As the human body ages and reaches a point where it is no longer growing and changing due to hormones, it slowly starts to change in other ways. Age starts to take its toll much earlier on the body than most people think. Physical, mental and emotional changes are being made in the middle parts of an adult’s life. The midpoint of a person’s life is a period from age 35 to 64, and it is referred to as middle adulthood. Webster defines middle as “equal distance from beginning to the end” and the word adult is a person who is “fully grown or developed” (Dictionary 2010). Combining these words is like saying that an individual is half way through with his/her life. Many individuals have achieved happiness by this point in their lives. However, there is some who feel like they are closer to death without accomplishing anything. Middle adulthood brings about many changes and stresses to deal with daily. How an individual handles these issues determines if he or she achieves total happiness with their self.
Middle adulthood is the time in life where individuals experience extreme amounts of responsibilities that could include the caring of aging parents or children (Dacey et al., 2009). Menopause is a woman’s first sign of aging that usually starts with a few years of turning 50 (Myers, 2008). Menopause is a very strenuous time in a woman’s life, with so many hormonal changes that can upset a woman’s normal balance of life. Physical symptoms of menopause are mood swings, emotional outbursts, hot flashes, and insomnia. There are available medications to help with the effects that occur during menopause. Health problems that evoke during these periods are Hypertension, asthma, arthritis, rheumatism and the metabolism starts to slow down. With hypertension (high blood pressure) affects 40% of adults in the United States being more prevalent among African Americans and poor people (Papalia et al., 2007).
This disorder leads to individuals having heart attacks and strokes. Having blood pressures screenings can detect this disorder, and it can be treated effectively with medication. The three leading causes of death for individuals between the ages of 35 and 54 are cancer being number one, 2nd heart disease, and 3rd accidents. Women’s hormonal changes are known as menopause and are a decrease in the production of estrogen. Male climacteric is a decrease in sex hormones. Both middle age men and women go through hormonal changes and physical developments. Both genders might expectance emotions of anxiety, nervousness, fatigue and decrease in sexual desires. As both genders began get older, their hair begins to get thinner and gray and get start getting wrinkles. While this makes most men appear attractive, it is viewed as unattractiveness or over the hill for women.
According to Erik Erickson’s stages of psychosocial development Generativity is the stage of middle adulthood the particular age is debatable, some sources identify the period between age 25 to 45, others identify the period between 45 to 65, generativity is particularly characterized by an individual’s turning from self-centered objectives and becoming more interested and concerned with others, including a desire to nurture, care for, inspire and support others, their object can be within their own family or encompass their community and even encompass society as a whole. Middle adulthood is the time when interest shifts from self to others, it is the time of reflection Sexual development progresses throughout adulthood. Several elements such as pregnancy, chronic illness, stress, and the usual aging process affect adult sexuality.
Adult men and women go through many physical and psychological changes as they age that can affect sexual relations and sexuality. In general, health and wellness has a significant effect on sexual development in middle aged men and women. Adult men and women that go through a decrease in sexual activity could profit from many treatments. Such treatments include hormone replacement therapy (HRT), selective enzyme inhibitors (Cialis, Viagra), 5-alpha reductase inhibitors (Proscar, Adodant), and sex therapy. Adult men normally have a decrease in testosterone production after the age of 25 or so. Testosterone levels are lower which can lead to a lack of sexual passion and complications performing erection. Sexual function in men who are middle age and older is very common.
Adult women, typically between the ages of 45 and 60, menstrual periods stop, this is called menopause, and the ovaries stop generating the hormone estrogen. Menopause affects sexuality which can cause vaginal dryness and tenderness and reduces sexual cravings. Eating a proper diet, avoiding smoking and getting regular exercise allows many adults to continue sexual desires and relationships during the course of their life cycle. Sexual partners that uphold open communication along with proper treatment of medical conditions can allow older adults keep affection part of life into older age.
The changes in life can be many, and can often be terrifying for an adult to go through, not to mention stressful. Many adults going through this period tend to find outlets and ways to go about dealing with these changes, often referred to as a “mid-life crisis”, which allow them to put off feeling like their lives are already over, or allow them to come to terms with growing older and allowing them to feel more at peace with it. Conclusively, it is noted in many places that “Old is beautiful” or “40 is the new 20”, so perhaps people have found healthy outlets to allow them to be happier with being older.
Sexuality in Adulthood. Retrieved from: blue.utb.edu