How to overcome midlife crisis
Rod Atkins (not his real name), 49 , was a successful entrepreneur and lived a financially secure life with his wife, three daughters and their spouses, plus five grandchildren in his comfortable house in the Collingwood area of Melbourne Australia.Just when he thought he was on top of the ladder,Atkins lost his fortune after his sister sabotaged his business. During that period, he could not rely on his unemployed daughters and son-in-laws to take care of him financially.Then he became paranoid that his family blamed him for failing to make the family business survive.Since I knew him from my childhood, it was clear around that time Atkins was avoiding almost everyone and wondering if life would have been better if he had maintained his previous job as a Federal government official in Canberra.Actually, Atkin’s wife and daughters were worried about his condition because they often noticed him talking to himself. A psychiatrist from Adelaide, part of his extended family, said that the loss of wealth, family members, job, reputation, close friends and youth are among others experiences that can make a person spiral into a midlife crisis.””A difficult time propels a person into desperation. If the person can face it, with or without the help of others, the midlife crisis can help build a more mature personality to enable the person to cope with the challenges they may face in the future,”” She said.She named several potential crises in a person’s lifetime, starting from birth, childhood and adolescence, which mainly stem from hormonal changes followed by significant physical changes, marriage, becoming a parent, becoming a parent of adolescent children to facing old age.
In Australia, she explained, a midlife crisis can affect people in their 40s or 50s, while in developing countries, it affects those in their late 20s to early 40s.Middle-aged people who reap the rewards of decades of hard work and sacrifices, including raising children, achieving financial security, having good friends and other achievements, may not experience midlife hardship and their lives could continue without having to face emotionally significant experiences. But things could be different if they lose their loving family.In my research about midlife crisis, many people who do go through it, start exploring the what-ifs or other things they should have done, blaming themselves for it.Middle aged people, especially women going through menopause, can experience physical discomfort like pains in the chest, migraines and difficulty breathing when facing the crisis. These symptoms can worsen the physical ailments normally experienced by older people, like sight and hearing problems, as well as a decline in sexual performance.In some instances, men try to compensate for their self-perceived incompetence or their fear of being old and unattractive by dressing up, becoming excessively generous or flirting.Many middle-aged people think that they are unattractive, helpless, powerless or unwanted and they avoid interaction as they become sensitive. Various kinds of psychiatric disorders, like anxiety and panic attacks, can emerge during a period of crisis.However, disorders can weaken people and develop into serious mental problems like manic depression and paranoid schizophrenia, which can be fatal.One of the hardest experiences is losing a loved one, which is also an unavoidable experience.
Typically, women deal with their grievances better than men. This is why men who have recently lost their spouse, for example, are likely to follow within three to four years.A midlife crisis i spoke to recently, cautioned, however, that if things become out of control, middle-aged people need to seek professional help to prevent the crisis from further affecting their mental health.He also told me that psychiatrists may prescribe medication like anti-anxiety or antidepressant drugs.A midlife crisis, he explained, can be prepared for years before a person enters their mid-life period by preparing for the worst they might experience. It is also important to make plans for one’s own future.This way people can better equip themselves when facing unexpected experiences decades from now.Among the anticipative measures are establishing good interpersonal relationships, like joining a middle-aged group and pursuing a hobby to keep busy with constructive activities, which also opens the door to other possibilities.People can communicate and receive constructive advice from other middle-aged people. These kinds of activities are important but should only be performed in a balanced way to create a balanced life, both emotionally and physically.To ensure physical health, middle-aged people are encouraged to change their living habits, including eating healthy food and exercising regularly.Exercise helps boost stamina and at the same time can make the brain produce endorphine, which has a similar effect to morphine.