How to cope with a midlife crisis

Feeling old and boring, as if life has passed you by? Don’t worry. A midlife crisis isn’t pleasant, but it’s a perfectly normal experience. Here’s how to get through it and come out smiling!

What is a midlife crisis?

A midlife crisis is the realisation that you’re not only an adult, but have reached the half way mark. If you find this difficult, painful or frightening to accept then you are probably suffering from a midlife crisis.

Who suffers from a midlife crisis?

Men and women aged between 35-55 are most commonly affected. ‘For women, a midlife crisis tends to coincide with children leaving home or no longer needing them as much,’ says Relate therapist Paula Hall. ‘For men, it’s more an awareness of ageing and a decline in self esteem, often linked to work.’

Experts agree that the people who suffer most are those who have been feeling dissatisfied for a long time already. ‘A midlife crisis can hit you particularly hard if you’ve been putting up with a job you hate or a miserable marriage because you thought you had to. You can suddenly become quite desperate,’ says Paula.