Midlife Crisis - Facts & Fiction

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    Midlife crisis -- what's it really look like? We've all heard the jokes about the middle-aged man who wakes upone day and suddenly decides to radically change his life by quitting his job, buying a red sports car, and finding a new, younger wife.

    Is it true that's what a midlife crisis really looks like? What are the facts about midlife crisis and what's fiction? In particular, what does a midlife crisis in men most often look like?

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    Here are some descriptions of midlife crisis by a few experts:

    • A midlife crisis might occur anywhere from about age 37 through the 50s, says Dan Jones, PhD, who has researched adult development and transitions.
    • The crisis or transition tends to occur around significant life events, he says, such as your youngest child finishing college, or a "zero" birthday announcing to the world that you're entering a new decade. "The death of parents can be a marker, too, for these midlife events," Jones says.
    • "The stereotype is a man buys a red sports car," he says. That's not always the case, of course, but Jones says men do seem more intent on wanting to prove something. Men might gauge their worth by their job performance, he says. They may want to look successful, for instance, even though their achievements don't measure up as they had hoped.

    In a midlife crisis, people need to be aware of symptoms in men of serious depression, such as:

    • Change in eating habits
    • Change in sleeping habits, fatigue
    • Feelings of pessimism or hopelessness
    • Restlessness, anxiety or irritability
    • Feeling of guilt, helplessness or worthlessness
    • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed, including sex and hobbies
    • Thoughts of suicide or attempts at suicide
    • Physical aches or pains such as headaches or gastrointestinal upset that don't respond to treatment

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    Do you know a man in midlife crisis? If so, get some expert guidance on how to help him. A good part of my work in counseling men is in supporting their partners through such situations. Find a counseling men expert to help you with midlife crisis in men.

    * This is the first article of two defining midlife crisis. Here's the second one: What Triggers A Midlife Crisis? Sign-up for our blog below and be sure not to miss our next article (you can get notified by email or RSS feed).

    Source: WebMD - Midlife Crisis: Transition or Depression?

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