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People aged 40-59 are least happy and most anxious.


Stashed in: #health, Stress, Awesome, Aging, Anxiety, Mental Health, Real Age

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It's a study from the UK but I believe this applies to many of us in the USA too.

Middle-aged people are the least happy, have the lowest levels of life satisfaction and the highest levels of anxiety, the latest official wellbeing statistics show.

Even people aged over 90 report better life satisfaction and happiness than those aged 40-59, the study from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found. While women overall reported experiencing higher levels of anxiety than men, they were happier and more satisfied with life than men.

Statisticians analysed personal wellbeing data for more than 300,000 adults in the UK, collected over three years from 2012 to 2015, and found that happiness and life satisfaction plummeted among respondents aged 35 and over.

However, the trend reverses once respondents reach 60, with people aged 65-79 tending to report the highest average levels of personal wellbeing, although levels slip again as respondents move further into old age.

The ONS report (pdf) suggests that the multiplying responsibilities of middle age could be taking a toll on people, with many facing the twin pressures of looking after young children and ageing parents at the same time.

Younger respondents, many of whom would still be in education, and older, retired people, may have more time for fun activities, the report found. “In contrast, those in their middle years may have more demands placed on their time and might struggle to balance work and family commitments,” it said.

Top Reddit comment:

I'm in this age group and I know why I feel this way.

I'm taking care of kids entering College (expensive) and taking over a lot of care for my parents as well.

That's a lot of weight (financial and general stress out the wazoo) and pressure on your shoulders.

Even without these there's a lot of financial and general stress ages 40-59.

This article is very well-intentioned, but I think it ends up casting doubt on the extent to which mental illness is an actual illness rather than a reaction to external stressors. Is "anxiety" an actual physical ailment that people have in their brains... or is it a transitive thing than they get from the results of their own life choices?

Everyone feels some anxiety and stress from external things.

You're right that some people have mental health challenges separate from -- and in addition to -- those factors. 

And the article is bad in that it conflates those issues. 

The article would have been better if it focused on stress caused by life choices.

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