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USA Today reported today that “middle-age IS truly depressing“!  

Thank, God....I’m not crazy...I’m normal...now I have an excuse to NOT get out of bed this morning or any other morning for that matter...at least until I am 50!

British and U.S. researchers will be releasing a report stating that they surveyed over 2 million people in 80 countries and what they discovered was that men and women take a severe dip in their zest for life while in their 40s. I am now in my 50s and must admit things have been looking up since I turned the big 5-0. I will also admit from the moment I turned forty it seemed that I was hit by everything that life could possibly hit me with. My father died when I was 42, soon after two other family members, my mother entered a nursing home, I gave birth to my fifth child, my husband retired from the military, I had two teens in high school and one in middle school, my son was diagnosed with ADHD...we moved in to a new home...the list goes on and on. Tell me if these aren’t reasons to fall into bed, pull the covers over my head and wish the world would stop spinning. I am now in my fifties looking back at my time languishing in my bed, while admitting I still have a penchant for returning to this old habit when the going gets tough...I just wonder if releasing this report will give people permission to do exactly what I did...become a prisoner of the sheets for almost ten long years.

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I mean...why not sit on the couch or fall between the sheets to escape the world? The researchers are telling us that this is natural...it is expected...a plethora of people from Albania to Zimbabwe were asked and the numbers indicated that both 40 year old women and men were more inclined to be depressed. Where do I fit in as a U.S. citizen between Albania and Zimbabwa? Could vast cultural difference play a role or was this eliminated? Did this report state why they were depressed? What were the causes? Is it some sort of chemical imbalance? Is depression at 40 out of our control? Is is because we expect too much and get little? Are our schedules over booked...too many soccer games, business meetings, family events? Is this the period in our lives that we start losing loved ones, children start leaving the nest, career changes occur and families break apart due to divorce? Or is this just another attempt by the medical community to convince us that we need to accept our lot in life...belly up to the prescription counter and start taking all the many anti-depressants on the market, while waiting for the depression to pass?  

I feel it is a great disservice to those people who are languishing in bed trying to figure out how to get out of bed, to release statistics stating that there is a common thread of depression for people in their forties and then not cite the causes that may occur at this time in their lives that would lead to this “U-shaped pattern“. This USA Today article leads you to believe that this is the norm, a natural stage of life. You shouldn’t be concerned. Go to your doctor and get a prescription....wait it out...you will come out of it one day! But it is not that easy; the causes are many and you can get stuck!  

The researchers and the media have just set us all up to expect this downward swing. It will be more ammunition for those who stand on the sideline of our depression and mid-life crisis telling us just to snap out of it! The report also gives those of us who have been living from a bedside table permission to languish between the sheets until our 50TH birthday.  

This may be a valid report on research done. The USA Today article is limited and a reading of the full research report to be published in the journal of “Social Science & Medicine” is needed before you grab your snack and climb onto the Tempurpedic.  

Visit my new Blog at: ificouldjustgetoutofbed.blogspot.com



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