There is much research about personality development and childhood. The onset of many mental disorders and illnesses, will occur in early adulthood. Studies are done to link certain childhood personality traits with the manifestation of the illness in adulthood. Conversely, there is much research into the onset of aged onset dementia, Alzheimer's and the like.

With the exception of the Mid Life Crisis, I have not seen much research on the onset of mental disorders or mental illness in adults during midlife, or approx. 35-50 years. What studies are there investigating major personality changes later in a person's life?
An example could be the percentage of new diagnoses of "a particular illness" for 35-50 year old age group.

I am not interested in an ongoing illness that was diagnosed as a younger adult and is still occurring during this age group. I am interested in the first time onset of an illness in an individual during these years.


I am not a professional, but it is my understanding that it is common for major depression to not show up in adults until the age of 30 to 60 years old; see for example, Table 2 of Lifetime Prevalence and Age-of-Onset Distributions of DSM-IV Disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication, Mood Disorders - Major Depressive Disorder. Overall, the most likely age group for any disorder to present itself is the years 30-44.

The beginning of the paper states: "Little is known about lifetime prevalence or age of onset of DSM-IV disorders". The study included 9282 participants.

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    $\begingroup$ That seems like an excellent find, and quite surprising to me because what I've noticed is that the 20-somethings seem to deal with more powerful emotions and talk more about suicide than older people. I had thought it was due to higher hormone levels coupled with less life-experience. As people age, hormone levels drop and people seem to mellow-out. I'm not sure if that correlation is linked or just coincidental though. Just my 2 cents. Anyway, I think this answer is useful and interesting. $\endgroup$ – Randy Aug 14 '13 at 1:26
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    $\begingroup$ @Randy My understanding is that one may have an inherited predisposition to a particular disorder (or disorders), such as major depression. But the person may not show any symptoms of the disorder until there is some significant trigger, for example in the case of depression, the loss of a child. $\endgroup$ – tcrosley Aug 14 '13 at 7:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Skippy When I think of the phase "I hate my life and wish I was dead", its hard for me to imagine anyone over 30 saying it. The people who say this most seem to be the ones with the most going for them. They have their youth, health, and long future ahead. On the other hand, we have older people who crossed the peak who are dealing with a new grey hair each day, wrinkles, a spare tire forming, clogged arteries, family members are dying, maybe a dead-end job, etc, etc and yet, these are happier people. This is just what I've noticed and not nearly includes 9282 participants. $\endgroup$ – Randy Aug 14 '13 at 7:30
  • $\begingroup$ @tcrosley That could be. I don't know that much about it to say. In light of what I read in this article which may be of interest to you and Skippy thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2010/01/28/… I can't help but to wonder what the "malformation" in the brain would be that is inherited, since it doesn't appear to be serotonin related. $\endgroup$ – Randy Aug 14 '13 at 7:35
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    $\begingroup$ @Skippy no problem $\endgroup$ – tcrosley Sep 10 '13 at 18:32

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