Life crisis at a young age due to professional frustration

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Quarter-life crisis: Life crisis at a young age due to professional frustration

Psychotherapists and psychiatrists have been observing an increase in the so-called "quarter-life crisis" for several years, as the magazine "Focus" reports. Young people are particularly affected.

The so-called "Quarterlife Crisis" (QLC) is a term used in psychology and describes the state of uncertainty in the years of life after "growing up". Patients who get into this life crisis are between the ages of 21 and 29 years, whereby the research assumes a lifetime of 80 to 100 years. However, other psychologists only see the end of the first quarter of life between 25 and 35 years. A precise definition seems difficult due to the different study times and vocational training.

British psychiatrist and researcher Oliver Robinson coined the term for the first time. The "quarter-life crisis" primarily affects people who experience great disappointment about their own professional development and the lack of progress in the job. The specialist for medicine and psychotherapy and chief physician at the hospital for psychosomatics in Frankfurt, Dr. Wolfgang Merkle told the magazine that he regularly treats patients with a “bore-out syndrome”. Until those affected find their way to the clinic, they can usually be treated in advance by their family doctor due to inner restlessness, depressive episodes, ringing in the ears, lack of drive, self-esteem problems or sleep disorders. If it is determined during the course of the therapy that the patient is “in a dead end” and bored, the specialist tries to adjust the treatment to “that the patient sets off again.” Young people in the first phase of life are particularly often from affected by the syndrome.

Bore-out more often at a young age
Some studies indicate that the number of young people is more affected by the “boreout” than by the burnout syndrome. During a survey commissioned by the Dortmund Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 14 percent of the test subjects said that they felt they were being challenged in terms of their skills and level of knowledge. Only five percent of the age group said they felt burned out and overwhelmed. (sb)

Read on:
Working atmosphere important for job satisfaction
Boreout as a result of boredom at work
Underload makes you sick: the bore-out syndrome

Image: Gerd Altmann,

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