Does every man go through a midlife crisis?

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Men's Health Advisor
@AVogelUK
Ask Dr. Jen Tan


30 November 2018

Does every man go through a midlife crisis?

Many men will go through a midlife crisis when they reach a certain stage in their life so, if you think the issue applies to you, you are definitely not alone!  That being said, a midlife crisis is definitely not something that happens to all of us. We all lead different lives after all, and we all have different personalities, so what might cause one person to worry or make changes in their life wouldn’t bother another. 

The Men’s Health Forum suggests that less than a quarter of men will have a midlife crisis which is a fairly positive statistic.

What age does a man go through a midlife crisis?

Between the ages of 35 and 55 many men go through what can, for a number of reasons, be the most challenging period of their life and as such, a midlife crisis is most common at this age. 

What causes a midlife crisis?

Unlike many other health problems there is no one thing that can be said to cause a midlife crisis. Instead problems can arise for a number of reasons, be it the pressure of raising and providing for a family, losing older family members or stress at work. 

The trigger could also be something more personal though, like the onset of new health problems or worries about whether or not, as a middle aged man, you are achieving what you wanted to when you were younger. 

On top of this, nowadays we also have the added pressure of social media where we can see the achievements of our peers every minute of the day. If you are suffering from low self-esteem (a key sign of a midlife crisis) then this can make things worse.

Together these feelings rack up and it leads to a midlife crisis.

What are the signs and symptoms of a male midlife crisis?

Friends or family may jokingly suggest that your fifth attempt at the local half marathon is a sure sign that you’re in the midst of a midlife crisis but actually, the signs and symptoms can be a little more serious than this.

  • Irritable – feeling short tempered is also a sign of Irritable Male Syndrome or andropause which can be caused by various physical and psychological issues, but is also linked to a midlife crisis
  • Low mood and mood swings – if these seem to come out of nowhere, or there is no discernable cause, it could be linked to a midlife crisis
  • Depression – although this can happen to anyone at any age, it is particularly problematic amongst middle aged men 
  • Fatigue – the symptoms above can also be accompanied by fatigue which can make it difficult to go about day-to-day activities
  • Erectile dysfunction – there are a number of things that can cause this problem, including a midlife crisis, and therefore it should definitely be checked by a doctor
  • Low sex drive – again, this can be linked to a number of things and not just a midlife crisis
  • Questioning purpose – constantly thinking about your achievements and your purpose (be it personally or professionally) is another indication of a midlife crisis
  • Lose interest – a midlife crisis can cause you to lose interest in the things that would have once brought you pleasure. This one isn’t always something that the individual themselves will recognise however, family and friends usually notice a change
  • Changes in appearance – be it weight gain, a change in hair colour or weight loss, changes in appearance can sometimes indicate the presence of a midlife crisis. 

Have you experienced symptoms of a midlife crisis?

How long does a male midlife crisis last?

As I mentioned at the start of this blog, everyone is different and therefore it is impossible to say exactly how long a midlife crisis will last, if it even develops at all. The matter is complicated further by the fact that there is little research on a midlife crisis and so no scientific conclusions can be drawn regarding how long it will last. 

Like many health conditions, the severity of the problem and how long it lasts is also influenced by what you do to treat it. If you take steps to address the signs of a midlife crisis for example, the sooner the symptoms will ease. So, how exactly do you do this?

Dealing with a midlife crisis

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms discussed above then I’d advise you go to your doctor to discuss them. They will be able to offer advice on medications and counselling which may be of benefit. 

When it comes to a midlife crisis one of the best pieces of advice I can offer is talk! Don’t keep your thoughts and emotions bottled inside where they are likely to bubble away into something bigger and more problematic. It could, as I’ve mentioned, be a GP you talk to but friends, family and colleagues can also offer support. They may not be able to take issues away directly, but they will be able to offer advice and a new perspective on matters.

Also, herbal remedies can be beneficial at this time. Our Stress Relief Daytime drops for example, help to relive more mild cases of stress and anxiety. This is made from extracts of fresh valerian root and hops which has a calming effect on the nervous system. 

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