Midlife CrisisThe life of every person in this world is full of different experiences of happiness and even struggles. Life that has been endowed to people is full of colors that undergo different processes and stages as it passes by. Life simply is not an experience of joy and satisfaction but also of loneliness and uncertainty.
As people go old, it is of an inevitable reality that they experience a phenomenon called midlife crisis. This is a natural stage of life that every person will go through. “Midlife Crisis is a natural process (first identified by the psychologist Carl Jung) and it is a normal part of ‘maturing’. However, Midlife Crisis can sometimes feel very uncomfortable, and cause people to seek psychotherapy or counseling, or to make radical lifestyle changes that can be very damaging and are regretted later” (“Midlife Crisis, Stress and Depression,” n.
d., para. 2). Midlife Crisis has become a subject of study in the field of medicine and psychology.
“A controversial condition or syndrome which some doctors and psychologists think affects many men in their 30s, 40s and 50s. Some believe it has mainly psychological causes while others argue that it’s related to hormonal changes. Other health professionals argue that there’s no such condition, however, and that the symptoms often associated with mid-life crisis have other causes” (Mid-life Crisis, n. d.
, para. 1). There is also a midlife crisis among women. Trace Hedrick argued that to the extent there is any midlife crisis, to women it does not come as an enormous surprise.
Nearly three-quarters of women from 40 to 54 in a Yankelovich Monitor study said life is “much too complicated.”(As Cited in Gibbs, 2005, p. 2). Every person is not immune to midlife crisis.
Every person is a candidate in experiencing the process upon approaching middle age. No one is completely immune to the possibility of having a midlife crisis.The Experience“Those doctors and psychologists who believe the mid-life crisis is a genuine condition has identified a wide range of symptoms” (“Mid-life Crisis,” n. d.
). In going through a midlife crisis, men frequently experience problems such as irritability, loss of sex drive, erectile dysfunction, fatigue and depression. Most men experience a sense of discontent in life and wanting to venture on different activities that is beyond routine. They feel the want to explore more on life.
The usual activities that men are capable of doing their younger age are becoming slowly impaired as they approach midlife. As a result, men experience loneliness. Other symptoms if midlife crisis is attributed to physical changes. “The male menopause has been defined by its proponents as the hormonal, physiological and chemical changes which occur in men between around 40 and 55” (Mid-life Crisis, n.
d., para. 17). Men experience physical deterioration such as having dry skin and hair loss.
In experiencing midlife crisis, the reality of getting old is evident in the symptoms. The physical changes in men’s body become a source of urgency in them. Most men faced the symptoms by being physically active. Exercise and being active in other activities are some coping mechanism that men do.
They want to be physically active to try to defy the physical changes in them. Men dreads the idea of growing old and not being able to the things they usually do.“These feelings at mid-life can occur naturally, or they can be brought on by external factors. ” (“Midlife Crisis, Stress and Depression,” n.
d., para. 4). The world is full of challenges.
In living the rigors of life in this world may take its toll on men. “One external factor can be debt” (“Midlife Crisis, Stress and Depression,” n. d., para 5).
Most men have the inability to pay debts and as such are mounting, the more the stress it contributes to men. Some men fail to pay credit card bills and others fail to pay home bills. As debt accumulates, stress also accumulates. “Another external factor can be a bereavement, such as the death of a parent – or other significant loss or change, such as redundancy or divorce.
These things can cause significant grief which can be difficult enough to come to terms with on their own” (“Midlife Crisis, Stress and Depression,” n. d., para 6). External factors add on to the difficulty in experiencing physical changes.
In women, most of them who experience midlife crisis are those with children. Midlife crisis in women is frequently associated to raising children. “Results indicate that all three groups of childless wives have higher mean levels of marital satisfaction than do mothers” (Polonko, Scanzoni & Teachman, 1982, para. 1).
In the study, childless wives become more fulfilled with life. The reason for this is they are spared with the rigors of growing children. To guide and care their children is one of the stress factors in women’s lives. It is not easy indeed to be a mother.
Everyday is a challenging experience that contributes stress to women. As stress accumulates, crisis starts. “Some women become more willing to take risks as they grow less concerned about what others think. Women who submerged their identity when their children were young may feel a sense of liberation once they are older” (Gibbs, 2005, p4).
Most women are tied down to responsibilities at home especially in raising their children that is why they find it liberating when finally, their children reaches older age. For women, once their children become adult, they can do things that they haven’t done or the things that they were deprived of doing before because of being tied to responsibilities of being a mother and taking care of the house.“Professional women, having fought so hard to break into fields that were once closed to them, often expect more from their jobs. If they are unhappy at 45, disenchanted with corporate politics or discouraged because they are not making a contribution to some larger good, they are typically willing to think of trying something completely new in a search for greater flexibility or challenge or satisfaction” (Gibbs, 2005, p.
3). For professional women, midlife crisis is more on making contributions and careers. They tend to find what is new and what for them a great avenue for career challenges. They want to experience greater demands from any firm that they will be parts.
“In a society which puts a particularly high value on youth, and sidelines older people, it’s difficult for many people to move smoothly into their middle years” (“Mid-life Crisis,” n. d., para. 9).
The constant evolution of society in terms of the functions of individuals and the emphasis on youth indeed contributes to the burden of people in muddle age. Insecurity sets in because these people in middle age tend to feel useless. They feel that they are of less significance than the youth.Coping Mechanism“Midlifers in crisis are often overwhelmed with fear.
Everything they once relied on–both physical and emotional resources–seems ready to collapse. The tendency is to panic, to give way to the onslaught of anxiety” (Bellah, n. d., para.
5). In experiencing midlife crisis, people tend to give up and tend to lose hope in life. They feel useless. “What you are experiencing is both normal and temporary.
Not only will you see a brighter day; you will emerge a better person” (Bellah, n. d., para. 5).
Being in a midlife crisis is not bad at all. It is also an avenue for a person to be a better human being. All he has to do is to reflect on life. Life still has a lot of possibilities.
Midlife crisis is not the end of it all. It is not easy indeed but the effort is worth it. In having a midlife crisis, one must reassess himself. Reflection is shown in looking at one’s self and try to discover the many things that still can be done that is embedded in one’s being.
Life can still be meaningful even amidst the deterioration of the physical body and other changes that occur. The best thing that should be done is not to give up and take the opportunity to explore one’s self and to know the capabilities still present inside.ConclusionLife simply is not an experience of joy and satisfaction but also of loneliness and uncertainty. As people go old, it is of an inevitable reality that they experience a phenomenon called midlife crisis.
Midlife Crisis has become a subject of study in the field of medicine and psychology. Every person is not immune to midlife crisis. Every person is a candidate in experiencing the process upon approaching middle age. In going through a midlife crisis, men frequently experience problems such as irritability, loss of sex drive, erectile dysfunction, fatigue and depression.
Men also experience physical deterioration such as hair loss and muscle pains. In women, most of them who experience midlife crisis are those with children. Midlife crisis in women is frequently associated to raising children. Most women are tied down to responsibilities at home especially in raising their children that is why they find it liberating when finally, their children reaches older age.
For professional women, midlife crisis is more on making contributions and careers.The bottom line, all people are susceptible to midlife crisis. The crisis is one part of the processes that a person undergoes in life. The reality that midlife crisis might set in to anyone is inevitable.
The best thing that should be done is not to give up and take the opportunity to explore one’s self and to know the capabilities still present inside. Life is full of possibilities and the self is full of potentials. Life can still be meaningful and fruitful amidst the experience of a midlife crisis.REFERENCES Bellah, M.
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com/crisis.html Gibbs, N.. Midlife Crisis? Bring It On!.
(2005 May 8). Retrieved October 19, 2007 from http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1059032-4,00.
html Palonko, K., Scanzoni, J. & Teachman (1982). Childlessness and Marital Satisfaction.
Sage publications. Retrieved October 19, 2007 from http://jfi.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/3/4/545Mid-Life Crisis.
MALEHEALTH. Retrieved October 19, 2007 fromhttp://www.malehealth.co.
uk/userpage1.cfm?item_id=125Midlife Crisis, Stress and Depression. Retrieved October 19, 2007 fromhttp://www.teamtechnology.co.uk/tt/t-articl/midlife.htm