By Nico Strydom
Experts don’t agree on whether there really is such a thing as a midlife crisis, but it is a fact that a certain age can have an effect on life satisfaction.
A midlife crisis is described as a loss of self-confidence and anxiety or disappointment in early midlife. It is jokingly referred to as older people who reach a time in their lives when they do preposterous, unpractical things such as impulsively resigning their jobs, buying a red sports car or impulsively deciding to divorce.
Research on midlife crises disagree regarding findings that it indeed exists while other research points out that it is more about a decline in life satisfaction and that it could point to a more serious health condition such as depression.
According to available information a midlife crisis can occur at any time between the age of 37 and the late 50s. There is also disagreement on the duration of midlife and the age range to which it actually applies.
Experts say a midlife crisis is more about life satisfaction. They say that some changes usually take place at a certain age, such as children leaving home and a father or mother who react to it in a certain manner.
Another explanation is that introspection is more common at a certain age. A person will look back on his or her life and perhaps be unhappy about decisions they made. It could be about decisions regarding their work or marriage or even lesser life decisions.
A choice is then made to try and reverse these decisions or to rebel against them. This could lead to an impulsive decision to divorce or impulsive spending, such as a sports car, or a whole transformation to try and feel different.
It could, however, also be the result of the realisation that a large part of your life is something of the past. There are, therefore, things that you are going to miss out on due to your age, or perhaps only the realisation that life is fleeting
However, times have changed a lot and people live longer than previously. People also feel younger and act as if they are younger. In general, people are more attuned to their own happiness than before and do not necessarily do things because society expects it of them.
Midlife is now rather seen as a time to develop even more and no longer as a period of crisis.
Psychology Today https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/face-it/201104/midlife-crisis-myth-or-reality-in-search-new-name
Verywell Mind https://www.verywellmind.com/what-are-the-signs-of-a-midlife-crisis-4175827
The Conversation https://theconversation.com/is-the-midlife-crisis-a-real-thing-105510