For Your 40s: The Most Common Mental Health Problems and Challenges

Mai Atef
7/21/20, 12:00 AM

We've dedicated this month to talking about mental health and the problems each age group faces when it comes to emotional struggles and mental health. Now, it's time to talk about the most common problems regarding mental health in 40s. In your 40s a lot can change from your life to your body and how you deal with and process emotions, as you become more mature and conscious.

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Mental problems and challenges in 40s:

Midlife Crisis

One of the most well known problems for people in their 40s is what they call the 'midlife crisis'. For women it can be due to many things, among them menopause, which can have a very difficult strong impact on a woman, especially because of the the changes in the estrogen hormone levels, which in turn affects her mood and can lead to depression. Menopause can also be difficult for women because it becomes sort of like a realization that they can no longer become pregnant. Even if they know deep down that is not something they want, it's still difficult for a women to say goodbye to this part of her life. It might cause them to suddenly feel old. The skin's aging as well with signs like wrinkles and sagging can also be difficult for a women, especially with how faulty beauty standards have always been.

Tips for dealing with a midlife crisis: Try to remember that age is just a number on your ID and passport, you can still enjoy your beauty and youth, even if it's not what you're used to. Beauty evolves and takes different forms, it doesn't mean that one is better than the other. Enjoy and bring out your lively youthful spirit and fall in love with yourself. Ask your loved ones for emotional support in difficult times and moodiness because of the hormonal changes. If you're feeling depressed, it is always better to see a psychiatrist or therapist to work on your mental health.

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Marriage Problems in your 40s

Some women face a lot of problems and challenges with their marriage at this age. Some women over the age of 40 start feeling like they're no longer able to tolerate things and problems that they withstood before. The more time that goes by, the more resentment starts building up to a point where they would start wanting to separate. The idea is comforting because they would be choosing themselves away from the emotional stressors and responsibilities. Other women just feel a loss of emotional connection and desire or passion towards their partner, which can bee very confusing and stressful on them both. 

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Tips for dealing with marriage problems at 40: Try to communicate with your husband constantly, openly and honestly how you're feeling, so you can take the weight off your shoulders and avoid any build up of anger or resentment. Try to also make him understand the change and awareness that is happening within you. It is important for spouses to always communicate with each other, no matter how many years they've been together, because they change, the relationship changes and their needs change. Communicating can help find a solution, like trying to renew and change up their lives and routine so they can find a connection again. But it takes 2 people to do that, so it needs practice and support. If things get really hard you can always go to a marriage counselor or couples therapist to help. In the end, if you're still not happy and you don't see things getting better, there is absolutely nothing wrong with choosing to part ways, if this is what can potentially make you happy and be able to enjoy life.

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When children get older, independent, move out or even get married, it can be very hard for a mother or let go and the stillness and silence can get very lonely for them, especially if she's a single mom. If she wasn't very social most of her life, it can also be very difficult for her to realize that this is what she needs right now. This can lead some women to depression and even an unwillingness to communicate and connect with relatives or acquaintances.

Tips for loneliness in 40s: Start talking to people around you, meet up, travel do something new. Take up exercising and practice self care so you can enjoy your time alone and enjoy your own company. Take up things you've always wanted to do and learn but never had the time because of the kids. This is your time to enjoy your freedom and life, don't forget that or see it as being 'alone'. You can value your time by yourself and have it be what brings you joy. If not then go out and see people and make your days busy. 

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Anxiety attacks

Many women over the age of 40 go through a difficult time with anxiety and panic attacks. Panic attacks are terrifying because its symptoms are just like a heart attack. Of course this doesn't happen to all women, but if you've previously experienced panic attacks or you've had strong anxiety throughout your life, you're more prone to it around menopause, if it hasn't been worked on through therapy or self help practices.

It is very hard to control how you feel when an anxiety or panic attack occurs and they can be extremely scary and difficult to go through. Try to seek help with therapy or counseling.

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Depression is unfortunately very common at 40, even for women more than men. The causes can be any of the things we discussed above or it can be without a main cause. Depression can happen when these emotional pressures get too much without any relief or resolution. Depression can be really dangerous and scary, which is why it's important to find the strength and try to get up and seek help. Going to a therapist or counselor might not seem like what you want to do right now, but it can really change your life. 

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Main Image Credits: Instagram @freshbeautystudio

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Mai Atef

At a young age, she fell in love with fashion and writing, it was her favorite way of expressing herself. As soon as she finished her studies, she started working in journalism, writing about everythi...

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