I think my father may be having a midlife crisis

by jenny
(ireland)

Hi Noel!

About two weeks ago my dad told my mum that he was leaving our home. He said that he didn't love her, that he felt oppressed and like my mother, sister and I do whatever we want without consulting him and that my mother took all his responsibilities as a father and husband away from him.

He also said that our financial situation also contributed to his decision to move out. We live comfortably but there's nothing left over so we're not saving any money and that really upsets him. My father is a foreign national. We moved to this country nearly ten years ago (his decision) but he's never really been happy here, He doesn't have any friends or family here other than us.

After he told us he was moving out my mum suspected he was having a midlife crisis or a nervous breakdown or something because this revelation came out of nowhere. There were no problems or arguments at home which would lead him to move out, so my mum thought that we should help him and if he really couldn't stand staying in our house then we should let him move out and do what he needs to do to get better.

We found him an apartment and he seemed content. I traveled with him to his homeland where we stayed for a week so he could let my grandparents know what is going on and to try and relax and get his head together. My grandparents were adamant that he does not move out and to work things out. We came back today and in the morning, he told my mother that he does love all of us and that he wants to stay at home but he wants some things to change which my mother agreed to.

Then in the afternoon, they were just talking and his hands started trembling like he was having a fit and started saying that he doesn't know what to do and that he feels suffocated and like the world is falling on top of him. He feels awful and he doesn't know if staying at home or moving out will make him feel better. My mum told him that he should see a professional but he refuses. We don't know what to do. Would it be good for him, in the situation that he is in, to move out and live on his own for a while or would that be disastrous and only make him worse?

Noel's response

I suspect that where he lives is not the problem. He sounds depressed, and should see a doctor for a complete medical, in case there is some other health problem you don't know about.

If he is depressed, moving out on his own may make it worse, as he will just have his negative thoughts to keep him company.

You have not mentioned his age, but I am guessing he is in his 50s. What he is going through is fairly common at that age.

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