What is a Midlife Crisis?

When people reach a certain age and experience emotional distress, it can often be thought that they are finding it hard to cope with the idea of their own mortality, and that at some point in “the middle of their lives”, they decide to relinquish their responsibilities and have fun. This is why often when you think of people going through a midlife crisis, you think of them dressing in clothes more suited to young people, and driving around in flashy sports cars. However this is not generally the experience most people have. Signs and symptoms of a midlife crisis can include anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, anger problems, and career or relationship dissatisfaction.

The validity of midlife crises is one of the most controversial in psychology. There is little serious research on the phenomenon and many theorists state that it’s a myth. However, the truth is that when people reach the middle of their lives, transitions often occur – children move out, relationships change, jobs change, houses may change and the fact of the matter is, any kind of transition can bring on a crisis of identity.

Midlife Crisis and Addiction

It is not uncommon for many middle aged people to realise that they are drinking more and more each day. A glass of wine after work each night can quickly turn into a bottle or two. Many of the symptoms of a midlife crisis such as anxiety and depression can also be the impetus some people need to seek out harder substances in order to cope with the negative emotions they are feeling.

Individuals of this age are also more at risk of addiction if they have already struggled with substance abuse during their youth. The emotional turmoil you may experience in your midlife years may cloud your judgement, and instead of continuing to work at your recovery, you may believe that, once again, alcohol and drugs are the only way to avoid the psychological pain.

Midlife Crisis and Anxiety

Many people when they reach their mid forties, begin to become aware of their mortality. For some this can fill them with an overwhelming sense of anxiety. They begin to review their lives, looking back on choices they made, on accomplishments and on failures. As we get older we inevitably go through the ageing process. This means that for some people they may gain weight, body parts hang differently, the reflection in the mirror alters. This can cause intense distress and anxiety for many men and women as it can feel like a loss of identity. You no longer recognise your own reflection.

On top of your own personal anxieties, midlife may be a time when your own parents are beginning to get old, and their health may be deteriorating. Having to decide how to look after them can be extremely distressing and anxiety inducing. Equally children leaving the nest to go on to university or onto full time employment, can also be very worrying for parents left at home.

Midlife Crisis and Burnout

By the time we reach the middle of our lives, we have done a lot of living. We have had a lot of experience within the world of work as well as with relationships of all types. It is not surprising that sometimes when we reach midlife, we can feel exhausted and disillusioned with both our work lives and our home lives.

At around the age of 45, as we begin to transition into our later years, we may feel a sense of weariness, a lack of motivation to work like we used to, or make the same effort in our social lives. This can lead to low moods and even depression if not dealt with in time. Midlife Burnout is extremely common, but can be prevented if you recognise the signs and get help before it takes too much of a hold.

Addcounsel’s private luxury rehab and mental health service can offer treatment for midlife anxiety, addiction and burnout. We are a pioneering exclusive service that provides complete anonymity while looking after only one client at a time. We also have 24/7 medically led care within totally private accommodation. As with any mental health or addiction issue, early intervention is key when treating your midlife crisis symptoms. Allow Addcounsel to guide you through this tricky transition process and create something positive out of this period of change.