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22 August 2014 16:15 | By Karen Khng
5 signs you're going through a midlife crisis

How to handle a mid-life crisis

How to handle a mid-life crisis
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Many have said: "I used to think I was immortal, that I held the world at my fingertips, that I could change any outcome as long as I was able to road map it." But then happy hard work paved the way for more work, and more work took away more time. More time passed faster than sand slipping through my fingers, and I'm now facing off with my ultimate nemesis - my mid life.

Hello, mid life! Don't make us into a call-for-crisis if you can
Mid life crises used to be something people joked about - "a brand new bubble gum yellow Ferrari, a PTY (pretty young thang), ombre-coloring your hair,"  "working out to regain an 18-year-old’s figure, parties like it's 1999, wears minis  and tees like she was 17!"

But mid life turning points are no joke. They're real episodes, usually unexpected and uninvited, which slip into our daily lives without provocation until a family member or friend asks us out of exasperation "have you lost your marbles?" With hormones and menopause maneuvering us into the next quadrant of our lives, we throw good lives out the window because old and new "feelings" and "thoughts" invade and confuse us. We start having an identity crisis.

The Identity crisis
In 1965, psychologist Erik Erikson made official his finding - the identity crisis, the ultra depressing moment when one becomes acutely aware of their own mortality and realises the time left to live is less than the time already wasted. Research says mid-life crises occur from 37 to 50s years of age but women can fall victim earlier (35-44). Other studies say men and women start their "crisis" at about 43 and 44 years respectively, and that male midlife crises last 3 to 10 years compared to 2-5 years for many women. Trigger factors fast forward the onset of life after half time - kids growing up, graduating, leaving home, the death of parents, pending retirement, having to finance a lifestyle that's unsustainable without a container load of palletized cash in the bank. Getting divorced, fired, retrenched, death of peers and mentors, having less sex, being tired of routine sex, hitting 40 can all trigger a midlife crisis.

Here's how you know you're starting to drown in that phenomenon and what to do when it bowls you over.

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