Research finds major life event more influential than age in causing mid-life crisis

Forty-seven has been labelled the exact age people start to have a mid-life crisis. 

It comes as one of New Zealand's popular broadcasters opens up about his own struggles. 

There's plenty of cliches around the idea of a mid-life crisis - a middle-aged man in a sporty convertible speeding around wearing aviator sunglasses.

Now, new research has pinned down the exact age of that crisis as 47.2. That's the point our happiness bottoms out, according to data collected from 132 countries.

And at the age of 46, that feeling is not lost on broadcaster Dom Harvey.

"I'm coming up to 47 and if I don't deal with it maybe it will become a fully blown depression or mental-health issue in my fifties," says Harvey. 

"I think this skin has got so thick I've lost the ability to be vulnerable and open up. I'm s**t scared about getting counselling. I don't know where to start, I've got walls up so high."

He's not alone. One in four people goes through a mid-life crisis. The term was coined by a Canadian psychologist in the 60s - at that time he linked it to people in their mid-thirties, but research since then has found it's not your age that triggers it but a major life event.  

Education, marital status and unemployment were all found to be all major influences in the well-being equation. 

"Your kids have left home, you've reached the top of your career, you're thinking is there anything else?" said one member of the public Newshub spoke to.

Well, experts say that's actually when things start looking up.

It's known as the ageing paradox - where the happiness curve begins to rise again.

"Life's what you make it,  keep enjoying it because you get old fast," said another member of the public.

Those are words of wisdom from those climbing that curve.