you can follow some steps on your own to manage your emotions and behavior, including:
- Healthy Expectations
Keeping healthy expectations is crucial in dealing with a mid-life crisis. Try making a list of the “should haves” in your life and think whether they really make a difference or not. Remember that goals change! What you needed ten years ago might not be what you need at present. Don’t hold yourself from living peacefully due to outdated expectations that no longer apply to your life.
- Accepting the Inevitable
Acknowledging the age-related changes that are happening can help you find a way to move past this phase. Some adults go into denial and run from the inevitable. This creates problems for themselves and their friends, family members, and loved ones.
- Move Outside of Your Comfort Zone
Doing something out of the box and trying new activities can help you overcome depression and anxiety caused by the mid-life crisis. Traveling to new destinations or simply embracing new adventures can be helpful.
- Create New Goals
People going through a problematic mid-life phase should come up with new goals. Taking positive steps will fill up your life with new energy. Having retirement plans can save you from a lot of stress. Also, traveling may help to reduce anxiety and depression. The best way to set new goals is to make a list of everything you would like to accomplish in the next five years. However, keeping expectations realistic is the key. Talk to your spouse or loved ones about your new personal goals and how they can be achieved.
- Talk to Your Loved Ones
Sharing your problems and feelings with your family members or loved ones can be of help. It helps you take the burden off your chest. Also, family members might help you deal with your emotions in a more manageable way and help you see your accomplishments and purpose.
- Aging is Not a Bad Thing
Accepting reality is the key when it comes to dealing with a mid-life crisis. However, you should know that aging is not a bad thing. Every phase of life has its beauty and charm. You learn more and more with each stage. Adopt positive thinking patterns to fill your life with happiness and joy. A small change in your attitude towards life can bring a huge difference.
- Think Before Making Any Radical Changes
Before making any decisions such as quitting a job, buying expensive cars, or leaving your spouse, talk to your friends or family members. Getting help from a professional therapist / psychologist is the best way to deal with relationship conflicts related to mid-life crisis positively.
Overcome Your Mid-Life Crisis with MindShift Psychological Services
If you are facing a midlife crisis and looking for professional help, MindShift Psychological Services, with several locations in Southern California, will help you positively change your perspective. The professionals at MindShift Psychological Services analyze your problems carefully and help you eliminate them with the most suitable therapy form. They offer multiple therapies that meet individual needs. Some of these that may prove beneficial for people going through a mid-life crisis phase include:
As the name suggests, Group Therapy is a form of counseling where a group of people going through similar issues meets and discuss their feelings in a positive and non-judgmental environment. They support each other and help in getting over their problems. In other words, group therapy allows people to share their pain and heal together. We have groups meeting in Corona, Riverside, Newport Beach and Los Angeles.
Individual Therapy allows you to meet the therapist / psychologist in privacy. The main aim of this therapy is to focus on individual problems in a more elaborate manner. Individual therapy is available in Corona, Riverside, Newport Beach and Los Angeles.
Sometimes you’re so busy with your daily schedule that it’s impossible to visit the office for your therapy sessions. MindShift Psychological Services provides you with online Teletherapy sessions. You can get in touch with professional therapists / psychologists from your office or while sitting in the comfort of your home.