A new study has shown Chrysalis Not For Profit that the act of forgiveness can reduce the risk of depression in older women, but not in older men.
Metal health in later life
As people age and retire, they face a change in lifestyle that can lead to the development of mental health conditions such as depression. Figures supplied by Mind, a UK mental health charity, indicate that one in five older people living in the community are affected by depression, whilst the same can be said about two in five older people living in homes.
Forgiveness and depression
Experts at the University of Missouri College of Human Environmental Sciences recently decided to look at how the different elements of forgiveness influenced feelings of depression in older adults. Counsel Heal reported that the act of forgiving someone else made it significantly less likely for older women to report feelings of depression.
A study has shown Chrysalis Not For Profit that the act of forgiveness can reduce the risk of depression in older women.
Older men experienced high levels of depression when they felt unforgiven or were forgiven by others, whilst self-forgiveness didn’t prove to be a safeguard against depression. Christine Proulx, a co-author of the study, explained its findings. She said: “When we think about forgiveness and characteristics of people who are forgiving — altruistic, compassionate, empathetic — these people forgive others and seem to compensate for the fact that others aren’t forgiving them.
“It sounds like moral superiority, but it’s not about being a better person. It’s ‘I know that this hurts because it’s hurting me,’ and those people are more likely to forgive others, which appears to help decrease levels of depression, particularly for women.” Proulx added, “self-forgiveness didn’t act as the protector against depression,” because “it’s really about whether individuals can forgive other people and their willingness to forgive others.”
Chrysalis Not For Profit
The challenges of every stage of life can lead to mental health conditions such as depression. Talking therapies like counselling can help people deal with these underlying issues to overcome mental health conditions. By signing up to a range of Chrysalis courses offered by Chrysalis Not For Profit, you can learn how to become a professional counsellor and help people living with mental health conditions.
Established in 1998, Chrysalis Not For Profit is now the UK’s market-leading trainer in talking therapies. We offer creative, enjoyable and relaxed courses, fully accredited by the relevant professional bodies on a part-time basis to fit around your commitments.