While it has become a common cliché, some women find themselves facing a challenging (and possibly even eye-opening) period anywhere between their 40s and early 50s, something that has been referred to since the ’60s as a “midlife crisis.”

“In some ways, we look for the midlife crisis,” says Dr. Robi Ludwig, a psychotherapist and author of Your Best Age is Now. “And it is—on some level—a self-fulfilling prophecy because we really can experience a crisis throughout various phases of our lives. So I think it’s when you’re going through a transition and an adjustment during the mid-years and we slap the title ‘midlife crisis’ onto it.”

Here are 13 possible warning signs that may indicate you’re hitting too many bumps while traveling down the road of middle age:

1 You’re asking yourself some deep, probing questions.

“I think one of the things that can happen and identify the onset of a midlife crisis is feeling ill-fit for the life you’re leading,” says Dr. Ludwig. “There’s a tendency to stop and pause during midlife and question whether you’re on the right track.” In other words, you feel the need to give yourself a strong evaluation about where you wanted to be in life versus where you actually are.

Perhaps you realize you’ve been following the dreams your parents set out for you or you’ve been abiding by the “rules” of society. “There’s suddenly a stronger desire to listen to one’s soul, and perhaps the crisis comes when you feel off-track,” continues Dr. Ludwig.

However, keep in mind that a period of self-reflection can be positive, she adds, “because it can get you to eliminate those things that are no longer in sync with who you are today.” Also, a 2016 study from the British Psychological Society discovered that individuals who experience either a quarter or midlife crisis by becoming ultra-focused on their purpose in the world were likely to find creative solutions for their challenges.

“This enhanced curiosity may be the ‘silver lining’ of crisis,” stated the co-author of the research in a press release. “Armed with this knowledge, people may find the crises of adult life easier to bear.”

 

2 You’re making some rash decisions.

As a result of soul searching, it’s possible that you’ve drawn some significant conclusions about the state of your life, like perhaps that your marriage isn’t as romantic as you had hoped or your career is no longer fulfilling. “The danger is when somebody makes an impulsive decision—like a knee-jerk reaction—based on these feelings [it might] not lead to therapeutic results,” states Dr. Ludwig.

Acting before thinking about the possible long-term ramifications of leaving your spouse or quitting your job, for example, can lead you down a road of regret. “Overall, it’s an avoidance of reality,” adds Dr. Ludwig.

 

3 You feel as if you’re slowly losing your mind.

“Women will come into my office and say, ‘I feel like I’m going crazy,’ ‘I can’t remember where I’ve left things,’ ‘I don’t know why I walked into a room,’ ‘I have such a short fuse,’ ‘I’m angry all of the time,’ or ‘My kids and my spouse don’t want to be around me,'” says Leah S. Millheiser, MD, Director of the Female Sexual Medicine Program at Stanford University School of Medicine’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She states that this sudden shift in personality traits may be due to a decrease in estrogen, which can begin anywhere between five to ten years before menopause. (FYI: Menopause is defined as one straight year without a period.) “Think of it like PMS but on steroids, so that’s why women feel like they’re going through a ‘midlife crisis,'” says Dr. Millheiser.

And like Dr. Ludwig, she is hoping to steer away from the negative stigma attached to this term. “Yes, going through perimenopause, menopause, or a midlife change can be very challenging because it may disrupt your entire existence,” continues Dr. Millheiser. “But today, women no longer need to suffer with these symptoms.” She strongly advises speaking with your physician if these mood changes feel significant to you.

Read more at: http://www.womansday.com/health-fitness/wellness/g2966/signs-of-midlife-crisis-in-a-woman/

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