The term Midlife Crisis originated with Sigmund Freud, who thought that in middle age, people began to be plagued by the fear of impending death. Since Freud’s coining of the phrase, the term is widespread in our culture and is often used to explain uncharacteristic, out-of-the-blue yet stereotypical behavior—a 50-year old man buying a flashy sports car or a woman undergoing breast enhancement surgery or a facelift at 40. The term has a negative connotation, but in reality, it should not. A midlife or existential crisis can happen at any age and, depending on how or why it hit you, there are different ways to cope.
WHY DO WE HAVE EXISTENTIAL OR MIDLIFE CRISES?
Any turning point in our lives can trigger a crisis, but a major trigger for a midlife crisis is when we become aware of our mortality. This happens for most of us in our 30s. Other life-disrupting events such the loss of a loved one through death or divorce, significant disappointments and dramatic misfortunes can crush our world. These events may come up at any time in our lives and change us forever. If we are resilient enough, we might get over the crisis with no help or lingering effects, but not all of us are so lucky.
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