Many people experience a mid-life crisis, which is an emotional response to internal or external life stressors. Here is some advice to survive one.
Ted J. is a successful corporate executive with good health, hobbies, and loved ones that he values. In the last year, he says, “I found myself acting in ways that didn’t make sense. Suddenly it hit me: I was having a mid-life crisis.”
A mid-life crisis is an emotional response to internal or external life stressors. Stereotypical mid-life crisis behaviors include buying sporty cars and status toys, seeking the attention of younger woman, changing personal style, and abrupt career changes. However, some men internalize their conflict, resulting in increased anxiety and depression.
Ted’s physician performed blood tests for low testosterone, which would indicate andropause, a decline in testosterone that brings symptoms of decreased libido, reduced muscle strength, weight gain, irritability, lethargy, and mood disturbance. Ted’s blood work was normal so he sought the assistance of a counselor.
To survive a mid-life crisis, acknowledge this change in yourself and seek support from a physician, counselor, trusted friend or family members. This support can help you examine your values, esteem and unresolved personal conflicts. Avoid self-medication with alcohol and drugs, and stay open to rebuilding relationships.
A year later, Ted says, “It lasted longer than I thought, but by focusing on what I really wanted in life, I was able to pull myself out of it and even grow as a person.”