‘Midlife Crisis’ is something that happens to many of us at some point during our lives (usually, at about 40, give or take 20 years).
Midlife Crisis is a natural process (first identified by the psychologist Carl Jung) and it is a normal part of ‘maturing’. However, Midlife Crisis can sometimes feel very uncomfortable, and cause people to seek psychotherapy or counselling, or to make radical lifestyle changes that can be very damaging and are regretted later.
It can help to view Midlife Crisis from the perspective of differing personality types, as this will give you a greater understanding of what is happening.
If you are going through midlife crisis, you might experience a wide range of feelings, such as:
- Discontent with life and/or the lifestyle that may have provided happiness for many years
- Boredom with things/people that have hitherto held great interest and dominated your life
- Feeling adventurous and wanting to do something completely different Questioning the meaning of life, and the validity of decisions clearly and easily made years before
- Confusion about who you are, or where your life is going.
These feelings at mid-life can occur naturally, or they can be brought on by external factors.
One external factor can be debt. The availability of credit has become easier in recent years, through credit cards and telephone/internet loans. This has made it easier to accumulate debt, and many people turn to debt consolidation or debt management services in order to find their way out of difficulty.
Another external factor can be a bereavement, such as the death of a parent – or other significant loss or change, such as redundancy or divorce. These things can cause significant grief which can be difficult enough to come to terms with on their own. But if they are compounded by the natural process of ‘mid-life transition’ this can make the whole process of adjustment bewildering and overwhelming.
However, even in the absence of difficult external circumstances, there is still an internal process of change that takes place during midlife. If you don’t understand that process it can feel like a ‘crisis’ and as you attempt to come to terms with it, you may find yourself making poor or irrational decisions that you regret at a later date – eg: leaving your job or spouse and throwing away the security that you have built up in the first part of your adult life.
If you do understand the process of midlife transition, it can make it easier (though still not easy) to navigate your way through it.
The second page in this article will give you an overview of that process, particularly from the personality type perspective. However, if you are finding midlife difficult to deal with, it is worth considering psychotherapy or counselling, as these services can help you steer your way through difficult midlife circumstances without going off the rails.
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