Sunday, 1 June 2014

Being depressed and angry as a teenager can affect your love life 25 YEARS later

  • Negative emotions people experience as teenagers have a lasting grip
  • They can affect major life events such as child-rearing and marriage
  • In the long term, they can lead to divorce and domestic violence

Depression and anger that people experience as teenagers can taint their love lives even 25 years later
Depression and anger that people experience as teenagers can taint their love lives even 25 years later
Teenage blues and anger can taint a person's love life a quarter of a century later, according to a new report.
A study is helping to crack the code to happiness by exploring the long reach of depression and anger over more than two decades.
The study, published in the Journal of Family Psychology, followed 341 people for 25 years.
It found that negative emotions they may have suffered as young adults can have a lasting grip on their relationships well into middle age.
The fact that depression and anger experienced during the teenage years clung to people - even through major life events such as marriage, careers and having children - was surprising.
University of Alberta researcher Matthew Johnson, said: 'We assume, or hope, that high school experiences fade away and don't necessarily resonate 25 years later. 
‘The fact that symptoms of depression and expressions of anger can endure over many large events in life shows how important it is to deal with mental health early. 
‘Sometimes, problems don't just dissipate. How you grow and change over those early years becomes crucial to future happiness.’
The research, drawn from a larger study which began in 1985, surveyed 178 women and 163 men through their transition to adulthood from age 18 to 25.
    It then studied them again on their perceived stress levels at age 32, and on the quality of their intimate relationships at age 43, to find out whether anger or depression they may have felt as young adults was still affecting those bonds.
    People who experienced a lot of negative emotions when they are teenagers can be more likely to divorce
    People who experienced a lot of negative emotions when they are teenagers can be more likely to divorce.
    The findings point to the importance of recognising that early mental health does influence couple relationships and that, in turn, can have social costs later on - such as divorce and domestic violence.
    As individuals, people can help themselves by ‘recognising the fact that where they are in their couple relationship now is likely shaped by earlier chapters in their lives,’ Dr Johnson added. 
    ‘It's not only your partner's current behaviour or your current behaviour shaping your relationship, but the story you bring with you.’


    1. It's "the story you bring with you". I really can connect with this idea. I experienced depression as a teen and into my 20's. I can definitely see how my negative emotions affected relationships, and then issues from those relationships found their way into my next ones. It can certainly be an unhealthy cycle, but it is breakable.

    2. I had a tremendously bad start in life and it did carry through and have a major effect but in a way it made me break through and realize I am stronger than my past, stronger than what happened to me.
      I suffered depression, anger, I was volatile and life kept throwing worse circumstances at me. I am now in my 30s and it has taken this long to decide the past has to go. I would say I chose a different path about 3-4 years ago and I am in a much happier place, with my husband of 15 years. It can and nearly did break my marriage but my husband is strong and supportive, not abusive and I think therein lies the secret.
      I understand how lucky I am and only through hard work and self development and understanding has my life improved.

    3. People forever tell me to let go of my past and the pain but how can I when it made me who I am, it IS who I am because I would have had so many chances that I did not have because of my past.
      If I had the family that some of my peers had, maybe I would have achieved what they did too.

    4. Never will I be able to let go of my past and because of that, I know with out a doubt that what happened in my life at 15 will affect me forever.