Male midlife crisis

The male midlife crisis is often made fun of, but for many men it is a distressing experience.

A midlife crisis can happen when men think they've reached life's halfway stage and feel time is running out.

It's not a medical condition but people going through a midlife crisis can experience anxiety and depression.

The age at which people experience a midlife crisis can vary. It can typically occur anywhere between the age of 35 and 50.

Dr Derek Milne, a clinical psychologist, says: "If I was giving advice on how to cope, I'd suggest telling your GP you're feeling depressed, because depression makes up a significant portion of the midlife crisis." 

Depression can be triggered by a major life change, such as divorce, separation, long-term illness, bereavement or job loss. Sometimes there appears to be no obvious reason.

Symptoms of depression can include:

  • low mood lasting two weeks or more
  • not getting any enjoyment out of life
  • feeling hopeless
  • feeling tired or lacking energy
  • not being able to concentrate on everyday things like reading the paper or watching television
  • sleeping more than usual or being unable to sleep

Get tips on coping with depression.

If you're still feeling down or depressed after a couple of weeks, talk to your GP or call NHS 111.

Other mid-life symptoms

When they reach their late 40s to early 50s, some men experience loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, mood swings and other physical or emotional symptoms.

Read more about the so called male menopause.

Depression

Depression is a serious illness. It is very different from the common experience of feeling unhappy, miserable or fed up for a short period of time. In this video, psychiatrist Dr Cosmo Hallstrom explains the disorder.

Media last reviewed: 18/06/2015

Next review due: 18/06/2017

Page last reviewed: 22/02/2016

Next review due: 22/02/2018

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