Women more unhappy than men until their mid-80s when they’re widowed and retired

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Women more unhappy than men until their mid-80s when they’re widowed and retired

Nicole Morley

Women more unhappy than men until their mid-80s when they're widowed
Women don’t tend to be as happy as men until they reach the age of 85 (Picture: Getty)

Women are more miserable than men for almost their entire lives, an NHS survey has found.

Their happiness is only equal to levels reported in men when women reach their mid-80s and are more likely to be retired or widowed.

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The research found that Brits are reporting consistent unhappiness at every age, with women more likely to suffer with severe issues.

Around 28% of women aged between 16 and 24 suffer mental health problems, which is almost double that reported by men of the same age.

Dean of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Dr Kate Lovett, suspects the decline of unhappiness and mental health issues can be, at least in part, attributed to the burdens traditionally placed on women.

She says that women under 65 are traditionally ‘still more likely to bear the brunt of domestic and caring responsibilities’, while a decade or so on responsibilities such as caring for children, partners, or elderly relatives tend to be removed.

Women are more miserable than men until their mid-80s when they are widowed Credit: Getty
Responsibilities such as caring are often removed in older age (Picture: Getty)

Dr Lovett said: ‘Men who are single, widowed or divorced are more vulnerable to developing depression and men who are in this age bracket may be more likely to be on their own.

‘Paradoxically married women are often more likely to develop depression.’

The survey of 8,000 people found that 24% of women aged 45 to 54 have mental health issues.

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The percentage of women with mental health problems bad enough to be considered a disorder remains at around the same level until they approach 65, when it drops to 16%. And then it drops to 14% in women over 85.

Men, meanwhile, suffer a jump in unhappiness over the age of 85, when 19% suffer mental health issues, report The Times.

The NHS survey asked a dozen questions on respondents’ level of anxiety, confidence, depression, happiness and sleeping patterns.

More: UK

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