The myth of the midlife crisis

Richard A. Friedman, Professor of Psychiatry at the Weill Cornell Medical College, NY Times.


The main culprit, I think, is our youth-obsessed culture, which makes a virtue of the relentless pursuit of self-renewal. The news media abound with stories of people who seek to recapture their youth simply by shedding their spouses, quitting their jobs or leaving their families. Who can resist?


Most middle-aged people, it turns out, if we are to believe the definitive survey.


Except, of course, for the few — mainly men, it seems — who find the midlife crisis a socially acceptable shorthand for what you do when you suddenly wake up and discover that you're not 20 anymore.