Feeds

Miserable? It must be U

44 - the most depressing age of the lot

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Humans are pre-programmed to hit the depths of misery at the age of 44, researchers have found.

That is the age at which the probability of depression peaks for both men and women, researchers from the University of Warwick have found. That particular institution’s closest town is Coventry, suggesting they do indeed know what they’re talking about.

Happiness levels tended to peak at around 20, they found, before steadily dipping as people reached their mid-40s. They then started creeping back up again, with people generally climbing out of the hole in their 50s.

If you’re currently groaning under the weight of a mortgage, stalled career, school runs and wondering what your teenagers are up to at this exact moment, you’ll be glad to know that this has nothing to do with your happiness levels.

The same slump into a mid-40s trough applies across geographies and cultures, with the academics observing the same pattern across one million people in the UK and across 71 other countries.

It also applies to the unmarried, rich and poor and those without children. So those Buddhist monks and Carmelite nuns can all wipe the beatific smiles off their faces – we now know they’re faking.

Despite identifying the pattern, the researchers are at a loss to definitively explain it.

Professor Andrew Oswald said, “It looks like something that happens deep inside people.”

“But encouragingly, by the time you are 70, if you are still physically fit then on average you are as happy and mentally healthy as a 20 year old. Perhaps realising that such feelings are completely normal in midlife might even help individuals survive this phase better."

Possibly. Though we find it more comforting to think that all the worry warts and belly-achers will have fallen by the wayside by the time we hit 70, meaning we'll be able to enjoy the pick of the park benches and library seats in peace. ®

Bootnote

Eagle-eyed readers might also spot that 44 is also the international dialling code for the UK, as well a bus route that runs between those two well-known centres of despair, Tooting and Victoria Station.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
Human spacecraft dodge COMET CHUNKS pelting off Mars
Odyssey orbiter yet to report, though - comet's trailing trash poses new threat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.