The Defy Aging Newsletter

Anti-aging psychology, holistic health, and wellness

a biweekly e-mail newsletter for helping you think, feel, look, and be more youthful and live with purpose.

Number 134

This issue:

Outgrowing Depression


Realize that many people outgrow depression.


Last November Woody Allen turned seventy and lamented "Getting joy and having a kind of wisdom in your golden years--it's all tripe." Years on an analyst's couch never helped him grow up or even resist marrying his stepdaughter. Woody's remarks don't fit with recent research findings.Dr. Laura Carstensen at Stanford University had 184 people ages 18 to 94 carry pagers and fill out questionnaires when beeped. Older participants reported about the same number of positive emotions as younger participants but far fewer negative emotions. There was a clear trend from young adults to seniors. Aging brought fewer negative thoughts. You could say people tend to outgrown depression.

The reasons for the change are speculative. Perhaps they have adjusted expectations and are not so hard on themselves. Perhaps they appreciate and savor life more. I like to think of it as more maturity. In any case, it's a nice perk that goes with aging.


Concern should drive us into action and not into depression.


The simple solution for disappointment depression: Get up and get moving. Physically move. Do. Act. Get going.

~Peter McWilliams


A psychology professor quizzed his class: "How would you diagnose a someone  who walks back and forth screaming at the top of his lungs one minute, then sits in a chair weeping uncontrollably the next?" A young man in the rear raised his hand and answered, "A basketball coach?"

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