The average woman experiences a midlife crisis at the age of 44. On average these crises last anywhere from 2-5 years. The two most common female reasons for a midlife crisis are that their children are suddenly gone and that their lifestyle changes enable more opportunities. It could also be caused by menopause. Not to mention other biological and psychological changes. Women this age may also be asking themselves if they have been living to their full potential. In this “Midlife Crisis Series,” we are going to explore the different ways that therapy can help during this new life chapter.
How to Know If You’re Experiencing a Midlife Crisis
Consider the following scenarios:
- You’re unusually fixated about your health
- Suddenly, you want to reshape your body image (especially through plastic surgery)
- You want to do things to make you feel “young” (Like clubbing and connecting with high school friends)
- Often you find yourself wondering “Is this as good as it gets?”
- You suddenly feel like you much live I each moment 100%
If you have had thoughts similar to these, you may be entering a midlife crisis.
Common Expenses of a Midlife Crisis
- Breast augmentation ($3,700)
- Divorce ($15,000 – $20,000)
- Exercise equipment ($10 – $4,000)
- Adventure ($90 – $5,000)
How Can Therapy Help?
We know. This period of your life may feel extremely overwhelming. During midlife, people often consider issues such as life purpose and a loss of youth. You may be thinking about mortality, your legacy, and your sense of accomplishment. Irrational behavior is often common during this midlife chapter. And many people do things that seem completely out of character at the mid-point in their lives.
Working with a therapist during midlife provides many opportunities. Especially the chance to enter the next phase of life with greater self-awareness and self-compassion. An individual will have the opportunity to work through any issues he or she may have suppressed. And they can verbalize any goals that may not yet have been realized in life. A therapist can help a person explore desires and fears without behaving recklessly or in a way that might negatively affect that person’s life.
Taking the Next Steps and Accepting the Steps You’ve Already Taken
In therapy, you might develop plans for taking the next steps in your life. Therapy can be an effective treatment for concerns like anxiety and depression. As this midlife transition may result in feelings of emptiness and unfulfillment. Therapy might also help people who are considering pursuing an extramarital affair or who wish to seek a divorce. Marriage therapy might also be of benefit for couples who find themselves distanced as a result of one or both partners’ midlife challenges. Especially for new empty-nesters.
A sense of accomplishment can help you transition into midlife more seamlessly. Making sense of one’s life contributions and recognizing individual strengths and accomplishments are considered to be important factors in making peace with the aging process. Of course, it is also possible to retain a youthful spirit no matter your age. Furthermore, a sense of wonder, possibility and the desire for adventure, can also remain during this time through accepting your life thus far.
The Expenses of Therapy: Priceless
A midlife crisis is a lot. It’s hard to navigate. And although a sports car or plastic surgery may seem like a great idea at the time, therapy is way less expensive. Not to mention, therapy can help your future life be the most fulfilling it can possibly be! So, give Cristina Panacionne and Associates a call. We know this may be a hard decision to make. But again, we want to say that there is no shame in needing a bit of extra support. Cristina Panaccione and Associates Counseling has two locations in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. We are currently accepting a limited number of new patients. So check out our videos to learn more about how we can help come out of therapy.
* This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please contact a medical professional for advice.
Tiffany Song is a cognitive behavioral therapist at heart. However, she often incorporates other treatments (exposure, mindfulness, meditation, behavior modification, etc.) to meet her client’s needs. She obtained her Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh in 2003. And has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 2006. In 2011, she completed a 10-month intensive training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of working with clients of various ages learn new ways of thinking. In doing this, they can live the lives that they want to live.