By Brian Kurz, LCSW
When a man is acting strangely and out of character, those who care about them are understandably going to ask, “Why?” A fairly common explanation for odd behavior in men can be a midlife crisis. But what if, in addition to their strange behavior, a man also seems depressed? Is midlife-crisis depression a real thing?
Yes, midlife-crisis depression is real. However, it isn’t that different from regular depression in men. Midlife-crisis and depression might just be happening at the same time. You might just feel confused as which is which.
Midlife crisis and some level of depression almost always go together. In fact, many mental health professionals believe midlife crisis is partly the outward expression of being depressed.
Midlife crisis and depression, particularly clinical depression, can also be two completely different problems. What makes midlife-crisis depression different is that it includes chaotic, extreme behavior choices with standard midlife crisis.
If your loved one is exhibiting any of the following 5 signs, he could be experiencing midlife-crisis depression.
He says life is a bore
Your loved one once liked his job and was happy at home but now expresses restlessness or apathy. Some men hit middle age and notice that many of their dreams have gone and might remain unfulfilled.
Other men react this way because they have accomplished so many career goals. But, they wonder if there is anything left to do.
He is suddenly making impulsive decisions about money and/or his career
Pay attention if your loved one suddenly loses interest in his career. Maybe, he wants a different job or at the spur of the moment purchases a brand-new sports car he always dreamed of driving.
With this mindset some men experience a sudden desire to live life to its fullest. Your loved one might be focused on trying to make up for all the things he let slip by in his youth.
Anger and blame
A crisis inside will cause him to look outward and blame others. He will be short-tempered and angry. He might even try to pin his problems on his partner. If only their partner had noticed or addressed those behaviors. Everything would be completely normal–or so he thinks.
He is drinking too much or abusing other substances
This one is pretty obvious. Smelling liquor on his breath, finding empty bottles around the house, bloodshot eyes, and erratic behavior. All those signs show that your loved one might have a serious problem with alcohol.
He is displaying the classic signs of depression, sleeping more, loss of appetite, increased irritability
This behavior is often the result of a family tragedy such as a parent’s death or another type of shock to the system such as getting laid off from a longtime job.
Difficult life events can also trigger depression and exacerbate a midlife crisis. Many men choose to ignore the signs of depression because they consider it unmanly to admit they feel out of sorts.
Men going through a midlife crisis will need the support of those around them. This can be tough to provide since they may be hurting or rejecting those who love them with their behavior.
Pay attention to your partner’s restlessness and really listen when he talks to you about his concerns. In many instances, counseling is needed to help them gain perspective and find more productive ways to deal with their feelings.
If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of midlife-crisis depression, please call Life Counseling Solutions for an appointment with Brian Kurz: (407) 622-1770. Online counseling is also available upon request.
Brian has been counseling for the last 18 years working with various types of people from veterans to those struggling with substance abuse, depression, or anxiety. He strongly believes that people can get better and achieve their full potential if provided with the right therapy and guidance. See Brian’s full bio.