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Midlife is often a time of contradictions. On one hand, many psychologists have defined midlife, like adolescence, as a time of "Sturm und Drang"—emotional and mental disquiet. Others believe individuals in midlife have fewer psychological symptoms, higher levels of marital satisfaction, and, in general, better life satisfaction. The term "midlife crisis" was first identified by the psychologist Carl Jung, and is considered by many professionals to be a normal part of emotional maturing. Individuals who experience a midlife crisis are commonly in their late 30s or 40s. Some of the feelings experienced during a midlife crisis include:
• Discontent with life and /or the lifestyle that may have provided happiness for many years.
• Boredom with things/people that have hitherto held great interest and dominated your life.
• Feeling adventurous and wanting to do something completely different.
• Questioning the meaning of life, and the validity of decisions clearly and easily made years before.
• Confusion about who you are, or where your life is going.
Some studies suggest the issues underlying a midlife crisis are different for men and women. For example, it is thought that men experience midlife depression resulting from anxiety related to their mortality. Men become overly concerned about their health and have exacerbated fears surrounding death and dying. For women, it has been hypothesized that their midlife depression stems from feelings of anxiety related to a sense of emptiness (especially for those whom have spent the majority of their 30s and 40s raising children), mourning their fading physical beauty, physical and emotional effects of menopause, and coping with their changing roles as a mother and wife. However, not all women experience this. Some career women experience mid-life issues related to having children later in life or not at all, desiring a career change, or feelings of disappointment about their current career path and/or lack of future career opportunities.
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