The stages of a midlife crisis are similar to what one would experience while going through the stages of grief. This feeling may be because someone going through a midlife crisis is becoming more aware of their mortality.
Here are the six stages of a midlife crisis and some behaviors that may be associated with each step.
Stage 1: Denial
This stage is about being unwilling to accept that fact that you’re getting older. Commonly seen behaviors with this stage include someone pretending that they’re younger than they are in reality.
This means that they may become obsessed with trying to appear younger. Cosmetic surgery and the heavy use of age reducing products may become prevalent.
Many people start dressing in such a way as to appear younger. Some people will make extravagant purchases to look younger and more in style.
Stage 2: Anger
Anger starts to build up in the first stage of denial. Whereas the first stage was more about introspection, the second stage involves lashing out at those around them.
They often feel as though life has treated them unfairly. As a result, they get furious at those that are close to them. This stage can be rough for family members to cope with because their loved one may say hurtful things to them.
The behavior is characterized by becoming very self-centered and not caring about the feelings of others.
Many people even lash out at work. This behavior can result in problems with your boss and other co-workers. You may find yourself not caring about whether you get fired or not.
Stage 3: Replay
This stage is where you may try to act out your past glory days. People tend to what to recapture all of the things that they used to do.
You may even find yourself feeling entitled to have whatever you want. This behavior can be destructive and may result in extra-marital affairs. Some of these responses resulted from the anger stage.
You are still stuck in the mentality that you’re unhappy with your spouse and the circumstances of your life. These thoughts may contribute to this escapist behavior.
Many people make big purchases such as cars in an attempt to remake themselves into a younger version.
Stage 4: Depression
This stage is about the person coming to grips with the fact that no matter what they’ve tried, they’ve been unable to recapture their youth. You may be feeling as though you’ve failed at life.
Truth be told, this is an extension of the anger stage. Depression merely is anger that you direct at yourself as opposed to others.
There is also a hormonal component to a midlife crisis. As you age, your hormone levels drop off. This change is real for both men and women.
You may not feel like yourself anymore. This feeling can make the depression stage harder to manage. Many people find themselves contemplating suicide.
Some people seek out help and get prescribed anti-depressants. The rate of suicide is higher in individuals experiencing a midlife crisis than for any other age group. This trend is staggering.
Stage 5: Withdrawal
For most people, depression, and withdrawal don’t feel like two separate stages. One bleeds right into the other.
The only real distinction is that you may try to isolate yourself even further from those around you. To occupy your time, you may become more introspective about your life. Many people find themselves reexamining all of the interactions that they have had with others.
This is the stage where big decisions are made that will affect the course of your life. Many people emerge from this stage to either drastically change their lives, or to try to renew the relationships that may have been damaged by the previous steps.
Stage 6: Acceptance
The final and sixth stage of a midlife crisis is acceptance. This step is when the person has come to terms with the fact that they’re aging. They may even embrace this fact as a part of life.
Many people find that they are now able to go on with their lives. They may even need to rebuild themselves after some questionable choices made during the crisis.
You will most likely be able to look back on the experience without feeling any regrets. There may be changes in your life, but you’re willing to accept them and move forward.
Going through a mid-life crisis is difficult for the person and their family. The hope is that when they emerge from the other side, they will have become a better person.
However, many people end their lives before they can pull through the crisis. It’s important to be there for a loved one and offer assistance in any way possible.
If you are experiencing a mid life crisis, consider getting help to deal with the emotions that you’re experiencing.