How to turn a mid-life crisis into an opportunity…

by admin / 06 January 2017 / No Comments

Midlife crisis is a subject of many jokes – a balding man in a red sports car comes to mind. Yet it would not seem funny if we looked at the statistics. Research consistently indicates that people in their 40s and 50s are the least happy age group around. So if you are a forty or fifty something and are feeling unhappy, irritable, “stuck”, depressed – you are not alone.

A large proportion of my clients belong to this age group and the range of problems they bring could be summed up as a “midlife crisis”. Couples struggling to accept the emotional impact of the affair; stressed executives disillusioned in their glittering careers; parents reassessing their marriage after children have left home – these are just a few examples.

So what are the signs or symptoms that you might be going through this stage? In his book on the subject, Psychotherapist Andrew G. Marshall suggests the list of possible behaviours:

  • Discontentment or boredom with people or activities that provided fulfilment beforehand.
  • Feeling restless and wanting to do something completely different with one’s life.
  • Anxiety about the future.
  • Questioning decisions made years earlier.
  • Irritability, unexpected anger.
  • Persistent sadness.
  • Increased use of alcohol, drugs, food or other compulsions.
  • Greatly decreased or increased sexual desire.
  • Sexual affairs, especially with someone younger

 For women in particular, worrying about not having had children or whether they want them in the future

So what is to be done, if you have suddenly found yourself in this situation, feeling “stuck”, having achieved a lot, but unable to enjoy your success?

In our 20s and 30s we are programmed to achieve success and build careers (often not in the field we would have chosen ourselves). There is societal pressure to get married, settle down and have children. There are certain milestones to achieve. We are so busy that there is often no time for introspection or questioning if what we are doing is actually what we want to do.Your 40s and 50s is the time to do just that – pause and think.

Interestingly, the Chinese word for “crisis” is made up of two hieroglyphs: danger and opportunity.

So it is up to you what you will make of it.

By Anna StoreyPsychotherapist here at the clinic.

For more information about Psychotherapy or to book an appointment call 01844 215555 or email


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