For many years, when people referred to a midlife crisis, it was automatically assumed men were the only ones who suffered. That is not really true. Female midlife crisis occurs too. It was previously overlooked in women because the symptoms are different. For men, the biggest issue is fear of aging and everything that comes with it. Women experience different things than men.
A midlife crisis for a woman is more about an identity. During their adult years, their lives are full of family tasks, raising children, and managing the home. Eventually they gain more time and freedom. It is at this point a woman comes to realize that she no longer has an excuse for putting off the things she wanted to get accomplished in her life. Sometimes she will even question her own morals and beliefs that have been established for the majority of her life.
Women who are between 36 and 60 can experience a female midlife crisis. During this time, children have grown up and leave to pursue college or careers, leaving the proverbial empty nest and a large amount of free time. Add the hormonal changes that occur with menopause and you have an emotional mess. There are also some women who suffer from a divorce or death that triggers the crisis.
No two women will have the same experiences while going through this. There are, however, some frequent symptoms that can be expected. Usually a woman’s symptoms will come in stages. Anger, denial, shock, and depression all come in waves, in no set order, before she can accept what she is going through. All of these stages are used to group symptoms that might occur.
Depression can cause feelings of hopelessness, lack of energy, and changes in eating or sleeping habits. Anger often leads to blame, typically directed at spouses, for not getting enough accomplished. Denial is often experienced in the beginning, as women make excuses or do not want to address their feelings.
There are many behavioral changes that can come with a female midlife crisis. Dissatisfaction with almost everything and unease or restlessness can cause women to appear distracted, nervous, and disheveled. Many sufferers will make decisions on a whim, such as buying things that are not needed or suddenly quitting a job. It is also common for sufferers to be overly concerned with looking younger and will often try to dress younger or wear makeup to hide their aging.
A woman suffering from this issue may also decide to start getting involved in risky activities or those she would not normally do. They can be as risky as bungee jumping off bridges or as calm and safe as tap dancing classes. She may all of a sudden decide to replace old friends with new ones or have an affair.
Female midlife crisis can be just as dangerous as the male version if it is not acknowledged and handled properly. There is nothing wrong with trying to find ways to fill the void and empty time, if it is constructive. Women who continue down a path of denial and destruction face more problems when this problem has passed. It is important to seek help, not just from a doctor or counselor, but also from the people that are important in your life.