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Mid-Life Opportunities!

answered 04:09 PM EST, Fri October 12, 2012
anonymous anonymous
I just turned 40 and it is depressing the life out of me. I guess this is a mid life crisis but I am looking at where I am in life and it is not where I thought I’d be or where I want to be. I haven’t done anything remotely exciting or worthwhile over the last 15 years or so and when I think that my life is half over it makes me feel really sad. I don’t want to die full of regret so I think I need to make some changes. But is this just the typical pathetic mid life crisis experience that I am having? If I quit my job to go mountain climbing in Asia will I regret it in a few months and will everyone around me laugh at me for my stupidity? How can I know what I should do?

E W Says...

No matter what age, be it "mid-life" or other, if feelings of depression or doubt, or even a simple desire to explore the idea of making life-changes occur, then it is a great idea to talk to someone! There are always opportunities to change your life, but it might be a desire to change how you feel, which can be accomplished by changing how you view life. It is also important to get a medical check-up, as there are many conditions which can influence our feelings of well-being.  

It is normal, at the "mid" stage, after crisis, after changes, to take stock of one's life. In psychological development models, the task of evaluating where we are is important to moving on to further stages of positive development. There is nothing "pathetic" about it. Because it may be normal does not mean we must go it alone. In fact, individual, group, or family counseling can contribute to increasing positive feelings and bring valuable information regarding thoughts of making changes.

And while it seems healthy to avoid "regret" when possible, don't think that where you are means you should have any regrets. Ideas of "success" are often culturally grown, and vary widely. In many circles, if you are alive and healthy and reached a certain number of years on this earth, then that IS a huge measure of success! There are many ways of understanding the value in a life, and that is a worthwhile pursuit.

There are many avenues of potential help -  online counseling, support groups, in-person special interest groups, in-person therapy, are among the options to choose from. Self-help books abound on subjects directly and indirectly related to this topic, and many social groups also take on these issues. Some therapists offer a first visit free - if you have insurance or an employer sponsored EAP program with free therapy visits, that may make a good start. Or when you see your medical doctor for a check-up, ask for referrals. Church, groups, therapy, family doctor may all be good places to start. If blue feelings persist, please see your doctor as soon as possible. So, if you just want to explore new ways of looking at your life, or new ways of exploring your life, go for it! Best wishes!

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Page last updated Oct 13, 2012

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