MID LIFE CRISIS NOT JUST FOR MEN ANY MORE
In 1963, author Betty Friedan wrote in her book, “The Feminine Mystique,” that women who wanted to trade their baker’s mitt for a briefcase were considered “neurotic, unfeminine and unhappy.” Fifty years later there are myriad women who are quite happy as ‘poets, physicists and presidents’ – but also included is the increasing phenomenon of what used to be considered a solely male affliction: The Midlife Crisis.
As society has changed to embrace more fullness in women’s roles, women have struggled to encompass the increasing demands created by those increasing choices.
It is becoming more common for women in their mid 30s to late 40s (even into the 50s) to develop a sense of emptiness or a sudden desire to change directions in life. Rather than brandishing the iconic red sports car in the face of mortality, women tend to fret inwardly about whether they’ve made the right choices with their lives. For example, career decisions may have led to unmet parenting goals or vice versa, and many women begin to ponder and regret perceived compromises and trade-offs.
This condition is more now aptly referred to in mental health circles as a midlife transition – but mental health professionals are quick to recognize this transition can quickly spiral downward with certain triggers like divorce, the death of a parent or a newly empty nest. Add to the mix peri-menopause and a stew of hormones and there is significant potential for women to suffer acute anxiety or serious depression.
Warning signs may include:
- Change in eating habits
- Change in sleeping habits, fatigue
- Feelings of hopelessness, despair
- Restlessness and/or irritability
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Loss of interest in activities
- Sexual disinterest
- Contemplation of suicide
- Increasing and unexplained physical aches and pains
If you or someone you know feels this way or may be at risk for midlife transition into depression or anxiety, contact one of the trained counselors at Counseling on Demand (COD). Talk therapy helps, and COD provides virtual face-to-face opportunities to talk through these important issues when and where it’s convenient for you.
Mid-life doesn’t have to synonymous with losing your identity – in fact, it can be a wonderful time to enhance your life and set new goals. Contact COD today to make your appointment. The first 30 minute session is on us – let us show how we can help.