Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Mid-life crisis?

My dermatologist, Dr. Jennie Diaz, says I am too young to be experiencing this, but it probably explains why I think and feel that I am OLD.

For the past few months, I have been feeling like this. It's like I have aged in a matter of weeks! I look in the mirror and I see an old image of myself - my skin looks old, my eyes look tired and now I actually have fine lines around them! (how horrible!), I don't have that "youthful glow" that men find so very attractive. Not only physically, though. I feel that my days are numbered and pretty soon I'm no longer part of the calendar. I feel like my life is going nowhere. I have a great career, true. But I feel like I should be doing more.

I would normally label these feelings as common frustrations in life. But now that Doc Jen mentioned it, that just might be it! I might be suffering from an early onset of mid-life crisis. And so I googled up on its definition, and I found this on wikipedia:

Midlife crisis is a term used in Western societies to describe a period of dramatic self-doubt that is felt by some individuals in the "middle years" of life, as a result of sensing the passing of youth and the imminence of old age. Sometimes, transitions experienced in these years, such as aging in general, menopause, the death of parents, or children leaving home, can trigger such a crisis. The result may be a desire to make significant changes in core aspects of day to day life or situation, such as in career, marriage, or romantic relationships.

Academic research since the 1980s rejects the notion of midlife crisis as a phase that most adults go through. In one study, less than 10% of people had psychological crises due to their age or aging.[1] Personality type and a history of psychological crisis are believed to predispose some people to this "traditional" midlife crisis. People going through this suffer a variety of symptoms and exhibit disparate behaviors.

For the approximately 10% of middle aged adults who go through an age-related midlife crisis, the condition is most common ranging from the ages of 35-50 (a large study in the 1990s[5]

found that the average age at onset of a self-described midlife crisis was 46). Mid life crises last about 3-10 years in men and 2-5 years in women.

A midlife crisis could be caused by aging itself, or aging in combination with changes, problems, or regrets over:

  • work or career
  • spousal relationships
  • maturation of children
  • aging or death of parents
  • physical changes associated with aging

Midlife crises seem to affect men and women differently. Researchers[6] have proposed that the triggers for mid-life crisis differ between men and women, with male mid-life crisis more likely to be caused by work issues.

Some have hypothesized that another cause of the male mid-life crisis is the imminent menopause of the female partner and end of her reproductive career.[7] This renews the need for the man to attract younger women.

Individuals experiencing a mid-life crisis have some of these feelings:
  • search of an undefined dream or goal
  • a deep sense of remorse for goals not accomplished
  • desire to achieve a feeling of youthfulness
  • need to spend more time alone or with certain peers

They exhibit some of these behaviors:

  • abuse of alcohol
  • conspicuous consumption -- acquisition of unusual or expensive items such as clothing, sports cars, jewellery, gadgets, tattoos,piercings, motorbikes, etc.
  • depression
  • paying special attention to physical appearance
  • trying to attach themselves to a youth

After reading this, I think I am even more convinced that I am suffering from this thing they call mid-life crisis. Or have I been watching too much Sex & the City?

Why is it that women are constantly pressured to look and stay young? Is the media partly to blame for this crazy superficial war? Thin is in. Youthful-looking skin is in. Young women are more desirable. So whatever happened to women who are older but accomplished, successful, smart, wealthy and independent? Who will be attracted to that kind if men are always after those who are blossoming with the beauty and power of youth? Have men nowadays lowered their standards? Will they prefer young and pretty women over the older yet accomplished ones? Never mind if the young ones are mediocre, with terrible communication skills and brains like biscuits. As long as they're twenty-something and sexy, they can ignore the other things they lack?

Why is it that men, as they grow old, would actually choose to be beside a girl who's young, pretty, sexy but speaks bad English and whose only major crisis in life is not having anything new to wear? On the other hand, women, as they grow old, raise their standards and choose men who are wise, smart, intelligent, successful, rich, powerful, can carry both excellent conversations and a lasting relationship.

It's terrible. And I sit here in front of my PC with a frown on my face.

Starting next week, my dermatologist will be giving me weekly injections of glutathione to help me get that "youthful glow from within." And I thought maybe I should go vegan and exercise more. But will it really matter? Two years from now I will be totally out of the calendar. And men won't even give me a second glance because I'm not Bea Alonzo or Anne Curtis or Angelica Panganiban.

I'm old. Mid-life crisis? Maybe. Or yeah, maybe I am watching too much Sex & the City.

1 comment:

babusyed said...