What Are the Signs of a Midlife Crisis?

If you've ever heard the term "midlife crisis" and wondered what it means, you're probably pretty young and haven't crossed that bridge yet. A midlife crisis is a mental frame of mind that some people go through once they reach mid-age or older. It's very common for people to begin to experience one in their 40's, but can also be common for some at the age of 30. It's not a disorder or illness, but more of like a certain mental period that a person goes through, similar to a mental phrase, such as when a person becomes excited about a particular musical group and goes overboard and starts buying lots of memorabilia and talking about them everyday. Even though not every person will go through it or experience it, a large portion of the population does. For some people, it's almost inevitable. Men seem to be affected by it worse than women, but it can affect everybody and doesn't discriminate as far as gender, race, or lifestyle. Some people even go through midlife crises when they are much younger and haven't even hit their middle age yet, though this is rare. But how can you tell if you or someone you know is going through a midlife crisis? What does a midlife crisis feel like? Whether male or female, there's a few signs and symptoms that can help you identify know how to tell when a person is experiencing one. Here are some of the main things to look out for, that may indicate that a person is going through one of these types of periods.

Buying Things
People who are going through a midlife crisis may start to buy things that they normally wouldn't buy at their age or in their particular situation in life. There's different reasons why they may be doing this. For some, a midlife crisis means that a person suddenly realizes they are getting older and may want to feel young again and relive their childhood and days of their youth. So they may go out and buy things that make them feel like a teenager or young adult again, such as a new hot rod car, or an expensive stereo system, or even clothes that most older adults normally wouldn't wear. For others, a midlife crisis means that they realize that old age is approaching, and they suddenly want to spend money because they fear they won't get a chance to enjoy the fruits of their labor later on in life. So in this particular case, they may start living a less frugal life and spending money as soon as they get it. They may go out and buy expensive or extravagant things that they normally would never dare to buy, for fear of wasting the money and not saving it for retirement or other future events.

Body Changes
In addition to buying things that are out of the norm, a person may also start to change personal things about themselves. They may suddenly decide to start getting tattoos, or a new haircut that is significantly different than what they would normally have. They may get piercings or start using a lot more makeup than usual. While all of these things are very common amongst people who are not going through a midlife crisis, they can also be signals or warnings that a person is indeed going through one. Going to the extremes and doing things that are completely different than a person would normally do are definitely some of the main warning signs of a person who is experiencing a midlife crisis.

Social Changes
Social changes are also very common amongst people going through these types of ordeals. If a person is feeling old all of a sudden, they may start to try to live like they are younger again, and will try to do things and engage in activities that young people normally do, as well as associate with younger people. If you ever see a person in their 40's, who is hanging around 20 year olds that they are not related to, then they are most likely going through one of these types of crises. They may not even be associating with people who are younger than them, but may choose to go and socialize or spend time in places that are more common amongst people of younger ages.

Employment Changes
One of the main negative aspects of mid-life crises, is when a person's job or everyday routine is disrupted, though this can sometimes be a positive thing in rare cases. An individual may choose to quit their job that they've held for a long time, and suddenly start to chase after lost childhoold dreams, such as becoming a musician in a band or a professional basketball player. While many of these choices are unrealistic, some can be for the better, such as a person who quits their 9 to 5 job and starts their own business and becomes successful with it. The problem is, people who are going through midlife crises are not always level-headed, and may not be in the best positions to be making big financial or business decisions.

Acting Wild
For some, just trying to survive a midlife crisis can be difficult, because many go off the deep-end and start doing very dangerous or extreme things. They may no longer fear death because they suddenly start to feel old and feel like their life is almost finished with anyways, so they feel like they have nothing to lose. This doesn't represent the majority, becuase most people will probably try to cherish their lives since they feel they are slipping away. However, there's still a small minority out there who may start living on the edge and just acting wild in general. This can result in legal problems, drug addiction, drinking problems, or to even more subtle things like bad diet. If your husband, wife, or parent is usually counting calories, but suddenly starts eating nothing but junk food, this may be the reason why.

Mood Changes
Some people who are going through a phase like this are upbeat and feel like they are young again, so they may be more happy and focusing on enjoying their lives while they can. Others may suddenly feel depressed or become angry about their age or where they are in life (socially, financially, etc.), and may lash out at people who are close to them. In extreme cases, some may become suicidal or even homicidal, but this definitely represents a very rare minority. There's even some people who may be depressed on the inside, but may appear to be happy on the outside because they are trying to force themselves to enjoy life while they still can. While they are sad about getting older, they are trying to make themselves believe that they aren't, in order to overcome those feelings.

A fairly common and unfortunate thing that happens in some cases of people who are having a midlife crisis, is that they will suddenly want to get divorced or will initiate some type of marital changes. They may feel old and fed up with their life, and will want a complete overhaul, including their marriage. This can often involve husbands leaving their wives for younger women, which in turn, makes them feel younger as well. But this isn't exclusive to the male scenario, and sometimes it's even women who will leave their husbands for younger men. It may even start out as a secret fling or affair, and sometimes this is just the first spark in what will later grow into a fire and cause the divorce proceedings to commence.

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