The mid-life crisis is hitting earlier than ever. More men and women are getting therapy and reassessing their lives at a much younger age.
Experts say many people in their 30s are reaching a fork in the road and struggling to figure out the next step in their lives. By definition, a mid-life crisis happens when you realize you've lived half your life and the clock is ticking on those big goals, but what about the countdown to 30?
Getting married. The dream job. Changing the world. That's behind the 30-year old's mid-life crisis.
"I would like to welcome you, on January 1, 2012 officially to the beginning of my mid-life crisis," said Rebecca Richardson.
She posted a video about her problems on YouTube. If she looks young for a mid-life crisis, that's because Richardson is 36. Her crisis is the search for a bigger life.
"I need something with meaning," she said.
While in crisis, she quit her job, went back to school and started therapy.
"This year is going to be bring about a lot of changes," she continued.
What's changing is the age for a breakdown.
Researchers in Australia first noted the 30-year crisis -- more young people seeking counseling.
Tampa therapist Patsy Evans of Harmony Us sees the trend here, too.
"This was actually the conversation of group tonight and someone in the group who is a young woman at the age of 23 sat back and said, 'My birthday is next week and I feel like I haven't accomplished anything this year,'" Evans said.
Social media may cause some of the pressure. Facebook connects us, but it also creates a digital platform for "keeping up with the Joneses."
People often compare their lives to the status updates and photos they see streaming by.
"Babies, anniversaries, divorces, stuff like that. Just the big life events that happen," said Buddy Chambers.
It's enough for some people to start thinking, "Why aren't I doing that?"
"I always kind of look at crisis as opportunity. It's a challenge. You have a chance to grow. You have a chance to change.
You have a chance to reinvent yourself," Evans offered.
Richardson did with a new career. Her 30-something crisis was really just a turning point.
"Now all I can think of is the future and I'm so incredibly excited," she said in a more recent YouTube video.
"As you're looking at your age, sit back and reflect -- where have I been, what do I want and where am I going and that's how you decide where you need to be," Evans advised.
For most people, it's easier to make a list of what is lacking in their life. One way to reframe that is by making a list of what you've actually accomplished.
That's advice for any age.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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