The Crisis Of 40 In Men: Characteristics And What To Do

Crisis at 40 in men

Time goes by. It happens for each and every one of us, regardless of what we think about it. For children, adolescents and young people, a birthday is something exciting, one more step towards becoming an independent adult man or woman capable of living their life as they want.

However, as we get older and older and often in our thirties, many people go from feeling this illusion to starting to worry about the large number of candles to blow out on the cake: we have stopped being young. In fact, this concern can reach such an extreme that it can generate a small psychosocial crisis, something especially common in the 1940s.

And although it has always occurred in women as well, traditionally a moment of crisis has been identified with sudden behavioral repercussions in men. In fact, we are talking about the well-known midlife crisis, in this case in men. It is about this vital process that we are going to talk about throughout this article.

Midlife crisis: what is it?

The term midlife crisis is a period or process of crisis at a psychological and emotional level that occurs in those people who reach the age of forty due to the perception and awareness that the years are passing, in a moment. in which the subject reaches the conclusion that he has stopped being young and which is approximately at the midpoint of its life expectancy. In fact, in reality the specific age is not relevant in itself, so it is more appropriate to call it a midlife crisis.

These thoughts can lead you to take stock of your life., in which the type of life that the person currently leads is valued and contrasts it with their expectations of youth. Likewise, an assessment of the dreams and projects that have been fulfilled and those that have not usually come into play. It is also common for there to be the idea that what they have not accomplished is already unviable to do in the future, which generates great pain, disappointment and frustration.

Another aspect that he usually reflects on is life and the routine that is followed., which may end up being unsatisfactory or in which some type of stimulus may be lacking. There may also be the idea that from now on they will go into decline, in addition to the perception of losing vigor, physical power and sexual attractiveness.

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These sensations can generate great stress in the sufferer, something that can trigger a series of behavioral and emotional manifestations characterized by impulsivity and the need to introduce changes. We could consider the midlife crisis as a phase of mourning in the face of the perception of a progressive loss of youth: denial, anger, depression, negotiation… and over time also acceptance appear. And fortunately, This crisis stage tends to resolve over time. as we accept that time passes and that this does not mean that our life is over.

It is important to note, however, that although it is relatively common, not all people will suffer the midlife crisis: it depends, among many other factors, on the importance we give to the passing of the years, the life balance we make, and whether we are satisfied. with our current way of life or whether we have fulfilled or see our vital objectives as achievable or not.

Possible problems arising from this crisis

At a cognitive level the subject can form a negative image of their current situation compared to the expectations held in youth. It is possible that fears may appear over time, which may include denial of one’s own age or possible ailments. Slight hypochondria may also appear.

Much more common is the existence of anxiety, deep anguish and even depressive symptoms: sad mood, slowness, rumination, apathy, lack of perception of pleasure in things that you previously liked, sleep and appetite problems.

It is common for a phase of rebellion against what is established and routine to occur, sometimes with poorly reasoned and highly impulsive behaviors. It is also common for there to be remorse for unfulfilled dreams, for everyday life to be perceived as a boring, empty burden full of suffering, and for the idea to appear that our dreams will never come true. Sometimes they try to sublimate themselves with risky actions or with the search for adrenaline. What is sought is to recover the sensation of feeling young and vital, full of hopes and dreams.

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Its main manifestations in man

In men, the midlife crisis usually presents as an urgent need to make changes in a life that they may consider a lack of emotion. Changes that they may try to introduce suddenly and even desperately in the face of the anguish generated by the perception of beginning to consider that they are in middle adulthood from which they are going to grow older.

At a relational level, as the level of demand and responsibility towards the partner and children increases It is possible that the subject notices high pressure and experiences his efforts as a sacrifice. Disputes, conflicts, and attempts to change established routines may come into play. It is also possible that the person in crisis wants to spend time alone or change their environment, and that they appear unsociable or distant with those they are used to. Some men seek adventures and commit infidelities in this phase, and even in extreme cases they may want to break up with everything and abandon the family unit.

At work, unresponsible behavior, fights, abandonment or attempts to change jobs may appear. It is also possible that alcohol or drug use is used in order to try to escape from everyday life.

Other types of behaviors are those that seek to remember the past, in such a way that the person can try to return to places and situations that remind them of their youth and that they consider simpler than their current situation. With regard to the physique, it is common for the subject to begin to worry about their image even if they did not do so before, and to begin to actively take care of improving it: practicing sports in previously sedentary people, using creams and cosmetic products or wardrobe changes towards more youthful trends.

How to reduce its effect

The midlife crisis or midlife crisis is a stage of great stress and anguish for those who suffer it, but it is possible to take into account a series of tips and strategies that can be useful to cope with it.

First of all, it is necessary to take into account that the fact of Having reached a specific age does not imply the end of life: We still have a long way to go. Likewise, the fact that some dreams have not yet been fulfilled does not mean that they are impossible. And even if one is no longer viable, it is possible that the fact of not fulfilling it has given rise to different life circumstances that may have been highly satisfactory for us.

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Another very important point to keep in mind is that we must reinforce and appreciate the goals that we have achieved, as well as recognize our own merits. And it is common for routine and day-to-day life to make us not value what we have, as we are used to having it: family, friends, work and hobbies are clear examples.

Also It is advisable to focus on an exciting goal or project, something that makes us vibrate and makes it easier to project ourselves positively towards the future and not towards the past. Another possible course of action would be to talk to people who are in the same situation: men also in their forties or fifties who are going through or have already gone through this vital process: it is about being able to express their doubts and emotions with other people. in a similar situation.

Family support is also relevant, especially when it comes to the couple. It is advisable to have a positive and empathetic approach, trying to put yourself in their shoes and understand their possible suffering. Now, it must also be taken into account that this does not imply carte blanche for the subject in crisis.

If they are alive, it is also possible to rely on parents, since the father figure can be an example for coping with the passage of time whether he has suffered this type of crisis or not. Finally, if necessary, professional help can be sought in order to facilitate the passage through this crisis.

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