Female Midlife Crisis

Although most people believe that a midlife crisis is strictly a male condition, there are actually a number of women who also suffer through their 40’s and 50’s with the same feelings and symptoms – many of which require professional crisis treatment.

Studies have shown that as many as 10% of all mid-life crisis cases involve women.  While that number may not seem staggering, consider that the condition was seen as exclusive to men as little as thirty years ago.  Given the responsibilities placed on women in the 21st century (see below) one would only imagine that this number will continue to rise.

Women come to their midlife crisis for different reasons than men, but exhibit many of the same symptoms including:

  • Depression
  • Dissatisfaction with their life
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Infidelity
  • Lack of communication with the spouse

The following information will shed some light on the unique nature of the female mid-life crisis – and show women how they can cope with the disorder and even receive helpful treatment – before they end up in divorce counseling or infidelity counseling instead.

What’s Different about a Female Midlife Crisis?

  • Empty nest.  Women sometimes enter into a midlife crisis when their children have grown up and left home.   This is a “shock to the system” for many women, who are confused about their future after having played the role of caregiver for so long.
  • Newfound responsibilities.  Ironically, more women suffer from mid-life crises now than ever before because they have been given many of the same responsibilities as men.  Women are taking part in the highest levels of the workplace, which can lead to similar dissatisfaction that men experience after at least a decade moving up the same corporate ladder.
  • Living longer.  Women are also living longer than ever before.  That means it is feasible for a woman in the late 40’s to be looking ahead at more than another fifty years of life.  Many women will grow depressed or anxious at the thought and may wonder aloud “what am I going to do with the rest of my life?”

 

Helping Women Cope with a Midlife Crisis

 

A woman’s emotional needs are significantly different than that of an individual in a male midlife crisis.  It stands to reason then that midlife crisis treatment and coping strategies will differ as well.    The following represents several strategies that have helped women cope with their midlife crisis.

 

  • Finding greater balance.  Women who strike a balance between work and family early in their midlife crisis are more likely to make it through the period with relatively sound emotional health.
  • Exploring new things.  If a woman is more willing to explore new directions in her life then she will be less likely to act impulsively as a result of her midlife crisis.  By trying new hobbies, continuing her education and other mental pursuits she will lessen the impact of the crisis.
  • Maintaining communication with her partner.  An open, honest relationship with one’s spouse creates a healthier environment that will keep a mid-life crisis from taking hold.

 

Moonview Sanctuary offers women a place to gain a proper understanding of their midlife crisis and learn how to overcome this potentially debilitating condition.   The professionals at Moonview’s Overcoming Personal Crisis program provide individualized, comprehensive care for these women and their families.

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