Older adults who are angry have worse health than older adults who are sad.
About one quarter of people age 65 and over feel clinically depressed. More than half of visits to the doctor by older adults involve complaints of emotional distress. And depression is a primary cause of decline in quality of life related to health for older adults, according to a recent study
. You might assume that being sad is causing health issues in the over-65 population. However, new research published in Psychology and Aging
suggests that it’s not sorrow that’s the culprit, but anger.
"As most people age, they simply cannot do the activities they once did, or they may experience the loss of a spouse or a decline in their physical mobility and they can become angry," said Meaghan A. Barlow, MA, of Concordia University, lead author of the study. "Our study showed that anger can lead to the development of chronic illnesses, whereas sadness did not.”