Signs of a midlife crisis in women can range from changes in body image or sexual satisfaction (often due to factors such as perimenopause or menopause) to emotional struggles surrounding career issues or dissatisfaction.
A recent study shows that midlife, the age range that spans between 40 and 65, can be quite tumultuous for women. During this time, women are not only dealing with biological changes, but they're also dealing with work problems, family issues, death, securing finances and reaching personal goals.
Carl Jung (1875–1961), in his extensive writings, identified five stages associated with an innate, normal, and expected midlife transition: accommodation, separation, liminality, reintegration, and individuation.
Signs you're experiencing a midlife crisis
Signs of midlife crises can vary (like stressors and the crisis itself), but some indicators include feeling depressed or anxious, having low motivation, having difficulty sleeping, struggling with questions of identity or purpose, and feeling overwhelmed or dissatisfied.
Midlife crisis and depression have some common symptoms, including difficulty concentrating, insomnia, irritability, and reckless behavior. If the symptoms are persistent and show up every day, it's more likely to be depression.
A midlife crisis isn't a psychological disorder per se, but it's still an uncomfortable period of transition between 40 and 55, although there's some variability in the timing of midlife crises. Men and women experience midlife crises somewhat differently.
A midlife crisis can be tumultuous for the person experiencing it and everyone around them. Impulsive, single-visioned, and self-centered behaviors can lead to actions that are hurtful and sure to cause regret. Cheating on your partner, divorce, and financial irresponsibility are common actions that lead to regrets.
Yes, sometimes people who leave in the throes of a midlife crisis do come back. Sometimes, their partner no longer wants them. But rather than concentrate your energy on your husband's behavior and choices, I hope you will take a long look at your own life. Deal with your grief and the profound loss and change.
Since a midlife crisis is not classified as a medical condition, there is no singular cure or course of treatment.
Starting at age 18, your happiness level begins to decrease, reaching peak unhappiness at 47.2 in developed countries and 48.2 in developing countries. The good news is that happiness levels then gradually increase.
This crisis can affect self-concept and self-confidence, leading to changes in moods, behaviors, emotions, and relationships as people cope with the transition to midlife.
A lot of people want to know, can marriages survive the midlife crisis, and the answer is yes. A midlife crisis destroying your marriage is a common fear of many married couples, but there is a way around a lot of these problems.
"When crisis point is reached they go through a profound psychological breakdown, often accompanied by symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression." Yuko Nippoda, psychotherapist and spokesperson for the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), adds that lack of energy and stamina can trigger a midlife crisis.
There is little scientific research that formally identifies how long a midlife crisis lasts but anecdotally it is thought that it lasts between three to ten years in men and two to five years in women.