Could basic income help avert a mid-life crisis?

depression

Up to 25% of people will experience a mid-life crisis at some point over the age of 35. Whilst often satirised with images of men buying expensive motorcycles, a mid-life crisis is actually a form a depression that affects both men and women, and should be taken seriously.

A mid-life crisis can be characterised by erratic behaviour such as suddenly going to music festivals or wanting to get involved in philanthropy, but these “symptoms” are often manifestations of deeper concerns, such as fading health or the feeling of regret. It would appear that when we reach a certain age we sometimes experience existential worries around our relationships and careers, and this can result in symptoms of depression, where one feels extended bouts of low mood, low energy and hopelessness.

How basic income could help

Despite liberalisation over the past few generations, there are still many social expectations that people may feel coerced to meet. The demands to study, couple-up, acquire property, build wealth and climb the career ladder are all pressures that most people face in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and upwards.

One of the most powerful effects of introducing a minimum monthly basic income is expected to be one of emancipation; to free the mind of the individual and enable them to pursue an array of goals outside of these expected parameters. This means that those feelings of deep regret may not manifest so sharply during middle age.

One of the key symptoms of a middle age crisis is a yearning to feel young, or to go back and address past mistakes or missed opportunities. We believe that introducing a basic income could empower people to live a fuller life from an early age, mitigating a sense of regret in later life. Furthermore, if a person feels that they have underachieved by middle age, a basic income could provide the safety net needed to take their life in another direction and alleviate worries of the future.

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