Good news, ladies: The two happiest years of your life might be behind you, but it’s not all doom and gloom from here on out. Women are most likely to reach peak happiness at 85 years old, according to a new survey by the British National Health Service (NHS).
To gauge people’s overall well-being, the 12-question survey asked 8,000 British adults to rate their levels of self-confidence, anxiety, sleep disturbance. Using those responses, NHS researchers calculated each participant’s score and identified them as mentally ill if they scored four or higher on a 12-point scale.
The final data showed a surprising pattern: Women are more likely than men to report severe mental health problems throughout their lives. However, that likelihood flips by the time both sexes reach their eighties. Watch out for these hidden signs of depression in you or a loved one.
A closer look at the results reveals that just 14 percent female respondents over the age of 85 have mental health problems. Twenty-eight percent of women aged 16 to 24, 18 percent of women aged 25 to 34, and 24 percent of women aged 45 to 54 reported having a mental illness, by comparison. Meanwhile, almost one in five men aged 85 or older received a score indicating mental health issues.
Generally speaking, it’s possible that women feel unhappier than men because they often “bear the brunt of domestic and caring responsibilities,” according to Kate Lovett, dean of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. But those negative feelings may decline in old age, as their children grow up and they are relieved of many care-taking duties, she told The Times.
Still, your 85th birthday seems like a long way off. We hear ya! The upside? All the more reason to try these surprising tricks to be happier without really trying—regardless of your age.
[Source: The Independent]