Midlife Crisis or Transition is Naturally Accompanied by Severe Depression

Midlife Crisis or Transition is Naturally Accompanied by Severe Depression.

Transition of identity and cocky-confidence

midlife crisis
is a transition of identity and cocky-confidence that tin occur in center-aged individuals, typically 40 to 60 years old.[1]
The phenomenon is described as a psychological crunch brought about past events that highlight a person’s growing historic period, inevitable mortality, and maybe lack of accomplishments in life. This may produce feelings of intense depression, remorse, and high levels of anxiety, or the desire to achieve youthfulness or brand drastic changes to their current lifestyle or feel the wish to alter past decisions and events. Studies on midlife crises show that they are less common than popularly believed, according to Vaillant (2012) in his 75-year longitudinal study on adult development, he found midlife crises were rare experiences for people involved in the report.[4]
The term was coined by Elliott Jaques in 1965.

Crisis versus stressors


Personality and a history of psychological crisis are believed to predispose some people to this “traditional” midlife crisis.[5]
People going through this have a variety of symptoms and exhibit a disparate range of behaviors.

Mid-life is the fourth dimension from years forty-threescore[3]
where a person is often evaluating their ain life. However, many mid-life stressors are often labeled as a mid-life crisis. Day-to-day stressors are likely to add up and exist thought of every bit a crunch, but in reality, it is simply an “overload”.[5]

Many heart-anile adults feel major life events that can crusade a period of psychological stress or depression, such as the death of a loved one, or a career setback. However, those events could take happened earlier or later in life, making them a “crunch,” only not necessarily a mid-life one. In the same report, xv% of eye-aged adults experienced this type of midlife turmoil. While those who are of a lower educational status and those who have a higher educational status have an equal number of stressors, it is those who have received lower teaching who experience those stressors much more and those stressors contribute much more to a mid-life crisis.[vii]

Studies betoken that some cultures may be more sensitive to this phenomenon than others; i report found that there is trivial evidence that people undergo midlife crises in Japanese and Indian cultures, raising the question of whether a mid-life crisis is mainly a cultural construct. It appears that the experience of increasing in age into what is considered former is significantly different in each culture. The authors hypothesized that the “culture of youth”, the prolonging of youth practices, and the emerging adult development stage in Western societies accounts for the popularity of the mid-life crisis concept in that location.[9]

Researchers have found that mid-life is often a time for reflection and reassessment, but this is not ever accompanied past the psychological upheaval popularly associated with “mid-life crisis.”[10]
Those who fabricated career or jobs changes early on in life were less probable to feel a crisis in midlife.[11]



The condition may occur from the ages of forty–60.[i]
Mid-life crises last well-nigh 3–x years in men and two–5 years in women. A mid-life crisis could be acquired by aging itself, or aging in combination with changes, problems, or regrets over:

  • piece of work or career (or lack thereof)
  • spousal relationships (or lack of them)
  • maturation of children (if in that location are, in this example it may be their absence)
  • aging or expiry of parents
  • physical changes associated with aging

Mid-life crisis tin can impact men and women differently because their stressors differ. An American cultural stereotype of a man going through a midlife crisis may include the buy of a luxury item such as an exotic machine, or seeking intimacy with a younger adult female. Some men seek younger women who are able to procreate, not necessarily with an intention to produce offspring.[13]
A man’s midlife crisis is more likely to be caused by work problems,[half-dozen]
a woman’south crisis past personal evaluations of their roles. Even though there are differences betwixt why men and women go through a midlife crunch, the emotions they both come across can be intense.

One of the main characteristics of a mid-life crunch is that one assumes their mid-life is nigh to be eventful, normally in a negative way, and potentially stressful. Psychologist Oliver Robinson’s research characterizes each decade of life by describing frequent occurrences or situations detail to those age periods. He describes that a crisis can brainstorm in a person’s early 20s, when they commonly try to map out their whole life. Moreover, the later age flow, between 50 and sixty, may exist a time of illness or even the thought of death. Such a deadline may convince a heart-anile person that their life needs to exist lived every bit expected.[12]

Individuals experiencing a mid-life crisis may feel:[14]

  • a deep sense of remorse for goals that have non been achieved
  • a fear of humiliation among more successful colleagues
  • longing to reach a feeling of youthfulness
  • need to spend more time lone or with certain peers
  • a heightened sense of their sexuality or lack of it
  • ennui, confusion, resentment or anger due to their discontent with their marital, work, health, economic, or social status
  • ambition to right the missteps they feel they have taken early in life[15]

Treatment and prevention


Concrete changes that commonly occur during these years are weight gain, wrinkles, sagging skin, pilus loss.[xvi]
Regular exercise and maintenance of a nutritious nutrition may help to sustain i’southward physical and mental health during these years of transition.

Meaning changes made early in life may prevent one from having a mid-life crunch. An instance supporting such a theory can be derived from the research conducted by Dr. Susan Krauss Whitbourne. People who changed jobs before their midlife years had a greater sense of generativity when they reached mid-life. They likewise experienced a greater sense of motivation to deviate from stagnation and a desire to help the younger generation thrive. This is a psychological stage proposed by Erik Erikson that describes the normal phase adults go through during their mid-life years.[xix]

Theoretical basis


The notion of the mid-life crisis began with followers of Sigmund Freud, who thought that during middle historic period anybody’s thoughts were driven by the fear of impending death.[21]
Although mid-life crisis has lately received more attention in popular civilisation than serious inquiry, there are some theoretical constructs supporting the notion. Jungian theory holds that mid-life is key to individuation, a procedure of self-appearing and cocky-awareness that contains many potential paradoxes.[22]
Although Carl Jung did not describe midlife crunch
per se, the mid-life integration of thinking, sensation, feeling, and intuition that he describes could, it seems, pb to confusion about ane’southward life and goals.[23]

Erik Erikson’s life phase of generativity versus stagnation besides coincides with the idea of a mid-life crisis. Erikson believed that in this stage adults begin to understand the pressure level of being committed to improving the lives of generations to come. In this stage a person realizes the inevitability of bloodshed and the virtue of this stage is the creating of a better earth for hereafter generations in order for the man race to grow. If generativity is not established a person will fall into a country of cocky-absorption in which their personal needs and comforts get their master business organization. Stagnation is the lack of psychological move or growth. Instead of helping the community a person is barely able to help their own family. Those who feel stagnation do not invest in the growth of themselves or others.[24]



Some people have challenged the being of mid-life crises birthday. One report found that 23% of participants had what they chosen a “midlife crisis,” merely in digging deeper, only one-third of those—8% of the total—said the crisis was associated with awareness of aging.[5]

The balance (15% of those surveyed) had experienced major life experiences or transitions such every bit divorce or loss of a job in middle age and described them as “midlife crisis”. While in that location is no doubt these events tin be traumatic—the associated grief reactions tin be indistinguishable from low.[v]

Costa and McCrae (1980) found fiddling evidence for an increment in neuroticism in midlife. While they did find that some people were likely to experience such crises, these individuals were probable to feel crises in their 20s and 30s, and these experiences were not unique to midlife. Robinson, Rosenberg, and Farrell (1999) re-interviewed (500) men. Looking dorsum over their midlife catamenia, it became axiomatic that while not necessarily entailing crunch, information technology was a time for re-evaluation.

Wrapping up their review of men’s mid-life crisis, Aldwin and Levenson wrote that “… Given the bulk of the data, information technology is probable that, for most men, mid-life is a time of achievement and satisfaction. For a certain proportion of men, notwithstanding, the passage is non at all smooth.”[26]
They found a similar blueprint when they reviewed research on what are commonly idea to be triggers for women’s mid-life crisis: menopause, children leaving home, the “sandwich” of caring for both parents and children. Most women navigated those periods without a traumatic psychological “crunch”.[26]

The indelible popularity of the mid-life crisis concept may be explained by another finding by Robinson et al. Every bit Alwin and Levenson summarize: “… younger men, now middle-aged Infant Boomers, used the term “midlife crisis” to depict virtually any setback, either in their career or family life.”[27]

Levenson researched the possible beingness of a midlife crunch and its implications. Whereas Levenson (1978) institute that 80% of middle-aged participants had a crisis, and Ciernia (1985) reported that lxx% of men in midlife said they had a crisis (Shek, 1996) others could not replicate those findings including Shek (1996), Kruger (1994), McCrae and Costa (1990). The debate of whether or not there is a midlife crunch is being answered through recent inquiry that attempts to residuum such factors as response bias and experimenter effects in order to establish internal validity. The above mentioned research does not back up Levenson’s model of a single age in the middle years that is a designated time of transition and potential “crisis”. Instead, changes in personality can occur throughout the adult years with no summit in general distress or psychosocial crisis.[28]

Recently, a new study by Giuntella et al. (2022) circulated as a working newspaper at the National Bureau of Economic Enquiry attempts to provide hard evidence on the presence of a midlife crunch. Using longitudinal information on 500,000 individual, they document a crisis of midlife in affluent nations. This confirms bookish piece of work previously washed using subjective well-beingness information. They discover that “midlife is a time when people unduly take their own lives, take trouble sleeping, are clinically depressed, spend time thinking well-nigh suicide, feel life is not worth living, find it difficult to concentrate, forget things, feel overwhelmed in their workplace, suffer from disabling headaches, and become dependent on alcohol.” Given access to a rich set of controls, their results do not depend on a single nation, nor is a function of the presence of young children, nor related to workers’ productivity. Additionally, the effect is robust to cohort effects. Patterns of the male person midlife crisis mimick that of female’due south. This reduces the likelihood that the crunch is caused by gender-related differences. “[29]

Many view mid-life every bit a negative, simply in reality many experience this time positively. Instead of a mid-life crisis being a crisis it tin exist an opportunity for growth and progress towards goals. It is the crunch parts that can allow a person to re-evaluate how they are progressing towards their goal and make substantial changes to their life to allow them to obtain those goals.[30]

If looked at as a time of personal growth, the feel can be greatly beneficial and rewarding.[31]
If treated as a transitional stage,[ten]
psychologists believe the initial experience may exist difficult and confusing but as time passes it becomes an experience of self-growth and self-realization.[10]

See likewise


  • Empty nest syndrome
  • Existential crisis
  • Gerascophobia (fear of age)
  • Meaning of life

  • Mono no aware
  • Quarter-life crunch
  • Saturn render



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  • “Midlife Crisis? Lets break information technology down.”, Seth Chernoff, Sunday, Oct 11, 2015.
  • Chandra, P. (2011, June 8). Is midlife crisis for real? : Prevention News – India Today. News – Latest News – Breaking News India – Live Update – India Today. Retrieved April 23, 2012
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  • Doheny, K.d (north.d.). Midlife Crisis: Depression or Normal Transition?. WebMD – Amend data. Better wellness..
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  • Erik H. Erikson, Joan One thousand. Erikson, The Life Cycle Completed: Extended Version (W. Westward. Norton, 1998)
  • Giuntella, Osea, McManus, Sally, Mujcic, Redzo, Oswald, Andrew J., Powdthavee, Nattavudh and Tohamy, Ahmed, (2022), The Midlife Crisis, No 15533, IZA Discussion Papers, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:iza:izadps:dp15533.

External links


  • Media related to Midlife crisis at Wikimedia Commons

Midlife Crisis or Transition is Naturally Accompanied by Severe Depression

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midlife_crisis