the bottom of the curve
“Middle-Aged? Join the Misery Club”
“Depression: 44 Age Most at Risk”
“Happiness Curve Bottoms Out at 44”
“Middle-Aged Misery Spans Globe, Study Says”
“It’s Official: Happiness Resumes at 50”
“Aging Really Is Depressing (Until 50)”
“Middle Age a Low Point for Most: Study Found Age 44 Marked the Peak of Depression for People Around the Globe”
“Midlife Misery: Is There Happiness After the 40s”
“The Midlife Crisis Goes Global”
“More People Fight Depression in Mid-Life”
“Mid-Life Crisis: Unhappily There’s No Escape”
Barbara Miller of ABC News in Australia summarized the results of the study in an article she authored, noting:
“Those approaching middle age like to think that life begins at 40, but research suggests that just a few years later we are at our most depressed. Scientists from the United States and the United Kingdom who studied happiness and depression levels in 80 countries, have pinpointed 44 as the most unhappy year of life. But they say we shouldn’t get down about it, as many 70-year-olds are as happy and healthy as young adults.”
Miller continues, “Happiness is a U-shaped curve according to the research. As middle-age approaches, the average person will slide down the U to hit rock bottom at the age of 44. They’ll be stuck in that trough for quite a few years but by the time they are in their 50s, assuming their physical health is intact, their happiness levels will go up and risk of depression goes down.”
Great. really looking forward to that… childless… probably still in debt….and possibly still not where I want to be in my life. Cheers!
“Perhaps realizing that such feelings are completely normal in midlife might even help individuals survive this phase better.”
Personally I do find it helpful to know this.
“…one possibility is that individuals learn to adapt to their strengths and weaknesses, and in midlife quell their infeasible aspirations.”
It sounds so easy written like that, just quell those infeasible aspirations. Sometimes I think that the grief that comes with the death of your dreams is the same as the grief associated with the loss of someone you love, and there is no short cut to get through it, the whole process of grieving has to be gone through at its own pace.
Oh well, I’ll be 45 soon, and according to this, heading into the upward curve of that U shape. One can only hope.
Thanks for the thoughtful post. In a few more years I hope to be on the upward curve myself!