Making the most of a Midlife Crisis
Many factors can come together to make you feel like you’re heading for a midlife crisis, and certain you may hit what is commonly termed a “midlife crisis”. This can be a big turning point in your life-related in part to the normal changes that take place for all women, or it may pass with little fanfare.
There is something to the idea that women and men both are working so hard to move their lives along in their 20’s and 30’s and 40’s that, whatever the midlife catalyst is, something comes along, and the person says, this is my life, this is it? That realization can spur growth…or it can trigger anxiety and depression as a response to stressful events.
Common Life Stress Issues:
- Death of a loved one
- Caregiving for an older relative
- Loss of a job or approaching retirement
- Signs of Declining physical health
- For many, a midlife crisis may simply result from the realization that you are 50 and haven’t yet written that novel or achieved another long-term dream.
The Impact on Woman’s Health
As women reach middle age they begin to experience some expected bodily changes, like menopause but many also suddenly face new, serious midlife issues. A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, cancer, or osteoporosis, are just a few conditions that are more common to women during and after midlife. These health concerns can trigger the depression and anxiety that characterizes a midlife crisis. Although researchers are still looking into whether and how the emotions accompanying a midlife crisis can affect your physical health, it is known that some women develop or revisit an eating disorder as they try to cope with midlife issues.
How to Cope
- A midlife crisis may sneak up on you, that midlife crisis can spiral into a depression or state of anxiety or intense questioning or reflection.
- Sometimes a sign is doing something completely out of character, and wanting to do it with a great sense of urgency, such as:
- Leaving your marriage
- Changing your job or career path
- Smoking more, drinking more, and seeking other escapes, such as shopping to feel better.
Wanting to change your life isn’t necessarily a bad thing: Thoughtful changes can lead to growth. But reckless changes may lead to poor decisions that cause heartache later, so you should recognize the possibility that your decisions are related to your temporary emotional state. Seeing a professional to talk with about how you are feeling and what you want to do with your life may help you find a healthier path to dealing with a midlife crisis.