The causes of a midlife crisis

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menopause _rex

The mind

Experts believe a midlife crisis usually starts in the mind and is often triggered by a particular event, or series of events, such as redundancy, a milestone birthday, a health scare or children leaving home. This leads to a reassessment of life so far and disappointment about how it's turned out.

The body

'Physical changes, such as those brought about by the menopause, may exacerbate a mid life crisis,' says Paula Hall, especially if you're unlucky enough to experience distressing symptoms such as hot flushes and weight gain. 'Many women consider the menopause to signify the 'end' of their youth and fertility,' says Paula. 'If that's your view, then you're bound to feel low.'

Continued below...

Men's bodies also change physically in mid life. These hormonal and chemical shifts can cause symptoms such as lack of sex drive and prostrate problems. They too will take their toll emotionally.

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