Why midlife crises are different than the ones that come before and after

August 2017

Coping with crises requires resilience: a method of getting through challenges, whether that's unloading with a friend, exercising, meditating or something else. The challenge for many people is that once midlife hits, the crises change. That's because midlife is so different than the times before and the times after, according to Jutta Heckhausen, a professor of psychology and social behavior.

"Its most characteristic feature is its position between a time of life with predominant growth, addition, perfection and gains and a part of life life associated with decline, restriction and losses," Heckhausen writes in her widely cited book, "Adaptation and Resilience in Midlife," which was quoted by Mother Nature Network. In midlife, people have to "manage the joint occurrence of growth and decline."

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