UNDERSTANDING “MIDLIFE CRISIS”
In a recent engagement, an issue was brought up in reference to many in the 40s whom are behaving somewhat abnormally. One cited example was the one of a 42 year old whom suddenly became fashion conscious going along with the current trends and clubbing endlessly! Many were of the view that such individuals should be classified as having a mental health disorder whilst others were of the view that it is inconsequential and it is only people putting themselves under pressure with unachievable targets. The sudden behaviour and habit change can be alluded to the phenomena “midlife crisis.” It is life transition stage occurring at around the ages of 40 which in women is often linked to menopause. During this phase you practically have no one to mentor or coach you and everything is upon you. Constant regret and feelings of failure take centre stage as many will look at the prospects of retiring soon yet have nothing to show for many years worked! It is characterised by changing your entire life in a haste trying to compensate for the past failures. Individuals experience a decline in career prospects, have self-doubt over the future, have increased physical problems and have increased fear of aging (some literally dye hair). Other manifestation may include the following; Job changes(venturing into a different job altogether) Poor interpersonal relations Marital problems Adoption of strange lifestyle The consequence of this may result in excessive use of alcohol and other substances. There may be also incidences of anxiety and depression as a result of this transition. Whilst this is not a mental disorder per se, psychological counselling maybe of help to those whom may be overwhelmed by the transition especially those with depression and abusing substances. What is paramount though is that we should all be content with what we have and have achieved, also have realistic set targets for the future. Age should never determine success or failure!