Middle Age Depression and Unhappiness

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by quest01, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. quest01

    quest01 Hall of Fame

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    There is an article on the internet that says that age 44 is the most unhappiest year of anyones life. Why is that?

    The article also says how Men hit there lowest point in life in there early 50's while women hit there lowest point in life at age 40. Anyone know why or could gives reasons why they think this is true?

    Anyone in here around that age feel the same way or know reasons why people are depressed the most at these ages?

    Here are the articles that mentions how middle aged people are more depressed and unhappy with there lives.

    http://health.usnews.com/usnews/health/healthday/080130/middle-age-a-low-point-for-most.htm

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/01/30/2150460.htm
     
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  2. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    Most of the psychiatric literature suggests that the prevalence of depression continues to increase with age well beyond age 44; the elderly seem to be more depressed than the middle aged, and why wouldn't they be?
    Fifty is an age at which men seem to become aware of their mortality. Most men at that age have either lost someone they were close to or had their own brush with mortality, such as a friend's or their own cancer. Men at age 50 have also frequently peaked in their careers and are facing stagnation or decline in that arena.
    Women are (still) more apt to be judged for their parenting and looks. By forty, many start to feel less important as parents if their kids are now teenagers, become aware that one's looks are not forever, and are reminded that the average age for first menopausal symptoms is 46.
     
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  3. snapple

    snapple Rookie

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    Man, I'm depressed just reading this!
     
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  4. LuckyR

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    I would make a distinction between the diagnosis of depression (which is much less common) and unhappiness, which I believe the article referenced.

    There are plenty of reasons why the 40's have the reputation for unhappiness: empty nest, realization that it's all downhill from here, not meeting goals of your youth, financial burdens of college age kids and retiring parents etc.
     
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  5. goober

    goober Legend

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    Well there is a reason for the midlife crisis.:)

    Start dating women half your age, buy a motorcycle, quit your job to do something more meaningful, ect.
     
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  6. LuckyR

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    Is that a reason for a crisis or your solution for one?
     
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  7. goober

    goober Legend

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    I am not sure if I understand what your asking. But the way I see it unhappiness with one's life leads to a crisis. The attempt to find a solution is expressed in many different ways.
     
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  8. tacoben

    tacoben Semi-Pro

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    It's not that simple. If anything your adding more problems. It's hard if you have obligations...kids, mortgage, bills, etc.
     
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  9. Supernatural_Serve

    Supernatural_Serve Professional

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    40s is also a time for people who didn't or don't take care of their mind and body to really begin to feel it, show it, and be confronted by it.

    You can pollute your mind and body in your youth, 20s, and 30s (to some extent), but by 40s, smoking, drugs and alcohol, stuffing one's face, being overweight, unhealthy occupations and life styles, having a body that hasn't or doesn't move, continuing to be a jerk to freinds, family, etc. forget it.

    Denial, blaming this or that, it doesn't work anymore. The crushing weight of one's failures as a person really smash the spirit and there is nowhere to run, but to change.

    Life gets very hard and deep cynicism shoves the ugliness of life in one's face daily.
     
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  10. tbini87

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    ^^ good posts with very good reasons. glad i am not there yet... but maybe someday. and i don't think goober was too serious about his solution to the midlife crisis...
     
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  11. mucat

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    Well say except this...should be

    Fifty is an age at which men seem to hit hard by mortality directly and indirectly.

    I am in my 30s and I am starting to aware my mortality...

    ...Who start this depressive thread?...

    :(
     
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  12. quest01

    quest01 Hall of Fame

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    I just found the articles fascinating. How it mentions that the middle aged are the most depressed and unhappy. Also how age 44 is the unhappiest year of anyones life. One article mentions how women are depressed most at the age of 40 while men are hit with depression at the peak in there early 50's. Supernatural Serve gave some interesting explanations and opinions on why people in there 40's tend to be depressed and unhappy.
     
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  13. Serve em Up

    Serve em Up Rookie

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    According to the study, I'm right in the sweet spot of the unhappy years.

    I've had recent back surgery, my wife is a breast cancer survivor and I feel very very blessed. My parents are still relatively healthy and I have two super kids growing into adults before ny eyes.

    My wife ran first marathon last year and I'm going to attempt it this year.

    Mortality and human frailness start to confront you big time at this age. It's not so much about a crisis as it is sizing up things as they are and making adjustments to make what you have left better.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2008
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  14. goober

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    I am not saying that it is simple. I am just saying what *some* people do :)
     
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  15. Craig Sheppard

    Craig Sheppard Hall of Fame

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    hey hey hey, no need to go downhill from the 40s! Just look at our own TW user "chess9" in the Fitness section! lol I think he's in his 60s and could run circles around all of us. heh

    I just turned 30, so I can't speak from experience... but I see happy seniors & boomers and I see sad seniors and boomers. All of my grandparents have passed and my parents are around 70. It seems the more active (both brain and body) people are and the more people they interact with, the more happy people are. I don't really think that's any kind of magic for seniors and boomers, it really is true at any age.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2008
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  16. neverstopplaying

    neverstopplaying Professional

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    I've often spoken to friends about the difference in physical shape and mental attitude of the people that I see at my tennis club vs. the people that I see at the mall.

    Good comments above - at 47, I've lost close friends, and realize the need to stay in shape. 10 hours of tennis a week is extremely enjoyable and if not a life saver, it definitely increases what I get out of life.

    I had the pleasure of playing against a 60+ year old lady last week who represents Canada internationally in tennis tournaments. Don't talk to her about depression. Depression is also the farthest thing from my mind.
     
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  17. mista-k

    mista-k Rookie

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    I was watching family guy on dvr last night...
    After beating his son (Chris) in everything from skating to basketball...trying to prove hes better than his kid...
    [after basketball in the gym] Peter (the dad) found out that
    Chris had an enormous !@#$%# in the steamroom...long story short > he felt inadequate and bought a long nice car to compensate (crashed) > he then enrolled in a rifle/gun club where he was able to "socialize" with people with common problems like him ...story ended with chris saving peter from a bear in the wild... > its nice to see people at this age "do" something about it rather than "dwell"...

    2 cents
     
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  18. kairosntx

    kairosntx Professional

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    Yikes...

    My wife turns 40 this year.

    Should I downplay the birthday, go low-key with a quiet dinner and a nice present or should I go all out with a party to lift her spirits. I don't want the party to remind her she is 40 and cause depression, I mean unhappiness. And I don't want the low key approach make it seem like it's not that special and cause the same feelings.

    I do know I'm gonna throw out all the black over the hill decorations I bought. J/K
     
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  19. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    People stiiiiill
    haven't found
    what they're lookin' forrrrrr.

    40th b-day, I think most people do a trip to Vegas. That really says it all, doesn't it?

    Man, it's about quality of life, not age. Life's about love, thankfulness, and faith, I think. Age is only a number (yeah, that's easy to say at my age -- under 40). Sometimes it's a little knee pain or whatever, but I hope I remember that age is just a number and that life is a gift no matter how old you are.

    ANyway, I know depression is really tough and mysterious. And it's easy for a non-depressed person to go on and on about how fulfilled she or he is. Why not everyone? But if someone is depressed about something petty like age, I think it's time to move on.

    Bigger issues abound I'm sure. But age is not one of them, neither is a receding hairline....at least in my book.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2008
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  20. ATXtennisaddict

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    I'm trying to start making changes to my life now so I don't end up with a ML crisis (i have a quarter life one now).
     
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  21. tennis-n-sc

    tennis-n-sc Professional

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    I think a lot of it is reality meeting unfulfilled expectations. I'm a very early boomer and darn proud of it. The party didn't turn out exactly like I thought it would, but the dancing is still fun. Folks, we are here for a good, not a long time. Count your blessings, you have many. Do something good for someone else without them knowing. Make the world a better place because you passed this way, and I'm not talking about finding a cure for cancer. Look inward, not only to yourself but your loved ones. Beauty is skin deep and extremely fleeting, but caring is mighty deep. Make sure that those you care about know it each day. Come to terms with your fate and make it insignificant by making each day count. Good health is a combination of physical, emotional and spiritual well being. If we work on those things, how can we be unhappy? I loved the line from "Gladiator", "death smiles on us all and all we can do smile back." For me, its like having the most fun you can possibly have but still being a little sad because you know it must end. Get with it, times' a wastin'.
     
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  22. LuckyR

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    What I meant by "downhill" is the simple fact that fitness level for fitness level, as your body ages it loses the ability to fully bounce back from injury. This becomes very apparant in your 40's. It doesn't take much imagination to see where the trend is headed once you start only recovering 90% from miscillaneous injuries.
     
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  23. mista-k

    mista-k Rookie

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    how about the people in death row?
    or the starving people in africa?

    ...should we just turn away?
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2008
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  24. Serve em Up

    Serve em Up Rookie

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    Ease up there Mista K! I don't think tennis n sync was being the least bit callous in his post.

    "Caring is mighty deep. Make sure that those that you care about know it each day"

    This hardly seems indifferent to me.

    You can't rid the world of poverty and despair. You can make the lives of some better. Rejoice in doing what you can for others. Knowing you have made the lives of some people better is cause enough for happiness. Even if is is just a few
     
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  25. bluegrasser

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    Yeah, where's my #357.............:cry:
     
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  26. Kobble

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    Personally, I am not worried about middle aged depression, because I usually implode about once every two years. It has been about two years since my last bout, and I can feel the stage getting set.

    We all go through something or another. I've thought about how my life would be different if I had stayed in a more positive school environment when I was younger, and not transfered to public schools. I think about not being the best me I ever could have been. Inspite of it all, I feel lucky to have had the experiences I had. I have stayed true to my morals, never sold out, and that is the way it is going to stay for a long time. Any penalty I pay is minor compared to knowing that my heart and balls belong to someone else.
     
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  27. sportsfan92

    sportsfan92 Rookie

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    well said. well said. I have a mother that is 72 years old and she does more than most people half her age. it is the purpose and joy she lives with in serving others. and she has always said....age is JUST a number. Doesn't matter how many years are in your life, but how much life is in your years. :)
     
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  28. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    It is a positive attitude and good for mental/physical health and the same thing has been said in self-help books for eons. My only problem with the self-help be happy and contented advice is that if everyone follows it, there will be no one left to fight the battles on behalf of those who suffer. It seems to me that if the state of the world disturbs you, you just cannot be inward-looking and happy. If so, there would be no Mother Teresas, Gandhis, Mandelas.
     
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  29. Deuce

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    Very good point.
    Kind of reminds me of a well known 'saying'... something about ignorance and bliss...

    Well, one can also just as easily ask why wouldn't the elderly be happy?
    They have retired from jobs they likely disliked; they have more free time to spend as they wish, with the people they wish to spend it with; they possess the wisdom of their experiences...
    Not everything can be summed up in the deterioration of athletic ability, strength, and looks. There are more important things in life.

    These are good and valid points.
    But I think you have to leave room for happiness returning beyond one's 50s. Sure, the threat of one's mortality is naturally still present - but perhaps that can be used as a positive - as motivation to do things that are enjoyable while they're still here.

    Well said.
    The bottom line is that it's all about one's perspective.
     
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  30. tennis-n-sc

    tennis-n-sc Professional

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    Naw. You've sort of missed my point. IMO, the main cause of unhappiness is self-centeredness. It creates too much insecurity in that we can never really fill the needs. Other-centeredness is key to happiness, again IMO. Doing for others and not expecting recognition in return. Mother Teresa lived a life of service to others. She had little more than the clothes on her back. As has now been reported, she often had doubts and questioned her faith, as do we all. But in my opinion, she was happy in her life.

    But we can't all be Mother Teresas. What we can do is the little things that will make a difference in someone's life. You may want to call it self-help, a convenient buzz word, but it makes a difference. A random act of kindness, another buzz phrase, actually makes a difference. If none of these things work, just be nice. You'll feel better.

    The people that knock happy people are usually those that are unhappy and a little envious. It really is a simple little thing, to enjoy life. If we live long enough, we come to see that simplicity.
     
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  31. bluegrasser

    bluegrasser Hall of Fame

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    Sounds ironic, but you can suffer & be happy/content at the same time. There's something about the proverb: " more bessed to give than receive that rings true." Selfishness brings on depression & unhappiness in general.

    Pastor Blugrasser
    Sermon # 13 on 'Cliches'

    www.apostate.com
     
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  32. tricky

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    #32
  33. Morpheus

    Morpheus Professional

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    On the physical/aging/midlife crisis side of the equation:

    As one ages into their 50s, the effects of aging on the body double approximately every five years. Therefore, if you take care of yourself when young and kick these effects out by just five years, you can eliminate one doubling of these effects.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2008
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  34. basil J

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    I'm 47 and I have to say that, I have become extremely aware of my mortality, but I try to look at every day as a new opportunitty. I have 2 young kids, a great wife, a decent job that allows me to hit yellow round balls on a court a few times a week, Go skiing on the weekend and put a little that's left over in the bank. My favorite quote is from the shaw shank redemption. My buddies and I always say it before we hit a mogul run, or start a match in a tournament.: "Get busy living, or get busy dying".. nuff said.
     
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  35. Puma

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    I think one reason for the depression in the mid forties is because we find ourself in a place where there are fewer options. This tends to be true for carreer choices, spouses etc. We have more responsibility and we feel it. We learn our choices affect more than just ourselves.

    People in unhealthy marriages tend to stay there at this age. People tend to stick with their career field due to lack of choices. It is very easy to ask yourself, "is this all there is for me in life".

    Also, at this time in life we begin to bear the cost of some poor decisions early in life. These poor decisions could be a vast array of things ranging from spouses, education, child rearing, health to personal finace issues. Once you begin to feel as though things are what they are and you cannot make or endure the cost of change you are stuck. Being stuck at an unhappy status quo is not a good place. And, I see some of this in me as well as many of my friends. I am 45 and will be 46 in 18 days.
     
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  36. heartman

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    I hate the fact injuries take so much longer to heal - or are so prone to reoccurring. Poop - that's what I say - poop to getting older.

    That adage of life getting better as you grow may hold some truth, but the price you pay seems to be considerably higher than when young. 'Spose I should quit complaining - I'm only 50 - but open heart surgery, recent psoriatic athritis diagnosis, failing eyesight, hearing going south, anxiety disorder, depression, and job-related stress can really knock a guy down. wtf...

    But, I still have fun with tennis.
     
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  37. snapple

    snapple Rookie

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    Heard this tidbit once and it really stuck with me:

    Live as if the happiest day of your life is always today!
     
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  38. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    ...it beats not getting older...
     
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  39. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Glad you brought that up. It has been bugging me for a while. It seems in her last letters, she expressed grave doubts about faith and religion. I didn't follow it after that, thinking it was the usual "trials of faith" as they are called.

    Then this week I stepped into a public library and started reading the latest issue of Psychology Today - an article about increasing number of religious preachers who are "deprogramming" themselves and becoming atheists. There was this statement about MT: Her last letters show that the person closest to a saint in recent memory was either a phony or a genuinely religious person whose faith was tested.

    So someone has come up with the phony word. Having grown up as a child in the same city she lived most of her life, this was something I could have never imagined coming. So some people are saying her whole life was a lie?
     
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  40. heartman

    heartman Rookie

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    Well spake, LuckyR. Thanks for the perspective - it's true!
     
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  41. chroix

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    Climb the corporate ladder for ten or fifteen years only to realize that you are past your prime and some young kid fresh out of college will eventually overtake you on the ladder climb. Combine with a dosage of your kids hate you and won't listen, you've grown fat and your wife has too and I'd say there are plenty of reasons to be depressed in middle age if you live the common American existence.

    That is why I choose to live a different way. People need to learn to enjoy quiet. People need to learn to appreciate small beauty that is all around us... and stop trying to impress others and being greedy would help as well.

    IMO people are too obsessed with what other people think and materialism. Free yourself of these evils and your life can be as happy as you choose.

    I have to recommend a book on this subject, Status Anxiety by Andrew deBottoin. He talks about the concepts of the people in the world who have the least amount of material goods being the happiest and most spiritually satisfied and the inverse holding true as well.
     
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  42. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    There is always someone else who has it way worse than you, I try to count my blessings.
     
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  43. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Great advice. Thank you. It's in virtually every religious text, too. Well, except in whatever books the tele-evangelists read.
     
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  44. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

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    I am 45 and will soon be 46. RIGHT NOW is the best time of my life, ever. Further, I predict I will feel the same way in 10 years. Why? Because in reality there is no future, there is no past. ALL WE HAVE IS RIGHT NOW. Dig in fellas, it ain't a dress rehearsal. ;) CC
     
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  45. Deuce

    Deuce Banned

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    "All of Man's problems stem from his inability to sit quietly alone in a room."
    It seems that is more true today than ever before.

    I didn't read the book, but I saw the TV series he did that was based on the book. Interesting stuff, and very true.
     
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  46. quest01

    quest01 Hall of Fame

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    Have you ever had a midlife crisis?
     
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  47. PCXL-Fan

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    There are recent SCIENTIFIC articles on this stuff.

    The at least part of the reason men have midlife crisis is because their wives enter menopause and lose their ability to procreate. They aren't consciously aware of this being a cause of the crisis though.

    This "crisis" is a sort of primal instinctual response to find a new mate of procreating age. Thats why they go out and buy the new fancy car. Because on some subconscious level they are trying to impress and obtain a new mate with their "chick magnet" automobile which is used as a display of their wealth and resources.

    I have to go to bed now, but when I come back from work tomorrow I'll dig up the scientific article links. If you think about it though it makes alot of sense.

    Just give me a chance to dig up the harvard scientific studies before you start berating me.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2008
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  48. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

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    No, and I doubt I will. I have truly enjoyed every stage of my life. Just blessed by temperament to wake up happy. :) CC
     
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  49. fridrix

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    The deterioration of the spirit. Knowing there is nothing within. Anhedonia. Just a complete, meaningless void and you don't have the strength to even wonder why your life has been a total failure in every way. :shock:
     
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  50. fridrix

    fridrix Rookie

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    :( That just makes me sad for the other guy.
     
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