Copyright Material
Psychiatry On-Line, 1995.
Vol.1, Issue 2, Paper 3.
Mid Life Crises

Mid-Life Crisis

There are many interpretations of the mid life crisis. One view that is very useful comes from using the Myers Briggs Type Indicator.

The MBTI assumes that each of us has 'true' preferences. However, there are many influences on us that, if different from our 'true' preference can cause a "tug o' war" in our perception of our own preferences. Major influences include parental figures, employment, and social pressure.

In this example, looking at just one preference, the influences may be so strong and concerted that the extrovert believes he or she really does prefer introvert behaviour, thoughts and feelings. However, the extrovert may find life very stressful, and not understand the reasons why. The mid life crisis is a process of finding one's true preferences, and breaking the stranglehold that other influences have on our own behaviour, thoughts and feelings.

Steve Myers (Consultant, Team Technology) Return to Psychiatry On-Line