When does midlife begin?
Midlife can be a wide range of time. As people are living longer, a midlife crisis can take place anywhere from age 37 into the 50s or older.1 A midlife crisis isn’t always a part of a person’s life. A survey of people in the United States between the ages of 40 and 50, found an estimated 26 percent reported having something that resembled a midlife crisis. 3
Approximately 26% of People Experience a ‘Midlife Crisis’
Sometimes, midlife begins not by a certain age, but by different life milestones. Examples may include a child leaving for or finishing college, getting a divorce, or the death of a parent. Those who are in the midlife portion of their life may feel pulled in many different directions because they are uncertain how to split their time and resources (like money) among themselves, as well as their parents and their children. 2
What is a Midlife Crisis?
A midlife crisis isn’t technically a scientific term – mental health experts may call it a midlife transition.1 The term originated in the 1980s. This is a time period where a person may feel a sense of depression, but also transition where a person can choose to grow. A person may recognize they are in a midlife crisis when they start evaluating their goals and priorities. They may re-discover some dreams they had temporarily put aside to further their career or raise a family. Some people may find they wish to travel or even go back to school to start a different career path.
Are there gender differences in men and women?
According to WebMD, there are differences in how a person may reflect on their life if they are going through a midlife crisis. For example, a man may reflect on their job performance and achievements related to their job. A woman may be more likely to reflect on their relationships. These include as a wife and mother.
How do doctors treat those going through a midlife crisis?
A midlife crisis can be a difficult time, but it presents an opportunity where a person can seek help and guidance. If a person does start to experience feelings of anxiety and depression, seeking professional help can be a way to overcome these feelings before they can turn into a deep-seated concern.
Suicide and Midlife
Unfortunately, suicide rates are at their highest point during middle age of between ages 45 and 54, according to VeryWell Mind.3 Women between the ages of 40 and 59 years old, also have the highest rates of depression.
Signs You should Seek Help
Signs that a person should seek professional medical treatment for their midlife crisis include: 3
- Experiencing greater rates of stress and illness that make it difficult to complete everyday tasks, including work.
- Feeling stress levels are taking a toll on personal relationships and activities previously enjoyed.
A mental health professional can help a person develop a plan for the next stage in their life. They can help them evaluate priorities and, if necessary, prescribe medications to help reduce anxiety and depression.
Seeking professional help can help a person reduce their anxiety and help them gain greater enjoyment out of life. 4 A person should never fear or be embarrassed by their feelings, but instead should accept and seek help.