Life Crisis

A life or transition crisis is a valuable opportunity to reevaluate one’s purpose, direction and participation in life.

While the concept of a midlife or quarter life crisis is widely debated topic in psychology, it can be described as a time of emotional and mental duress that can hit during middle age (ages 35 to 55) or a significant transition in life.

Navigating life’s stressors and speed bumps can be challenging even when you’re at our best mentally, emotionally and physically. However, issues such as a lack of fulfilling work or career stagnation, difficult spousal or romantic relationships, fatherhood, aging parents, physical changes associated with aging, fading hopes or expectations, or even the prospect of your own legacy, can result in discontent, or uncertainty about the future.

Life crises and men

Life crises can cause psychological stress, and even mental health problems if unaddressed.

Life transitions occur regularly throughout a man’s lifespan, and it’s not uncommon for men to seek professional guidance when they experience a desire to address a specific issue or dilemma or to reassess what truly matters for them.

Without such thoughtful examination and professional guidance, the restlessness men experience can bubble to the surface and potentially taint all elements of life.

Life crises can be experienced in number of emotional, behavioral and physical ways such as:

  • Negative thoughts about yourself and/or your life
  • Relentless life evaluation
  • Ambivalence about the future or impending choices
  • Listlessness and boredom
  • Denial or avoidance
  • Negative thoughts about yourself and/or your life
  • Feelings of remorse over perceived mistakes and failures
  • A compulsion to make radical lifestyle changes
  • A desire to feel, act, and/or look youthful
  • Anxiety and/or depression

Men are also more inclined to adopt behaviors that serve as coping strategies for unresolved life crises, such as:

  • Marked difference in social behavior
  • Withdrawing or socializing more than usual
  • Impulsive decision-making
  • Controlling, violent or abusive behavior
  • Excessiveness, e.g., working longer hours or exercise
  • Problematic worry or anticipation of the future
  • Irritability or anger
  • Risky behavior
  • Perfectionism
  • Alcohol or substance abuse

Clinical Options

Almost every crisis contains within itself the seeds of success as well as the roots of failure. Fortunately, there is a range of evidence-based clinical practices to help overcome this burdening experience.

One of the most effective, evidenced-based clinical methods used to address a life crisis experience is talk therapy (psychotherapy). Psychotherapy can incorporate clinical methods such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT), and Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Choice Theory (CT).

For some men, experiencing a life crisis can be emotionally overwhelming. However, this experience can lead to periods of immense personal growth and positive outcomes. Spurred by a desire to build a meaningful life, men who embrace change and seek support when they need it stand to gain a stronger sense of self and an increased motivation to accomplish goals.

Schedule a free 30-minute consultation today to learn more about how these clinical options can help you overcome your anxiety experience.

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For years I carried the burden of things unexplored or completed. Through therapy with Simon, I discovered that the things that were holding me back was simply my own imagination; I was getting in my own way. B.H.

Life was one crisis after another. Therapy taught me how to create the space to figure some important shit out. What a difference my life is now. A.D. 

Regret was the theme that brought me to therapy. I learnt to let things in my past go, and now life has taken on meaning and purpose. Simon helped me discover what I already knew – but was afraid to do. S.H.

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