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10 Symptoms of a Midlife Crisis – Do Any of Them Apply to You?

October '12

Last week I discovered these ten signs of a midlife crisis posted months ago in the Huffington Post. I invite you to check out each symptom with an eye to determining if it applies to you. Here’s the list for your consideration.

1. A growing sense of regret over unattained goals.  Yes__ No__

2. New feelings of self-consciousness around more successful colleagues. Yes__ No__

3. A new emphasis on remaining youthful when the effort previously seemed unimportant. Yes__ No__

4. A desire to spend more time alone or with certain peers who could be characterized as ‘youthful’ or ‘comfortable in their own skin.’   Yes__ No__

5. A new-found tendency to abuse alcohol.   Yes__ No__

6. Placing import on acquiring unusual or expensive items when such purchases could previously have been described as frivolous or impulsive.   Yes__ No__

7. A sharp increase in self-criticism with a correlating decline in self-compassion.     Yes__ No__

8. Obsessing over one’s physical appearance when similar attention was previously unpaid.   Yes__ No__

9. Placing unusual amounts of pressure and stress on one’s children to excel in a variety of fields.   Yes__ No__

10. Entering relationships with younger partners.   Yes__ No__

After examining this list, I have some questions for you. Your responses to any or all of the following queries would be much appreciated, as I would like to compile a better list of ten symptoms to determine if a woman has entered the midlife passage.

  • How many times, did you say “Yes”?
  • Which of these symptoms seem relevant to you?
  • My own reaction was that this list has many items that might be more slanted to the male population; do you agree? If so, which ones?
  • Are there any symptoms you would delete ?
  • Finally, is there a symptom you would add?

Again, responses from you will help me develop a more relevant list to share with readers. All comments welcome!

Thank you,

P.S. If you found yourself answering “Yes” to a couple of these questions, you might want to check out my new, nine-week, journaling program for women stuck at the midlife crossroads, called Reinvent Your Life ~ Write Now. One nice feature: you can buy it now and start whenever you like!




  1. Robin Jarrell said on October 28, 2012:

    I think the Huff post list is totally male-biased. Here’s my own:
    1. Growing regret over unattained love and sexual fulfillment?
    2. Bullshit detector around colleagues you are not afraid to ‘call out.’
    3. Guilt over being released from your focus on the ‘male gaze.’
    4. A desire to spend less time with people who do not value you.
    5. Abuse of any substance — including money.
    6. Guilt over ‘frivolous’ or ‘spontaneous’ decisions about time and/ or money.
    7. Worrying about health when you never have before.
    8. Not paying attention to one’s physical appearance (depression?)
    9. Using children as a barometer for your own regret.
    10. Questioning the value of monogamy/marriage/ any institution that limits your expression.

  2. Bonnie said on October 28, 2012:

    Thank you, Robin! What a fantastic list! Love your notion of abusing “any substance including money.” Hope more folks will continue to comment on the Huff list and/or yours.

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