The crisis of the 40s, what is it and how does it occur in women and men?

The crisis of the 40s, what is it and how does it occur in women and men?

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When we are in school they say that "Every living being is born, grows, reproduces and dies", This means that as time goes by we are acquiring more mental and chronological age (the latter expressed in years of life). For this reason, you have to learn to recognize the changes of each stage of the life cycle, to live them and learn how to adapt on a personal, family and social level

Today we are going to talk about the Middle age crisis, a topic mentioned in several places, but little known by those who are really close to experiencing it.


  • 1 Basic characteristics of a 40's crisis
  • 2 Crisis of the 40 in women
  • 3 Crisis of the 40 in men

Basic characteristics of a 40's crisis

According to the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy a crisis is defined as "A profound change, which has important consequences ...", based on this conception, some experts state that There are 2 types of age-old crises: the evolutionary ones, produced by the whole set of physical and psychological changes linked to the normal development of every human being, that is, undeniable changes characteristic of our species. On the other side we find circumstantial crises, which are the result of any situation that occurs around us (at the level of economic, labor, family, emotional or social).

So, The crisis of the 40s is a type of evolutionary crisis that each person experiences differently, but always recognizing that life as it has a beginning has an end that some people find it difficult to assimilate and understand (especially when they are between 40 and 50 years of age), But how does it occur in women and men?

Crisis of the 40 in women

When a woman is 40 years old (approximately), she can identify if she is presenting this crisis if she becomes aware of any (or several) of the following symptoms:

  • There is harsh criticism about the life he wanted to live vs. the life he has been living, This is especially accompanied by a negative feeling, asking yourself deep and constant questions about your professional, personal and / or family life, analyzing what you like, what you don't, and this causes you discomfort.
  • Decide quickly or without thinking things, which leads her to act on impulse and can produce serious consequences.
  • Difficulty to sleep, in this case associated with hormonal changes.
  • Perception of boredom, He has the idea that he can no longer perform those activities that produced some fun.
  • ATTENTION because obsessions with your physique appear, sadly Some women spend hours looking in the mirror negatively, Wrinkles, skin blemishes and other changes make them want to be young again and make reckless decisions.

Crisis of the 40 in men

Men sometimes find it difficult to equal (or even more) be able to face in a positive and constructive way the changes of 40 years onwards. In addition to having the aforementioned symptoms in women in common, a man with a crisis of 40 may have:

  • Perceive that your body resistance has changed dramatically, as well as his physical appearance.
  • Remember that your children are older, responsible and independent (sometimes so much that they do not maintain contact with their parents).
  • Sadness because people with whom he has lived have died (family, friends, neighbors, others).
  • Make decisions opposite to your way of being, For example: if he is separated or even a widower, he actively seeks the love of a woman who is younger to make him "feel younger."
  • Some men go into denial, that is, they find it difficult to accept these changes and present certain signs: increased alcohol consumption, infidelity, excessive and irrational concern for their appearance, uncontrollable desire to experience new emotions and / or sensations.

In conclusion…

It is clear that this symptomatology in both men and women can present all, some aspects or simply assimilate this arrival at 40 as something normal and positive. Let's learn to look to the past with gratitude and the future with hope, regardless of the stage we are living ...


  • (1) Dolors M. (2014). Psychology of the crisis of the 40: fear of getting older or stop being young ?. Extracted from: //
  • (3) Royal Spanish Academy (2019). Crisis. Extracted from: //