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Midlife Crisis: As a Matter of Fact

As adults grow older, they come to realize the fact of heir senility. During this period, they tend to look back to their accomplishments and seek for ways to improve their lives. In most western societies, this period is often regarded as ‘midlife crisis. ’ This is one of the myths that are present in the western society. Due to the prevailing literature that tackles this issue, it is popular and often taken as a ‘fact’. Therefore, it is rational to discuss whether midlife crisis really exists or is it just a myth.

The term is disputed for a matter of factuality or as mere misinterpretation. Midlife, according to Lerner and colleagues (2003), represents the stage prior to old age. Lachman (2002), noted that because of the actual age where midlife starts and ends is often vague; the scientific community gives little attention to it and thus it has no clear definition. It is considered as a time of reflection and a change of plans and perspective.

In this sense, it is only regarded as a ‘midlife transition’ towards old age. Mendez argued that Midlife crisis is actual a fact. Nonetheless, it is not compulsory or experienced by everyone. In midlife, men and women experienced different physical changes that lead them to the realization that life will soon end and the vigour and energy they once had is already gone. Women in midlife are characterized as experiencing menopause, being more stressful, anxious and often engage in self-pity (Lachman, 2002).

Men, on the other hand, have trouble in maintaining erection, which somehow damaged their pride; they find themselves weaker and more vulnerable (Willis and Reid, 1999). Mendez (2003), further illustrates the destructive experience of ‘midlife crisis’. It might lead to discontent in life or lifestyle, boredom with things and people, which surrounds the person with crisis, and confusion about what to do. To this end, Courter and Gaudette (2003), maintain that Midlife crisis is a ‘myth that results in oversimplified stereotypes’.

Willis and Reid (1999) further elaborated that it is a personal myth developed through archetypes that exist as a form of adaptation during the age of late 30’s to early 60’s. Midlife crisis exists when a person adapts to the situational, psychological and physical changes of aging negatively. Nevertheless, if a person adapts with aging positively, the crisis may not at all exist. According to Mendez (2003), ‘only 10% to 20% of the American population actually experienced Midlife crisis.

To be able to handle the transition from adulthood to old age, or what is more popularly known as midlife transition, a person can try to manage the stress associated with midlife, as advised by Laura Berk (2006) in the book ‘Development Through the Lifespan’. Some of the ways to improve stress are exercise, proper nutrition, engaging in different relaxation techniques, having time for leisure activities, eliminating bad health habits such as smoking and drinking, maintaining proper sleep and having social support from friends and family. Works Cited Berk, L. E.

Development Through the Lifespan, 4rth ed. Allyn & Bacon, 2006. Courter, G. and Gaudette, P. How to Survive Your Husband’s Midlife Crisis. Perigee, 2003 Lachman, M. E. Handbook of Midlife Development. John Wiley and Sons, 2002. Lerner, R. M. , Easterbrooks, M. A. , Weiner, I. B. and Mistry, J. Developmental Psychology. John Wiley and Sons, 2003. Mendez, N. Midlife Crisis: In Encyclopaedia of Aging and Public Health by Sana Loue et al. Springer, 2008. Willis, S. L. and Reid, J. D. Life in the Middle: Psychological and Social Development in Middle Age. Academic Press, 1999.

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