Tuesday, January 29, 2008

40 and Not So Fabulous

The mid-life crisis is apparently alive and well throughout the world.
A new study has found that depression is most common for people in their 40s . Two million people in 72 countries were studied- men and women, rich and poor, married, single, with children, childless; regardless of their life situations, people reported decreased levels of happiness when they hit their 40s, and on into their early 50s. According to the study, happiness levels rise again once people hit their mid 50s.
I thought that this was really interesting. What could cause such a uniform reaction among different types of people all over the world? The only thing that seems to make sense is that mid life depression must be a function of changing brain chemistry or dropping hormone levels. I'll be turning 40 in a few months {shudder} and I'd really like to know what the science is behind this. Any doctors/nurses/chemists out there who can help?


Jack said...

Since I am only 22 I unfortunately unable to help you.

ProfK said...

While it could be chemical, I would guess that 40 is the first major "inventory" point in people's lives. In your 20s you're busy with schooling and getting married and starting families. In your 30s you're busy with getting established in a field and moving up. At 40 you can see just how far you've come on the road you chose to follow. At this point for many people they first come to see that not everything they dreamed of early on has come to frutition nor will do so. They then spend their 40s trying to make everything go the way they had hoped it would, a frustrating thing to be sure. By the time they hit 50 they have more or less come to terms with what their life is and/or what it is going to be.

There's worse than turning 40--try facing 60 in the face.

PsychoToddler said...

40 sucks.

But don't worry, 41 is worse.

SuperRaizy said...

Thanks, PT, that makes me feel so much better.