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Mid-life crisis. Myth or reality?

Written by Itziar

The Canadian psychologist Elliot Jaques coined the expression' midlife crisis' in 1965 to refer to the moment a person becomes truly aware of their mortality. Something like assuming: 'Not only others die, I am also going to die'. The point is that Jaques' work was based on artists, not the general population. However, the expression spread until it became well-known in popular culture. It refers to a period of questioning that happens when someone reaches halfway of their life expectancy.

What happens during a mid-life crisis?

Is there a crisis when a person turns 30, 40, or 60? In life, we go through different stages, and the transition between them can lead to a crisis. Although not all people experience a personal crisis in the same way, nor at the same ages, many people experience a crisis in their 40s. The crisis has been portrayed by countless films in which women and men reaching their forties join the gym or quit their jobs in search of their dreams. In the past, when people felt they only had a decade or two left to live past midlife, psychologists tended to see more patients experiencing a 'midlife crisis'. The crisis is also more common among those unhappy with their current lives. Dissatisfied people tend to reflect and see goals not achieved. Confusion, boredom and anger arise. Often there is a desire to return to past days before time runs out. Sometimes it leads to depression, anxiety, and increased alcohol and drug use. Relief is sought through psychotherapy or medication. But is the 'midlife crisis' universal? Not really. Many hit their midpoint, focus on lives well spent, and look forward to the years to come.

Why do we have this crisis?

In the same way, there was a significant crisis in the stage of adolescence when the young person considered his projection in life and reaffirmed himself. When we reach maturity, we ask ourselves if this is how we want to continue living the rest of our lives. The crisis is necessary to become aware of the natural ageing process in life. It also serves to begin to value those things we used to see very far away and that now, we see closer and closer.

Sometimes, the crisis comes as an essential change in life, such as a job change, place of residence, partner, or even doubts about everything. These changes sometimes occur due to the crisis, and the new decision-making triggers us to enter into a crisis, rethinking our whole life.

How do we face this crisis? It is a stage to assume and accept what has been achieved and to reconsider the decisions made so far in life, such as those about work, the couple or family. It is the time to be happy, to take action and change whatever we don't like about our lives to seek personal fulfilment and a way of living that fills us fully.

At Meavitae, we think an organized life can help you achieve peace of mind at critical times. We encourage people to join us and start taking care of their personal information, their wills, and their memories and find in us a place to go where they need financial, legal and health help.

Ageing challenges us both physically and emotionally. But reaching mid-life doesn't necessarily lead to a crisis. If you ever go through one, understanding a bit more about it can help with the situation in a better way.

Category: Wellbeing
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