Life is filled with natural changes, moving from one phase to another. One often reacts to these changes with so-called developmental crises, which consist of letting go of the past and adapting to the new life situation. For example, a crisis can develop as a result of beginning studies, moving away from home, having children, having children moving out or retirement. Age can also cause crises to some people, especially when a person’s age approaches round numbers.
During change, life may seem confusing and difficult. Learned coping strategies do not seem to apply and new ones have not been found yet. Even desired changes may cause anxiety and affect self-esteem in a negative way. The overall situation in life and the significance of the event causing the crisis often affect the creation and intensity of the crisis. If a person’s life situation is difficult to begin with, the change will naturally cause more stress.
Sometimes the changes bring back important and often painful memories. Grief and anxiety from the past may suddenly resurface and confuse the person and their loved ones. Nevertheless, crises always allow the chance to develop and become stronger: one’s understanding may develop, one’s view of the world may change and one may be better prepared to face the world.