Midlife crises happen to people who want to feel confident that they made satisfying choices in life. The fact that the uncertainty of feeling satisfied bothers the crisis-stricken person says much about their transition into being over 40. Midlife crises can strike at almost any adult age, though.
A sense of facing end-of-life issues, regret at missed or mishandled opportunities, a curiosity about what to do about self-doubt, and how to behave for the rest of life are aspects of that sense of crisis. Apathy might complicate matters. Losing interest in life borders on self-sabotage. The question “Can a midlife crisis be resolved?” grows with apathy. The answers to the question, apathy or not, depends on how the affected person handles themselves, fears, doubts, and all, in general – and during crises. We also need to consider what set off the crisis: Employment issues, the death of a treasured person or of several people the crisis-stricken person’s age, interacting with someone with a different and startling worldview and/or cultural background, relationship issues, jealousy, a deep dissatisfaction with life for some reason or another, a health problem or legal matter. The list is open to more possibilities and to several at once. As one insight-seeking mental health professional might describe a client’s concerns to a colleague, “All of the above,” might suffice as a descriptive term for the issues on a person’s midlife crisis mind.
Upbeat people tend not to experience midlife crises. They’re open to new experiences, comfortable with the sagging skin, weight gain, gray hair, loss of muscle tone, and wrinkles of aging. They blend their intuition, self-awareness, and forthright behavior automatically. It’s the people who don’t do those things on auto-pilot who tend to suffer middle age self-recrimination, a painful sense of disappointment and/or boredom with life, impulsive behavior, and sexual longing. Happier people don’t have those midlife crisis problems.
Resolving a midlife crisis can happen in several ways. If part of the problem is the hormonal shift that goes with aging past 40, it can be addressed with bio-identical hormone therapy, or with the synthetic hormone replacement therapy (HRT) that some doctors use. HRT tends to have more pronounced effects that take getting used to, if they don’t require adjustment in the prescription. Bio-identical hormone therapy (crèmes rubbed into the inner thigh or inside the upper arm, pellets inserted below the skin, melt-in-the-mouth pellets, or capsules to be swallowed) is gentler and more easily absorbed into the body, though some people might need for their prescriber to improve on the mixture of ingredients. Either form of therapy can clear up some sexual dysfunction issues, and relax some minds.
Another aspect of resolving midlife crisis is to face bothersome issues rather than to try to compensate for them with sexual affairs, spending sprees, social withdrawal, or rapid-fire lifestyle changes. Focusing on unfulfilled desires and potentially rewarding lifestyle alterations can yield helpful insights for productive changes. Friends, colleagues, relatives, and relevant reading materials can help a person to better focus on their midlife crisis issues and identifying possible solutions for them. Talking out the issues with a psychotherapist can help, too. Scroll around this site to seek some counseling options, or search elsewhere for the counselor or life coach who can help you past a midlife crisis.
Yocheved Golani is a popular writer whose byline has appeared worldwide in print and online. A certified Health Information Management professional, she is a member of Get Help Israel. Certified in Spiritual Chaplaincy (End of Life issues) and in counseling skills, her life coaching for ill people puts healthy perspective into a clients’ success plan for achieving desired goals.