Ouch, this is harsh! A British Health Survey says that women have poor mental health until 85 and then – bingo – happiness happens!
And shocking though it may be, Psychiatrist, Kate Lovett, says it may be because women are widowed by then! But Lovett does concede that the “specific burden of responsibilities that women often carry” could also have an impact – and Lovett is the dean of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. And a big point is that at the age of 85, women’s overall happiness increases and men’s decreases. And that women become progressively happier as they age beyond 85.
In general at all ages, 21 percent of women reported mental health problems, compared to 16 percent of men. Newsweek cites the following numbers: The highest rates of poor mental health were among young women between aged 16 and 24 years, at 28 percent. Between 25 and 34, 18 percent of women reported poor mental health. The percentage spiked again to 24 percent for women aged 45 to 54. By the time women were 85 and over, the percentage of women reporting poor mental health dropped to 14 percent. Their article is entitled: WOMEN OVER 85 ARE HAPPIER BECAUSE THEIR PARTNER IS DEAD BY THEN, PSYCHIATRISTS SAY If that isn’t a telling title what is?
Men, however, in general remain more or less consistently happy for most of their lives. Between ages 16 and 64, the prevalence of poor mental health was between 16 and 18 percent, but then at age 65 and 84, it declines to 13 percent. And it shoots up at age 85 to 19 percent.
Curiously though men have higher rates of suicide than women, as much as three times higher, but that may be because women will seek help for their mental health problems.
The survey also found that poorer people had higher rates of poor mental health, but the disparity remained regardless of household income.