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What does midlife crisis feel like?

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People who are going through a midlife crisis are assumed to be dealing with their mortality and, at some point in their lives, they abandon some of their obligations in favour of having fun. That’s why the phrase “midlife crisis” conjures up images of mistresses and fast vehicles. In reality, a midlife crisis may turn out to be beneficial.

Should midlife crisis be a cause of concern?

A midlife crisis does not affect everyone. Studies demonstrate that in many regions of the world, a midlife crisis isn’t a problem. Some scholars argue that the concept of a midlife crisis is a social construct. Some people claim to suffer a breakdown because they believe they are meant to have a crisis in their 40s. Divorce, job loss, loss of a loved one, or relocation were among the factors that sparked the crisis.

Symptoms – of midlife crisis

It’s tough for researchers to research “midlife crisis” because it’s not an accepted diagnosis. In fact, what one person considers a midlife crisis may not be the same as what another person considers a crisis. An emotional crisis is defined as “a distinct and abrupt change in conduct,” according to the American Psychological Association. The following are some examples of behavioural changes:

-Personal hygiene is neglected.

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-Sleeping patterns have shifted dramatically.

-Whether you’re trying to lose or gain weight.

-Increased anger, impatience, melancholy, or worry are all signs of a mood shift.

-Withdrawal from daily activities and connections.

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Midlife is a time when many people’s relationships and roles shift. Some people may need to start caring for ageing parents in their forties or fifties. Others may become empty nesters or feel that their teenagers are maturing too quickly.

Middle age can be a time of regret for some people

During this time, the ageing process is also more visible than ever. Some people may contract illnesses, while others may experience a deterioration in their physical ability.

Midlife can be a time of intense introspection for some people. They may reflect on their lives and wonder what would have happened if they had taken a different path. Some people may come to regret not pursuing a different job route or living the life they once imagined. Others could reminisce about happier times in their lives.

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There may be less reflection and more action for goal-oriented individuals. Rather than reflecting on the past, people may set out to achieve greater ambitions in the second half of their lives.

The ‘slump-hump’ in happiness

Happiness, according to much research, is U-shaped. A progressive drop in happiness begins in late adolescence and lasts until a person reaches their forties. In one’s 50s, happiness begins to rise once more.

However, this does not appear to be universal. It’s more common in high-income countries. A gradual fall in happiness could explain why some people appear to be going through a midlife crisis—”they’re stuck in a funk.”

Despite evidence that people get happy later in life, there is a widespread assumption that happiness declines as we age. As a result, some people in their mid-40s may believe that life will only get worse, resulting in a midlife crisis.

Also Read: Depression: Why does it affect so many Indians?

Depression v/s Midlife Crisis

Some people experience depression in their forties and fifties and refer to it as a midlife crisis.

Suicide rates are highest in middle age, especially among white men. People between the ages of 45 and 54 are more likely than anyone else to commit suicide.

Is a midlife crisis also linked to an increased risk of suicide? No one knows for sure if a midlife crisis is distinct from a mental health crisis that can strike at any time in a person’s life.

Dementia v/s Midlife Crisis

Some people may confuse health problems with a midlife crisis. A change in personality or conduct could be an indication of dementia. Early-onset dementia patients may have difficulty planning, organising, or thinking ahead. As a result, people may become anxious or confused easily.

A partner may misunderstand a change in personality as disinterest, a midlife crisis, or anything else at first. Before a correct diagnosis is obtained, the changes brought on by dementia frequently lead to separation or divorce.

People who were in the midst of a crisis, whether it was a quarter-life or a midlife crisis, had increased interest in themselves and the world around them.

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Dr. Rachna Khanna Singh
Dr. Rachna Khanna Singh
Currently head of Department of Holistic Medicine & Wellness at Artemis Hospital, Gurgaon Dr. Rachna Khanna Singh is a mental wellness expert with expertise in relationship, lifestyle & stress management. The founder and director of The Mind and Wellness Studio Dr. Rachna Khanna has worked with leading hospitals like Fortis Escorts, Dharamshila Cancer Hospital. Her specialties include stress management, lifestyle management for heart diseases, supportive care for chronically ill patients, work-life balance, parent-child bonding, cancer support care, ante/postnatal care, relationship counselling, pre-marital & marital counselling, adolescent counselling, psychiatric & psychological illnesses like depression, anxiety, insomnia.


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