They are reported to feel as carefree as when they were in their 30s according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics as part of itsNational Wellbeing Programme.
However almost 20% of people in Britain suffer from depression or anxiety, especially middle-aged people aged between 50 and 54. These figures dropped from 22% in that age group to 14% of people in their late 60s.
People caring for others reported more mental health problems than people living alone and married people feel even better.
The Chief Executive of the charity Rethink Mental Illness said “These figures highlight how common mental health issues are… NHS services are extremely limited for people with mild to moderate depression and anxiety (the ONS figures didn’t include severe mental health problems).
Far too many people in this group are given medication as the first ad only option when they should be offered talking therapies. … We need better training for GPs as too many are ill-equipped to treat mental health problems.”
The wellbeing curve shows a downward trend from childhood to middle age before rising again as people reach retirement. The feeling doesn’t last however and drops off again as people reach their 80s when only 30% of people report being satisfied with their health. Nothing surprising really as getting very old, and increasingly infirm, is no fun in a country that doesn’t value old age.
My Dad had to reire early because of a heart problem but once he reached pension age he visibly perked up enrolling at night school classes and passing GCSE exams.
I always thought that it was because of his protestant work ethic which didn’t allow hime to enjoy being retired early but was fine when he was officially a pensioner.
Of course nowadays pensioners are having to carry on working or go back to work to make ends meet as our UK pensions are so paltry compared with other countries – the worst in Europe and half that of the Netherlands which is the next lowest.