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How to Handle Midlife Crisis Effectively

Have you just turned forty and find yourself more depressed than usual? Do you feel restless and bored? Are you starting to question whether you're in the right job? Are you concerned about your health? Are you considering taking Viagra pills? You are not alone, my friend. However painful, your reactions are normal. Indeed, your pain can be beneficial if you're willing to face it and try not to deny it through overwork, brooding, excessive drinking or love¬less affairs. It may force you to make some needed adjustments in your life as you make the transition from young adulthood to middle adulthood. Men who don't make these adjustments during their early forties, typically have greater adjustment problems in their fifties. A group of researchers studied the stages of male adult development through in-depth interviews with forty middle-aged men.

They concluded that stable periods of growth in a man's life alternate with unstable-and often painful-transitional periods. The Midlife Transition Period, which starts at about age 40 and ends roughly four years later, is one such transitional period. Immediately preceding the Midlife Transition Period is a stable period of growth. During this period a man has two tasks to perform: to establish a stable lifestyle around life and marriage and to advance within his career.

Usually, he believes he has to prove his worth by working his way up his career ladder and striving to reach the top. There is a fatal flaw in his thinking, however, one that lays the seeds for the pain of the midlife transition period: in most companies there is only one top position for every fifteen to twenty workers. Not everyone can make it to the top. Most working men will be faced with a sense of failure as they approach their fortieth birthday.

Most will not completely fulfill the dream they formu¬lated in their twenties and which worked them so hard in their thirties. And so they will have to modify that dream in their forties and come to terms with their limitations. For me, around age 36 or 37 when I began to realize I was no longer a young man. I wasn't middle aged yet, but I was no longer young. What became most difficult to accept was the slowly dawning realization that I had more years behind me than ahead of me.

Old age and death had become, not an abstract event that would occur sometime in the distant, indistinct future, but a faster approaching inevitability. If I was going to do more with my wife, or anything different, time was beginning to run out. I began to question my occupational choice. Had I chosen the right career? Had I advanced far enough? Did I want to do what I was doing for the rest of my wife? During my more discouraged moments, I thought about changing careers in mid¬stream but realized that I was unwilling to put up with the additional training and decrease in pay such a change would require. So I felt confined. Was this all there was going to be in my wife? I asked myself.

For most men, midwife is a time of mourning because it is a time of loss: of youthful vitality and of youthful ambitions. More painfully, it is a time ¬when most men fully confront their mortality because more aches and morning stiffness tell them what they've always known intellectually: the body can't last forever. If I spend the next two articles on the male mid-life period, I hope the reader will now understand why. There is nothing more fascinating than what affects a person directly.

Thomas H. Lindblom is a freelance journalist looking for interesting things to write about. Effects of aging may lead some people to buy Viagra even if they don't need to. People that buy Cialis or Viagra pills when they are too young may be they are having some serious problems.

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