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Depression: 44 years marks the start of mid-life depression. Study says it lasts years

Middle_age_depressionResearchers from Warwick University in Britain and Dartmouth College in the U.S. who analyzed data on two million people from 70 nations found an extraordinarily consistent patterns of depression and happiness.

They have confirmed something suspected for years: that middle aged men and women are more likely to experience depression than any other period in their life. Though most of us enjoy a happy start and end to life, there is a rough patch in the middle, topping out at the age of 44 for many. They see depression at the bottom of the U shape and happiness at the two ends. They also believe the depression valley lasts for several years.

From Australia and Italy to Nicaragua and Azerbaijan, analyzing data from over two million people from 80 countries.the same U-shape was observed. The good news is that while during the middle years we are more likely to feel depressed, we get over it and can experience the same degree of happiness as a 20 year old. Previous studies have suggested psychological well-being stays relatively flat and consistent as we age, but this report turns former studies upside down. The study, Is Well-Being U-Shaped Over The Life Cycle?  will be published in the forthcoming Social Science & Medicine journal.

Using a sample of a million Britons, researchers found both men and women faced their biggest dip in happiness at 44, regardless of marital status, wealth or children. In the U.S., by contrast, there was a big difference between the sexes, with unhappiness peaking at about 40 for women and 50 for men. Warwick’s Professor Andrew Oswald said signs of mid-life depression are found in all kinds of people. “Some suffer more than others but in our data the average effect is large. It happens to men and women, to single and married people, to rich and poor, and to those with and without children.”

Oswald admits that what causes the U-shaped curve is unknown, but added: “It looks from the data like something happens deep inside humans. “For the average person in the modern world, the dip in mental health and happiness comes on slowly, not suddenly in a single year. “For the average person, the dip in mental health and happiness comes on slowly, not suddenly in a single year. But encouragingly, by the time you are 70, if you are still fit then on average you are as happy and mentally healthy as a 20-year-old,” Oswald said.

According to Oswald there are a number of theories why this happens. “The first theory is that when you are young you have high aspirations and then in middle age have to learn to quell them. After all we cannot all be captain of the national football team or a rock star. The 30s and 40s are therefore painful times when reality sets in but when you get older you’ve learn to accept yourself.

The second theory is that people who are happier live longer. Therefore if the unhappy people have died younger then those who remain are happier.

The third theory is that we learn to count our blessings when we get older. We see friends and family die and we see bad things happen and are just happy to be alive.”

January 30, 2008 - Posted by | 5-htp, 7-keto, anti-alcohol antioxidant, antidepressants, antioxidants, anxiety, brain antioxidant, carbo blocker, coral calcium, Depression, depression medication, drugs, Healt care, help, hgh patch, hypericum, idebenone, lithium orotate, postpartum, SAMe 400, Siberian Ginseng, St John's wort, teen, treating depression, treatment, treatments, vitamins

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