What are the symptoms of a midlife crisis?

There are no medical definitions of a midlife crisis because there is no recognition in medicine that a midlife crisis is a real condition. For those of us who have experienced a midlife crisis, or are close to someone who is managing the condition it is very much a real thing.

Some of the symptoms commonly assigned to someone having a midlife crisis are listed below. We would like to stress that having a symptom that is on this list is not proof of a midlife crisis, likewise there are people who do not exhibit any of these signs yet can still be working through a significant midlife transition.

One thing to keep in mind is that there are many levels of midlife crisis. Everyone copes with the transition of middle age in different ways. The list given here contains the more serious symptoms, for information about other indicators and less serious symptoms check out our other article here.

  • A significant decrease, or increase, in weight *
  • A new obsession with exercise and physical appearance
  • Unhappiness with life and lifestyle that previously made him or her happy
  • Boredom with people and things that may have previously been of interest.
  • Feeling a need for adventure and change
  • Questioning the choices and decisions he or she has made in life
  • Confusion about who he or she is and where his or her life is headed
  • Strong, apparently inexplicable changes in mood *
  • Feeling sad, or depressed for extended periods *
  • Suicidal thoughts *
  • Sudden anger at people around you *
  • Frustration at his or her spouse and placing blame for feeling tied down
  • Unable to make decisions about where he or she wants to go in life
  • Doubt over ever loving his or her spouse and resentment over the marriage
  • A desire for a new and passionate, intimate relationship
  • A sense of remorse for goals not accomplished
  • Frequent daydreaming or feelings of nostalgia
  • Acting on compulsions with food, drugs or alcohol *
  • Greatly increased sexual desire *
  • Greatly decreased sexual desire *
  • Sexual affairs, especially with someone much younger
  • A desire to achieve a feeling of youthfulness
  • Greatly increased or decreased ambition


If you have any of the symptoms marked with an * we strongly suggest you seek medical advice. These symptoms can be, but are not necessarily signs of serious illness.

We are not doctors, and do not claim any kind of medical knowledge. All the information on this website is presented as our perspective and anyone reading it should seek their own advice from a professional doctor if they are concerned about any symptoms they may exhibit


Updated: 14th November 2014 — 10:52 pm

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