Midlife Crisis in Men: Origins and Treatment


A midlife crisis can lead to either growth or destruction. The desire for change with age is normal, but it’s worth choosing what makes you grow and develop in a positive direction so that you do not end up among the ruins. Do not move away from your feelings, it is better to learn how to deal with them correctly. If you have problems, acknowledge that the money will not solve them. Better ask for advice and think about possible solutions to the issue. At what age does the midlife crisis start? What does a midlife crisis look like? What is the midlife crisis theory? We will answer all of these questions and more, but first, let’s find out, “What is a midlife crisis?”

midlife crisis depression stage

Definition of the Midlife Crisis

What is a midlife crisis for a man? In this period, fantasies and old dreams seem much more attractive than reality. A man believes that he seems to be doing everything right, but wonders: how did it happen that he gradually turned into an ordinary middle-aged man? Sometimes his value system changes, flips on its head, and he rebels against the old rules, which, as it seems to him, limit him. A crisis is especially likely if there are no opportunities for growth or change in a man’s life. He begins to doubt whether his way of life and the image that he has created for himself are satisfied with him and think: is he in his place? Life seems empty or fake.

Is midlife crisis mental illness? It depends on how severe it is. When a man commits (or is almost ready to commit) rash, radical actions, it can be said that the usual internal conflict and reappraisal of values, characteristic of midlife, turned into a crisis. As a result, some men start love affairs on the side, abandon the family, start drinking more, become irresponsible or take a meaningless and unjustified risk. When it seems that there is no way out, the crisis forces something to change. The result can be both positive (personal growth) and destructive.

Let’s now talk about the main characteristics of the midlife crisis.

Midlife Crisis Main Signs

A man experiencing a crisis of identity or a crisis of middle age feels as if he was stifled or constrained by the way of life that he leads. He wants to break free. His ideas about time and himself are changing. After realizing that he doesn’t have much time to live, men desperately cling to the last opportunity to experience youth and the pleasure of life.


A man becomes bored and disinterested in the way he lives his life. His job feels stale, he is stuck in a limbo of negative emotions and frustration with the way things are going. Thus, this feeling of boredom fuels his irrational desire to take risks and change something up at any cost.

Drinking problem

Those who do take risks, or ended up failing at them, turn to vices, some get addicted to drugs, others get addicted to alcohol, and, of course, this never leads to anything good. In his attempts to drown the sorrows that poison his mind, he ends up poisoning himself with alcohol, meanwhile causing a lot of pain to his loved ones.

Permanent depression

Let’s talk about the midlife crisis depression stage. You think about your significance. The crisis of middle age is the time when a man sums up certain results of his life, compares himself from the past to the present, and realizes how old dreams and desires were realized. What mistakes were made? Does it make sense to change something and is there any time for this? Depression or its symptoms is a frequent companion to a midlife crisis. Revaluation of values, constant thoughts and experiences lead to the fact that a man loses his identity. This leads not only to moral discomfort but also affects certain processes in the brain.


In his depression, man starts reliving his past, the best of moments that he had. He may get nostalgic over the good old times when he dated four girls at the time, snorted coke, or any other sort of fun he had in his youth. A man can get interested in young women seeking men, start an affair on the side, get a mistress. As you can guess, this leads to nothing good.

treatment of midlife crisisLow sex interest

Here’s the last point on the midlife crisis checklist. The level of libido doesn’t grow with age, but it can drop way down when a midlife crisis enters a man’s life. He loses his self-esteem, sense of self-love, he looks at himself in the mirror and thinks that no sane woman would ever bang him. Thus, he doesn’t even try, he focuses his attention on attempts to prove himself to himself, or to drown down the pain. But, some men go on a different route, they think that they need to meet a girl now and end up leaving their families.

When does midlife start, do all men have it, and how long does a midlife crisis last in males?

Do All Men Have It?

When does the midlife crisis begin? Men often focus directly on their achievements and the desire to prove their success to others, while women tend to fix their appearance, sexual desire and what they can do after the children grow up. People who live with aspirations and goals are less inclined to worry about a midlife crisis, and those who live on autopilot at this time begin to realize that they are getting older, a lot of time has passed, and very little has been achieved. Thus, the less passionate a man is about his career, his goals, his future life – the more likely he is to go through a midlife crisis. The less proud a man is about the things he has achieved in his life thus far – the more likely he is to go through a midlife crisis.

How to Beat the Midlife Crisis

Men may have a desire for sudden or radical changes in their lives - in careers, in the family, in their place of residence. Women may experience a decrease in the level of motivation for career advancement or begin to doubt the importance of some of the efforts that they made before, whether in the family or at work. Sometimes a condition that you can take for a midlife crisis is actually a phase of psychosocial development called productivity vs. stagnation. And participation in volunteer projects together with the young generation or mentoring can help solve this problem. But this is just one way out of it, how can you beat the midlife crisis?

Accept the problem

Perhaps you feel that you are stuck in an existing relationship, you want to move to a new job or change your position. Think about what specifically makes you unhappy, and then try to find a solution to this issue. For example, if you feel unhappy in a marriage, this does not mean that you need to destroy it. Difficulties often arise in life together; they need to be worked on. Try having an honest conversation with your partner or contact a specialist together. Track your thoughts, how often do you think about hopelessness, about the bad stuff in your life? Learn to catch these episodes and transition to positive thoughts.

Find new goals

How to prevent the midlife crisis? Realize your aspirations. Perhaps they are not too realistic. Give up what is impossible to achieve and find new goals that will satisfy you. You may never write a book or become an astronaut, but there are probably many other achievements in your life. Make sure you are not comparing yourself to other people. If you still have it, take a break in communication on social networks - many of the photos in them are just beautiful pictures that do not reflect the essence.

Value your life

You are an adult and are responsible for your life. Instead of being dissatisfied with your roles and responsibilities, find something you can be thankful for. Think about the fact that many people in the world only dream about what you take for granted. Start a daily gratitude diary to see how much good is in your life and get used to happiness.

Make an informed choice

If you think that making a sharp decision is the only way or the only thing that will make you happy, think again. Most likely, there are other options. For example, if you are dissatisfied with your work, consider moving to another department, another position, or a branch in another city. Do not let impulsive decisions prevail over you. Gather information and analyze all options. If you buy a lot of “unnecessary” things and think that this is a way to achieve happiness, think about how you can do it differently. For example, start planting flowers, sign up for a dance studio, do some drawing. Make a habit of waiting 24-48 hours before buying what you supposedly really need.

what is a midlife crisis for a manAsk for advice

If you feel ready to make some important decisions, ask the person you trust for advice. Listen to them, even if you do not like what they say. You may hear some thought that you didn’t even think about. If you plan to quit your job, get a divorce, make a big purchase, talk to someone before you act.

Spend some time alone

If you have spent most of your life caring for children and the family, in constant communication with colleagues and management, start allocating time only for yourself. Do it daily. Let your mind fly away and reflect on how you live. Give yourself some space to think, feel and live your life. Take a walk, spend time outdoors, meditate.

Major Mistakes When Trying to Overcome the Crisis

And here are some major mistakes that people tend to do when trying to overcome the midlife crisis.

Move forward, not backward

Many people, when faced with a midlife crisis, believe that moving forward means returning the clock. For a while, it may seem that acting like a young person, looking like a young person, and meeting young people is good, but it will not be a way to solve problems. You can put off and drown the feeling of confusion, but it will not go anywhere. No number of expensive items or beautiful cars will turn back the clock. It is better to recognize your age and accept it. For example, if throughout your life, you considered your appearance to be something to be proud of, try to find value in something more constant, for example, in your kindness and generosity. Everyone is getting older, what matters is how you can handle it and what you can learn from this experience.

Leaving family

In all of the stress and frustration of a midlife crisis, some men end up spilling this anger on their romantic partners and children, they are to blame for all the things that men weren’t able to achieve, a family always prevented them from achieving their goals. And they end up leaving their families in all of this frustration, without thinking about their actions, whether or not this action will do any good in their lives.

Drugs and alcohol

Using drugs or alcohol may seem funny at this point in your life. Perhaps you think that there is nothing to lose or strive for a new experience that, in your opinion, will excite you. But alcohol and drugs do not bring happiness at all, they can harm you and even destroy your whole life. Indeed, because of them, you can lose your job and respect of others, destroy your family and health. If you are experiencing stress or financial problems, turn to healthy solutions instead of alcohol and drugs. If you have problems with alcohol or drugs, seek help and find the right treatment. Take inpatient or outpatient treatment, find treatment for a midlife crisis, enroll in a support group and get rid of addiction. Drugs and alcohol are not the treatment of midlife crisis, they are the way to meet your demise and death.

Stay focused on the result when you start thinking that your crisis will never end. Always keep your goal in mind and remind yourself that everything that happens now is for the good of achieving your goal.

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