- Men grow unhappier after retiring, overtaking at age 85, NHS survey reveals.
- 72 percent of men aged 16-24 have stronger mental health.
- Twice as many same-aged women have poor mental health, the study found.
86 percent of men suffer severe mental illness issues over age 85.
Men are happier than women ∞
Men are happier than women for almost their entire lives and grow miserable in their mid-80s, according to a new NHS survey.
The study found that men's happiness shrinks after retirement - before they overtake women at age 85.
This may be because those aged men are still not widowed, which generally makes men miserable, some psychiatrists claim.
Twenty eight per cent of young women (16-24) - well over two in 10 - claim they have mental health problems, yet they choose to not pursue a diagnosis. Half as many men exaggerate their unhappiness, an NHS survey of 8,000 people found.
The number of Britons reporting consistent happiness is declining, but with men less likely to report severe issues at every age, the Health Survey for England found.
Seventy two percent of young men (16-24) don't even have a hint of a mental health problem, reports the Times (archived).
This is almost half as many women of their age, claims the survey of 8,000.
As men enter middle age, 76 percent of men - almost a quarter of 45 to 54-year-olds - feel no need to see a psychologist. A worrying 24 percent of men either have legitimate, undiagnosed or imaginary illnesses, though the survey does not distinguish them.
Startlingly, the survey found that these numbers dramatically increase as men get older, with severe problems beginning past age 65, and increasing for survivors over age 85. There is no attempt to determine if these are legitimate diagnoses or men "checking out" on medication.
Why older men are unhappier ∞
Dr. Kate Lovett (@DrKateLovett), dean of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said women "... are still more likely to bear the brunt of domestic and caring responsibilities ..." for most of their lives. Men, even as grandfathers, are still denied the caregiving they have always strongly advocated for, even after their retirement from wage-slavery for their family, when they finally earn more time to spend with them.
For unmarried men, lowered mobility begins to diminish or deny them the fulfilling activities they have long-entertained. For still-married men, unhappiness may increase when they are stuck in a senior home with their wives.
Above the age of 85, men's unhappiness jumps above women's, possibly revealing that old women make men unhappy.
Men are happier than women for almost their entire lives and are unhappier only in their mid-80s. This may be because older men are not widowed, which generally makes them miserable.
The NHS has given enough data for for strong conclusions after asking just 12 questions. It trusts a person's self-perception of their general level of "depression", "anxiety", "self-confidence", "happiness" and "sleep patterns".
An arbitrary scoring of four on their 12-point scale was guessed at indicating mental health issues, though no taker of the survey was directed to a medical professional.
The survey's "mental illness" claim was thereby massaged to be 1:5. This is up from 1:4, just a short four years ago.
Dr Lovett will pursue funding to study the reasons she made these numbers different. She will focus on blaming the internet and the economy.
"The impact of individual suffering and the economic impact are enormous ..." -- Dr Lovett
The well-being survey ∞
The NHS survey only asked 12 questions of a tiny sample of respondents, inflating them to represent millions. It trusted responses to vague concepts as their self-perception of their general level of "depression", "anxiety", "self-confidence", "happiness" and "sleep patterns".
Respondents claimed how often they had feeelings the surveyors thereafter linked to depression or other mental health problems.
The options were "none of the time", "rarely", "some of the time", "often", "all of the time".
- I've been feeling optimistic about the future
- I've been feeling useful
- I've been feeling relaxed
- I've been feeling interested in other people
- I've had energy to spare
- I've been dealing with problems well
- I've been thinking clearly
- I've been feeling good about myself
- I've been feeling close to other people
- I've been feeling confident
- I've been able to make up my own mind about things
I've been feeling loved
Take the survey yourself! Are many of your responses unsurprising and perfectly-adult? Are they influenced by having a job (that actually makes you work)? Do you have a supportive spouse and loving family? Did the politicians you elected stick to all their promises, providing strong confidence in the future of your country and economy? Has anyone been attacking your culture or character, demoralizing your faith in humanity?
Surveys are a complex science, and cannot be given idly or trusted with any confidence.
Answers to surveys come from people who answer surveys.
- The average person does not go out of their way to volunteer to answer surveys.
Questions are usually vague.
- Sometimes intentionally-so, and almost always lack concrete examples to help the answerer understand them.
- A diverse cross-section of the population must be surveyed in order for it to be remotely valid for the larger public.
- A large sample size is important to average-out anomalies.
- A survey must be fairly lengthy, having multiple questions that ask similar things, to reduce confused responses.
- Men tend to answer surveys in a way that makes them seem better in their own eyes.
- Women tend to provide responses they think the surveyor expects.
For important topics, multiple surveys from multiple unconnected surveyors must be done.
Massaging surveys isn't a fine art. Try it yourself!
- Blackmore S. Beyond the body. London: Granada; 1983.
- Blackmore S. A theory of lucid dreams and OBEs. In: Gackenbach J, LaBerge S, eds. Conscious Mind, Sleeping Brain. New York: Plenum; 1988:373-387.
- Leadbeater CW. The Astral Plane. (12th reprint, 1984). Madras: Vasanta Press; 1895.
- Muldoon S, Carrington H. The Projection of the Astral Body. New York: Samuel Weiser; 1974.
- DeGracia DJ. Les paradigmes de la conscience dans le sommeil. Rêver. 1997; 1(3):26-35.
- Alvarado CS. Recent OBE detection studies: A review. Theta. 1982;10:35-37.
- Monroe R. Journeys out of the Body. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1971.
- Rogo DS. Leaving The Body. New York: Prentice Hall, 1986.
- Green C & McCreery C. Apparitions. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1975.
- Alvarado CS. Out-of-Body Experiences. In Cardea E., Lynn SJ, & Krippner S. (eds.) Varieties of Anomalous Experience. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
- Black D. Ekstasy: Out of the Body Experiences. New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1975.
- Palmer J. The out-of-the body experience: A psychological theory. Parapsychology Review, 1978;9(5):19-22.
- Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association, 1994.
- Gabbard GO, Twemlow SW. With the eyes of the mind. New York: Praeger; 1984.
- LaBerge S. Lucid dreaming as a learnable skill: A case study. Perceptual and Motor Skills. 1980;51:1039-1042.
- LaBerge S. Lucid dreaming. Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher; 1985.
- LaBerge S, Levitan L, Brylowski A, Dement W. "Out-of-body" experiences occurring during REM sleep. Sleep Research. 1988;17:115.
- Cline HT. Topographic maps: Developing roles of synaptic plasticity. Current Biology. 1998;8:R836- R839.
- Kaas JH. Topographic maps are fundamental to sensory processing. Brain Research Bulletin. 1997;44:107-112.
- O'Keefe J. A computational theory of the hippocampal cognitive map. Progress in Brain Research.. 1990;83:301-312.
- Llinás R., & Paré D. Of dreaming and wakefulness. Neuroscience. 1991;44:521-535.
- DeGracia DJ & LaBerge S. In the theater of dreams: global workspace theory, dreaming, and consciousness. Consciousness and Cognition. In submission.
- LaBerge S & DeGracia DJ. Varieties of lucid dreaming experience. In Kunzendorf RG and Wallace B (eds), Individual Differences in Conscious Experience. Philadelphia, John Benjamins Publishing Company. In Press 1/99.
- Irwin HJ. Out-of-the-body experiences and dream lucidity. In: Gackenbach J, LaBerge S, eds. Conscious Mind, Sleeping Brain. New York: Plenum; 1988:353-371.
- Salley RD. REM sleep phenomena during out-of-body experiences. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research. 1982;76:157-165.
- Hishikawa Y, Shimizu T. Physiology of REM sleep, cataplexy, and sleep paralysis. Advances in Neurology. 1995;67:245-271.
- Everett HC. Sleep paralysis in medical students. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. 1963;136:283-287.
- Mahowals MW & Schenck CH. Dissociated states of wakefulness and sleep. Neurology. 1992;42:suppl 6:44-52.
- Blackmore S. A postal survey of OBEs and other experiences. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research. 1984;52:227-244.
- Green CE. Out-of-the-body experiences. London: Hamish Hamilton; 1968.
- Poynton JC. Results of an out-of-the-body survey. In: Poynton JC, ed. Parapsychology in South Africa. Johannesburg: South African Society for Psychical Research; 1975.
- Is ESP Perceiving or Remembering? Parapsychology Review. 1979;10(4):23-27.
- Schneck JM. Sleep paralysis and spontaneous hypnotic paralysis. Perceptual and Motor Skills. 1970;31(1):16.
- Spector M, Bourke DL. Anesthesia, sleep paralysis, and physostigmine. Anesthesiology. 1977;46:296-297.
- Glicksohn J. The structure of subjective experience: Interdependencies along the sleepwakefulness continuum. Journal of Mental Imagery. 1989;13(2):99-106.
- LaBerge S, Nagel L, Dement WC, Zarcone V. Lucid dreaming verified by volitional communication during REM sleep. Perceptual and Motor Skills. 1981;52:727-732.
- LaBerge S, Levitan L, Dement WC. Lucid dreaming: Physiological correlates of consciousness during REM sleep. Special Issue: Cognition and dream research. Journal of Mind & Behavior. 1986;7(2-3):251-258.
- Rechtschaffen A & Kales A (Ed). A manual of standardized terminology, techniques and scoring system for sleep stages of human subjects. Los Angeles: Brain Information Service/Brain Research Institute, UCLA, 1968.
- Olson M. The incidence of out-of-body experiences in hospitalized patients. Journal of Near-Death Studies. 1988;6(3):169-174.
- Crookall R. Case-book of astral projection. Seraucus, NJ: University Books, 1972.
- LaBerge S. & Rheingold H. Exploring the world of lucid dreaming. New York: Ballantine Books, 1990.
- Ophiel. The art and practice of astral projection. York Beach, Maine: Samuel Wiser, Inc., 1982.
- Hobson JA. The dreaming brain. New York: Basic Books, 1988.
- Levitan L. A fool's guide to lucid dreaming. NightLight 1994;6:1-5.
- Irwin HJ. Some psychological dimensions of the out-of-body experience. Parapsychology Review. 1981;12:1-6.
- Eysenck MW. Attention and arousal. Berlin: Springer-Verlag; 1982.
- Velasco F, Velasco M, Cepeda C, & Munoz H. Wakefulness-sleep modulation of cortical and subcortical somatic evoked potentials in man. Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology. 1980;48:64-72.
- Alvarado CS. ESP during spontaneous out-of-body experiences: A research and methodological note. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research. 1986;53(804):393-397
- Maguire EA. Hippocampal involvement in human topographical memory: evidence from functional imaging. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London - Series B: Biological Sciences. 1997; 352(1360):1475-80.
LaBerge, S. Lucid dreaming: Psychophysiological studies of consciousness during REM sleep. In Bootzen, R.R., Kihlstrom, J.F. & Schacter, D.L., (Eds.) Sleep and Cognition. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association, 1990 (pp. 109-126).
I didn't say what these were references for.