Going through a midlife crisis

I am 45 years old and I think I am going through a midlife crisis. I had a reunion with some college friends from my past this weekend and after seeing how everyone else has grown, I feel like I haven’t. I started to think of all the things I’ve done, and none are noteworthy. I am not sure that I am the man who I thought I was. I am not sure who I am anymore. I feel depressed. I’ve been drinking alone at night till I passed out. What can I do to get over this?

Hello and thank you for your question about whether you are in a mid-life crisis.

It seems that recently, the idea of a ‘mid-life crisis’ is being replaced with an understanding that focuses more on the natural changes that happen around the middle of life and why this may be a welcome transition, perhaps leading you to realize that you are not doing what you were born to do, or wanted to do.

Firstly, I liked this article which explores some of the feelings experienced in a mid-life crisis:

Recognizing and responding to a mid-life crisis

For many, this is an opportunity to take steps to change your life for the better. The downside is some become depressed, which may call for talk therapy (eg, cognitive behavioral therapy) or temporary medication or both.

A clear understanding of what a ‘mid-life crisis’ is will be helpful. The hope here is that you will come to realize that this time does not have to be a crisis, but an opportunity for change.

WebMD offers a more detailed explanation which is up to date summarizing how psychiatrists and psychologists help patients with a mid-life crisis. The second page goes into more detail about why this stage can be considered ‘normal’. 

Midlife Crisis: Transition or Depression?

Lastly, I would like to suggest that you have a physical to look at your basic lab results (blood work etc) and to possibly visit an endocrinologist to confirm you do not have a hormone imbalance.

Please take care of your body. The negative effects of alcohol (even 1-2 glasses a night are well-documented).

Thank you for your question. I hope you will find that the second part of your life will be as fun (or better) than the first part.

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