In Midlife, Boomers are Happy—And Suicidal

Patricia Cohen’s June 13th, New York Times article, “In Midlife, Boomers are Happy—And Suicidal” highlighted a conundrum. A major study found that those 50 and over are experiencing greater happiness than they did earlier, and another major study found that the suicide rate is increasing for that group. Let me offer one possible explanation. Those in that age group had high expectations for their careers, their relationships, their lives. For some, their dreams were blindsided. We cannot underestimate the power of unmet dreams—what I label non-events. They can lead to despair and in some cases even suicide. Of course it is never one thing alone that pushes one over the edge but experiencing a non-event or non-events can add to the mix.

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