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No Such Thing: The Myth of the Mid-Life Crisis

By HERWriter Guide
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Menopause related image Photo: Getty Images

Middle age brings a lot of fun – at the expense of middle aged people. Jokes about angry, hot flashing women and horny, convertible driving bald guys abound. The woman is frustrated because she’s no longer the vibrant, fertile and svelte woman she once was. The man is desperate to relive his youthful glory days by dumping his wife for a younger model, acquiring a toupee and buying an open-top car his paunch can barely fit into. And on it goes, with each generation having its own spin on the stereotypes.

What researchers said really happens are simply shifts in life. Like the teen years, the 20s and so on, the middle age years also bring challenges. Like some teens have trouble with life and some sail through adolescence, the same thing can happen with people in any decade of their lives. And like puberty, menopause can have its challenges but not to the extent that the media would have us believe.

Alexandra Freund, a life-span researcher at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, has seen people go through all sorts of phases throughout their lives. In an interview with LiveScience, she explained that “…there can be times when things crystallize as very problematic, a very deep disturbance in your life. People experience these types of crises, but they are not at all related to age."

But what is certainly seen in middle age is people who are not losing control of their lives like so many think – it’s that people are finally in control of their lives. They no longer put up with certain situations the same way they did when they were younger and find themselves more settled into a sense of who they are and where they are going. This kind of “settlement” is sometimes looked upon as giving up or losing one’s sense of adventure and throwing caution to the wind, instead of the reality that is middle age is often a time where people can gladly reap what they have sown.

Add a Comment3 Comments


I think the lack of estrogen takes away some of the nurturing qualities that women demonstrate so then a rift may arise when kids or partners notice that you are bored with their ongoing problems that you know your solution would solve if they would just listen to you!

February 24, 2011 - 4:26pm

As long as a person is happy with who they are at any given time, mid life shouldn't be a problem. Life is always going to involve a fair amount of stress - health problems, caring for aging parents, money, unemployment - just to name a few. Hopefully most of us will deal with these issues without looking like a fool. Keep your fingers crossed.

February 22, 2011 - 2:55pm
EmpowHER Guest

Im 54 and have never gone through it.It all about people afraid of getting old.I welcome it since its better then the alternative

February 22, 2011 - 9:46am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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