By Bill Bambrick, Lexington Manor –
The day starts with a cup of coffee, bowl of cereal, and some serious time in front of the mirror counting gray hairs on his balding head. He then wraps himself in misery and self pity to improve his self image with a racy new sports car. We relate to this crisis that’s glamorized with Hollywood and the likes of media driven events. Mid-life crisis is common, true or false? “It makes for good novels or good movies, but it is not really accurate,” said psychologist, Margie Lachman of Brandeis University in Massachusetts.
This crisis happens to mainly men when they perceive a loss of the good old days. Being able to do almost anything, and feel like a million bucks the next day, eat, drink, be merry, and have no fears; make decisions without repercussions.
But is this crisis really that, and does it really affect that many men? The body has no clock that determines this event that relates it to age. It tends to come when other life setbacks occur, a death of a relative, career issues, illness, etc. The most common is not boredom, but the feeling of not being able to get everything done. Oddly enough, when people are asked what age they would most like to be, they responded mid 40’s, said Alexandra Freund, a life-span researcher at the University of Zurich in Switzerland.
Origin of the Term Mid-Life Crisis
In the 1960s, a psychologist named Elliott Jaques coined the term “mid-life crisis” based on his studies of clinical patients and artists who were dealing with depression and angst about getting older. This crisis is more a western culture dominated phenomenon. It really comes down to adjusting to life changes as they happen, which is something we have always done. So, from a clinical standpoint, is this more a form of depression? Is crisis the correct analogy? Hardly, 10-12% of men approach this stage. Actually, people tend to be at the top of their game with family, careers, and confidence.
What is the Fear of Aging Driven By?
The fear of aging is driven more by hype, commercials of virile men living incredible lifestyles giving us the subliminal message that doesn’t everyone want to be them? Be like “Mike”; the famous Michael Jordan. Watch any major sporting event and commercials dominate the screen with erectile dysfunction ads, or the latest low testosterone – low “T”. Of course these mediations have a need, but now the need is driven by the consumer and not the clinician. I can stop the decline, but does that mean regain youth? Sales of testosterone products have risen from $550 Million in 2006 to $1.3 Billion in 2010.
The Cure is Right in Front of You
The crisis has taken a new form in the life of Ray Romano, where he puts his own crisis on the show, Men of a Certain Age. Mid life is a time for evaluation of the second half of your life. We are all living longer and it’s up to us how we adapt. Do I want to exercise, eat better, and improve my chances for a quality of life that I control? The cure to your mid-life crisis is right in front of you, every day, it starts with one day, one meal, one thought. The greatest tool we possess is our mind, all we have to do is change our mind, not let someone else change it for me. There will be plenty of time for someone else to tell you what to do later in life, that I promise.
Making life changes can be a daunting task. I hope this article has provided some insight to help your family ensure your golden years remain golden. Bill Bambrick has over 14 years in health care with a focus on seniors needs. Bill can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lexington Manor Assisted Living
20480 Veterans Blvd., Port Charlotte, FL 33954
CBSNews.com 2011 – The myth of the male mid-life crisis; Barry Peterson
LiveScience.com 2011- Midlife Crisis is a Total Myth; Robin Nixon