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Mid-life Crisis

Mid-life Crisis

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Published by: FKN: Fairsport Knowledge Network on Dec 01, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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How to…survivemid-life crisis
"I thought that there must be something wrong with me that I was feeling so hopeless, that I looked at my four lovely sons and a life which has so much good in it, and felt a hollowness about it all. There was nothing dramatic to report, I didn't have a single serious problem, which people could understand. It was just thefeeling of nothing being right anymore had crept over me and wouldn't go away."
The feelings associated with mid-life crisis can be extremelypainful and frightening, but they can also provide anenormous impetus to change and develop in ways thatmight have seemed impossible at an earlier age. Thisbooklet examines some of the causes and symptoms of amid-life crisis and describes ways of coping and moving on.What do we mean by mid-life crisis?
Many people find that they experience powerful emotionalupheavals at some point after they reach forty or fifty. A mid-lifecrisis may involve complex factors. It may be to do with unresolveddifficulties from the past, dissatisfaction with the present, a senseof lost opportunities, a fear of diminished options in the futureor of growing older in an ageist society.
How to…survive mid-life crisis
During our twenties and early thirties, many of us strive toconform to a handed-down agenda for how we should live ourlives, and follow a map that has largely been drawn up by others.This route involves passing exams, getting a job, building a career,forming close relationships and perhaps having children. Of course,many people don't conform to this traditional pattern and havebeen more concerned with self-expression and with developinga less conventional way of life. But, whichever path we havefollowed during the earlier part of our lives, in our later thirtiesand early forties we realise it's half-time.The growing recognition that we are not young anymore cantrigger painful feelings of loss, a sense that we haven't done whatwe really wanted to do, a sense of dissatisfaction with what we'veachieved, and a recognition that we need to change, to find anew direction and different sources of fulfilment.Naturally, it's not the case that we all chug merrily through lifeuntil we suddenly have a mid-life crisis. Many of us will haveexperienced crises and losses earlier on in life, and what we gothrough during our middle years will be an expression of ourunique life story and the problems that we have encountered.But it's possible to view mid-life difficulties as having a very realpurpose in terms of our personal development. It is a time oftransition, which enables us to grow and explore different ways ofbeing and living. The analytical psychologist, Carl Jung, emphasisedthat 'the greatest potential for growth and self-realisation existsin the second half of life'.
Mental Health Promotion

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