Most people associate going through a midlife crisis with men. The characterization of men during their 40’s and 50’s usually includes the impulse sports car purchase or the extra-marital affair, as well as depression and self-doubt about their careers. Less publicized is the fact that many women also go through midlife crises. As with many psychological issues, there are gender differences between what causes a midlife crisis in women and men.
The following are some of the most prominent reasons why women experience a midlife crisis.
Why women need midlife crisis treatment
Loss of self-identity
As a woman passes from her 40’s to her 50’s, she may question her identity, as well as her purpose in life. If her children are grown, she can no longer identify with the maternal responsibilities that defined her for the past 20-plus years. And if she never had children, or got married, she may look at her peers and see their lives as having more meaning than her own.
Many women will experience a midlife crisis as a result of their husband’s midlife crisis. This occurs when a man becomes less interested in his own wife sexually - and pursues younger women in an attempt to revitalize himself or feel younger. This can be a highly traumatic experience for any woman, and push them into the symptoms associated with a female midlife crisis.
While men commonly enter a midlife crisis as a result of their career dissatisfaction, women often come to the problem because of concerns about their appearance. In fact, plastic surgery is common among women suffering through a midlife crisis.
Symptoms of a woman’s midlife crisis
A woman going through a midlife crisis may become very emotional. Mood swings and depression are not uncommon during this period. If the woman is experiencing menopause, there may also be hormonal changes that are contributing to these feelings.
Substance abuse and midlife crisis
Many women will turn to alcohol or drug abuse in an effort to cope with their midlife crisis. They will use substance abuse as a means of escape or self-medication. This can be a very dangerous practice, as many women will engage in this behavior in secret, thus allowing the addiction to become deeper without any accountability. The most popular drugs abused during a midlife crisis are sleeping pills, prescription painkillers, marijuana and alcohol. When this occurs an alcohol treatment center or drug addiction treatment center is strongly advised.
Statistics on women’s midlife crises
While there is no hard data regarding how many men and women experience a midlife crisis annually, or enter into midlife crisis treatment, it is believed that approximately 10% of all adults go through it. Researchers in the mid 1990’s also found that the average onset age of a midlife crisis was 46 years old. One interesting note: studies have found that women’s midlife crises last approximately 2-5 years on average, while men’s midlife crises last between 3-10 years.
Moonview Sanctuary understands the special needs of women during this challenging time. Moonview offers midlife crisis treatment for any woman who is struggling with the issues listed above, and wants to enjoy more happiness and greater fulfillment for the rest of their lives. Contact Moonview Sanctuary today for more information about their Overcoming Personal Crisis program..