'He's having a midlife crisis' is a common criticism of our forty-something men-folk. Buying a Harley, shouting 'That's Not Music!' to your surly teenager or having an affair will usually label you with the midlife crisis tag.
It's a cliché, but clichés often have an underlying reality - otherwise they wouldn't end up as a cliché would they? Perhaps we love Reggie Perrin, Basil Fawlty, Tom Good, Del Boy and The Likely Lads so much because they represent a time in our lives that we identify with.
As women age, their bodies move away from a reproductive state, oestrogen levels fall and they lose the ability to become pregnant. Although men can father children for as long as they can maintain an erection, perhaps there are hormonal and chemical changes that we are not aware of. Maybe men subconsciously panic at their falling levels of testosterone and need a motorbike to make them feel manly again? Can we get a scientist? We need some research over here.
A mid-life crisis generally occurs between the ages of 35-50. It's the age at which men become 'men'. They may have lost their parents, have a growing family with expensive needs, not to mention the every-day stresses and strains of work. It doesn't help that they feel their fitness peak has passed and they spend time thinking about what they have or haven't achieved with their lives.
Here are some of the symptoms of a male mid-life crisis. Remember that buying a Porsche or demanding a divorce may be a reaction to one of these symptoms. Self-help is not always the best remedy.
Not every man. Some research shows that those who had mental health problems in their earlier years are more likely to suffer a mid-life crisis. Those under pressure are more likely to suffer, as well as those denying that they have any problems.
Mid-life crisis is a term that encapsulates a variety of symptoms, all of which can be managed by your doctor, so don't treat it like a joke. Mid-life stresses are not to be taken lightly; you've never dealt with them before. They can lead to depression, anxiety and mental health issues.
Managing a mid-life crisis is about adjusting to new circumstances and pressures. Your youth is behind you, but you still have a life ahead. Focus on that, get some help from your doctor, exercise, eat well, get enough sleep and you might find you enjoy the second half of the match more than the first.
Its Men's Health Week from 15th - 21st June. It's a timely reminder to take your health seriously. Prostate checks, any odd lumps and bumps, a cough that wont shift, mid-life crisis symptoms, plus anything else that's worrying you - it's the week to make that doctor's appointment.