Thursday, December 6, 2012

Midlife Crisis in Apes

Are you feeling anxious, forlorn, tired and washed-up lately? Do you want to quit your job due to boredom, dump your spouse for someone else or perhaps buy a red convertible to make up for those lost years? Maybe you are experiencing midlife crisis – a state or a time in one’s life where there is emotional transformation between the ages 40 to 60 years old. Although not all people go through midlife crisis, some really have difficulty coping with such a stressor. There comes a point that comes in the way of personal relationships, careers and even health.
Midlife Crisis in Apes
Well, you are not alone. Chimps and apes experience midlife crisis, too. What do they usually do when they experience this kind of emotional crisis? Too bad apes cannot buy a red sports car to ease their anxiety and kiss those emotional stressors goodbye. If they can only buy a red Ferrari, they surely will but of course, it would not be possible. So how these have researches proven this state of midlife crisis among apes just like humans?

Studies have shown that captive chimps do experience the same low emotional state during midlife in the same way it has also discovered in people. Midlife crisis and discontent has been proven to be true and has been experienced in the universal sense. Some may not go through with this, but others virtually try to live with it and take matters into their own hands resulting to depression, divorce, job loss, health problems and many more negative effects. This need not be the case. This event need not be a crisis. This should be a time of reflection and an opportunity to discover new things and embrace changes for the better.

Now, let’s go back to midlife crisis in apes. Though most humans do go through midlife crisis brought about by social, cultural and emotional concerns, the midlife crisis in apes may be a result of biology that can be traced back to its evolutionary roots and not culture.

Or maybe it’s the other way around. Is the midlife crisis of humans caused too by biology and evolutionary roots since apes and humans basically come from the same Homonidae which forms the taxonomy of primates?

According to the study revealed in Yahoo News, “It suggests the human tendency toward midlife discontent may have been passed on through evolution, rather than resulting simply from the hassles of modern life, said Oswald, a professor of economics at the University of Warwick in England who presented his work Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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