Midlife Crisis can be described as a sudden loss of identity and confidence that is associated with feelings of remorse or regret. It is a phenomenon experienced by individuals between the ages of 30 and 50, a juncture where many of us believe that life is half over and our prime years are gone. People suffering from a midlife crisis are typically struggling with the concept of aging and mortality. Oftentimes, a midlife crisis is triggered after a person encounters a big loss or failure. For instance, you may have lost a loved one in a car accident or made a mistake that cost you your business.
Sometimes, an anxiety disorder or depression is misinterpreted as a midlife crisis, though they are not the same thing. Depression is a chronic mental illness that arises from constant worrying and negative thoughts. Midlife crisis is a short-lived phase that has more to do with being unhappy about how your life is or the choices that led you to where you stand now. If you are currently going through a midlife crisis, you may notice several of the following symptoms:
1. Frequent Mood Swings
One minute you’re fine and the next you’re not. Insignificant things annoy you and you get worked up for no apparent reason. Everything seems to be going fine, but then a single thought or comment makes you feel on edge. You might want something, yet be compelled to push it away immediately afterwards. At times, you just want to put life on pause and abandon whatever you are doing.
2. Bored and Stoic
You no longer enjoy or appreciate the things that you were passionate about. Your enthusiasm level for participating in any activity is constantly below zero. You don’t feel anything in particular, as if your mind and heart are numb. Everything translates to boredom and every passing moment seems more meaningless than the previous.
3. Excessive Reminiscing
Your mind is not with your body; you are unaware of the present because virtually you live in your past. You are always recalling old memories that leave you wistful. The nostalgia overwhelms you and you keep retelling old tales to whoever is willing to listen. You are here in the corporal sense, but you stopped living a while ago.
4. Comparing Yourself to Others
When you start comparing yourself to others, you have made up your mind that you are not enough. Your insecurities get the best of you and envy feeds on your soul. Your state of mind may encourage self-hate and even instigate suicidal thoughts. You feel wronged and betrayed by the universe, even though it’s your own mind playing games on you.
A midlife crisis tends to isolate a person, literally and figuratively. You are likely to feel lost in a crowd and haunted when you are alone. Your misery clouds your senses, so you feel trapped in your own body. You might be under the impression that nobody cares about you, although it is you pushing them away and hiding in the shadows.
6. Incoherent Decisions and Actions
Your panic and insecurities drive you to make decisions in haste. You don’t contemplate on the consequences of your actions. You may intend to do the right thing, but raging emotions get in the way. You may end up ruining your career and destroying important relationships.
If you are constantly wishing to go back in time and change what you did, the ‘what ifs’ are probably going to keep you awake at night. Sooner or later you have to make peace with the past and focus on your future.
8. Not looking forward to anything
A person living in regrets is not capable of moving forwards or looking ahead. While you cannot rewrite history, you most certainly can build a better future. It is up to you to revive your stagnant existence; and for that you need new goals and ambitions in your life.
9. Altering your Personality
People act out of character during a midlife crisis. The self-loathing may compel them to be someone they are not. You might start out my changing your appearance, and then adjust your personality to match the new look. The explanation is a sense of denial where the subject tries to escape reality by playing a fabricated role.
10. Not Acting your Age
Since a midlife crisis is largely associated with growing old, many people become desperate to restore their youth. They may start hanging out with a younger crowd, as well as dress and behave like them for a sense of belonging. Some are inclined to date people more or less half their age in order to feel desirable again.
John Adams writes about physiological traumas and personal healing. He encourages readers to fight their fears and overcome the obstacles holding them back. He believes that any person can improve the quality of his or her life by incorporating positivity in every thought and action. He loves to share his insight on life experiences, and contributes on various online platform in the same niche.