The midlife crisis is often treated like the punch line of a joke, but the truth is it can be difficult to get through and leave ruined lives in the aftermath.
The idea of a midlife crisis can be tossed around like a joke, especially if someone just splurged on a brand new sports car — the most stereotypical and easily recognizable sign of a midlife crisis.
The idea of the midlife crisis is that people are realizing they are no longer young, so they try to recapture that lost youth. Perhaps may sound fun but the symptoms of an actual midlife crisis are much less enjoyable: depression, disconnecting from friends, troubles with marriage and the mood swings. If left alone, a midlife crisis won’t just impact your health, it can ruin your relationships and deplete your finances.
Luckily, Money Crashers reports, only 10% of Americans actually go through a legitimate midlife crisis and even those go through varying degrees. Some people can work their way through a midlife crisis with little trouble, but others struggle deeply at the realization that their youth has passed them by.
, “People who spend their lives dedicated to fulfilling their aspirations and objectives are less likely to have a midlife crisis; growing older is easier for them. Others go through life on autopilot, and suddenly realize that they are getting older, time has passed them by, and that they haven’t accomplished very much.”
Like any problem, the first step is acknowledging that it’s there, which can sometimes be difficult with a midlife crisis since one of the signs is to assign blame.
Since crises often occur when people realize they haven’t accomplished what they hoped to in life, setting new goals is important. Setting new personal goals can help get you interested again and give you a new purpose.
But now there is also the quarter-life crisis. Now this may seem ridiculous to some, but by going through a quarter-life crisis people can avoid the midlife crisis, which may be more painful since they’ve been in their job longer, they have more money to lose and they may have been married with children.
The quarter-life crisis — which takes place between ages 25 and 35 — usually arises because people realize their “to-do list” in life is exhausting. Although they are just in the beginning of their adult lives, these people go through a quarter-life crisis when they realize the jobs they’ve chosen or the relationships they’ve gotten into aren’t what they want out of life.
The best thing about the quarter-life crisis though is that most people look back on it positively,
by psychologist Oliver Robinson from the University of Greenwich in London. Because they go through this crisis early in their lives, they can change quickly and easily if they find themselves working as accountants when they wanted to be chefs. Later in life, this becomes more difficult.