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Still Waters

Apes have midlife crises too

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Human behaviour studies have revealed the well-established trend that our level of happiness declines after childhood until middle age, when we gradually begin to feel more content again.

Now researchers have found that the same "u-shaped" pattern is also seen among chimpanzees and orang-utans, who are most satisfied with life in their earliest and latest years but reach a "nadir" in middle age.

http://www.telegraph...crises-too.html

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Whew! Then it's not just me then. :)

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In your early years you are so happy out of ignorance, then in your middle years you have figured out what is really going on, then in your later years you really don't give a crap and get on with your life.

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That is a curious finding surely demanding of more research and explanation. I would tend to go with the possibility that this has something to do with brain development and identity? There has to be a biological connection, because a primate's mid life comes much sooner than a human mid life. That means there has to be an internal clock. A human brain is not fully developed until around age 25, but even at this point there are physical changes in the brain, depending on how the brain is used, with some areas of the brain becoming strong and others atrophying if not used. Around age 30 it is said our sense of identity becomes fixed, but our roles in life change as we become parents, move from new employee to manager, our children leave home, etc. Each change forces us to think about who we are and how we "should" behave, but there is a self, an ego that experiences these changes. We end up in old bodies with young people inside, thinking, "well, this is interesting, how did I get here?"

I vividly remember wondering if there isn't some more to life. If I should change my life in some major way, before it is too late!. Laugh, middle age is that panic, and finally accepting our lives are what they are. This can involve a grieving as we let go of the past and dreams that will never be fulfilled. If primates do this too, they care more complex than we have imagined. I remember a lot of stress and discontent during this time. Finally, and perhaps for biological reasons, indicted by the research, all that didn't matter any more. Yes, I would say I enjoy a freedom from all that, and happiness is now that piece of chocolate I probably shouldn't eat, not a desire for the great house I do not have. I don't have the energy to chase those dreams, and this may explain why we settle for that piece of chocolate? Many old women, love dressing to be comfortable instead of a need to be attractive. It is like when I was young life was something outside of me and I was driven to get it. Now I am full of life. That equals contentment and happiness with our little sins, such as an after noon nap. I can see how this could happen for other social animals as well.

I like the self examination triggered by this thread. Perhaps our goal should be to be in harmony with life? What if we entered the very trying years, knowing we will naturally feel better about our lives, regardless of what we do or don't achieve. Would this knowledge make it easier to get through the more challenging time? Hum, perhaps not. Letting go of dreams was not easy, but accepting life as it is, is wonderful. On second thought, thank social decisions that mean I have a very comfortable life, compared to being homeless. I don't think I would be happy if I were on the streets. Many more disabled and older people would be homeless if it were not things Social Security and assistance programs. Hum, experiment, to what degree might happiness depend on the quality of civilizations, and having a good position in that civilization? Do these animals do was well in later years in the wild?

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In your early years you are so happy out of ignorance, then in your middle years you have figured out what is really going on, then in your later years you really don't give a crap and get on with your life.

I can't figure out the like button. It turns to dislike when pressed, and I am not understanding how that can register as a positive reaction to a post? Whatever, I like what you said. You said it all very efficiently.

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In your early years you are so happy out of ignorance, then in your middle years you have figured out what is really going on, then in your later years you really don't give a crap and get on with your life.

Ain't that the truth.

I can remember back to when I was about 10 years old, often wondering why adults were grumpy all the time. Now I understand why, 12 years later.

We aren't truly free.

You feel that yearning in your heart that needs to be quenched. Maybe once you're old enough, get a good job, buy a nice house and live in peace and security. But it never happens. You never see your dreams come to fruition. Before you know it, you've grown old, you're in debt, can't pay those goddamned taxes, and those who are corrupt, own all of the great land, live in large mansions with a private yacht or plane, have the money to send their kids to the greatest schools, can waste money on gambling or strip clubs, and live life large, and we are left with the burden.

Something is wrong, here.

Edit: Typo.

Edited by Insaniac

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HEY GANG>>>>>>>>>>>>> PLEASE DONT WORRY ABOUT OLD AGE >>>WHY YOU SAY ?>>>>>> WELL IT DOSEN,T LAST LONG :innocent: ..... HOWEVER ... YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE TO CHANGE THE WIND DIRECTION ..BUT YOU CAN ADJUST YOUR SAILS.............THE NURSE IS COMING DOWN THE HALL ... GOTTTA GO :tu: >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> IT,S NOT THE COUGH THAT CARRIES YOU OFF,,, IT,S THE COFFIN THEY CARRY YOU OFF IN >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> :alien:

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I can't figure out the like button. It turns to dislike when pressed, and I am not understanding how that can register as a positive reaction to a post? Whatever, I like what you said. You said it all very efficiently.

After you click the like button it turns to unlike, so that if you change your mind afterwards you can undo the like you've just given.

I hope that helps :)

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With apes being primates, It would not surprise me that they have an "end-of-life" syndrome.

Manifested as their health goes south during and after "middle age"

Edited by pallidin

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What's next. Erectile Dysfunction for apes.

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What's next. Erectile Dysfunction for apes.

Well, I'm sure that happens too for some of them.

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Aw .. i hope this doesn't manifest in some driving red convertibles with girl ape passengers half their age .

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Whoever comes up with articles like this has a lot of free time on their hands.

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