Many of the pharmaceutical companies that we serve produce chemicals and materials used in the production of antidepressant medication. The most commonly prescribed antidepressant class are medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Their most common use of these medications is to treat major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders. While we can provide the staffing, clinical supplies, finance and administration, and project management for the companies we serve, delivering the key to happiness is a different procedure altogether.

It is believed that antidepressants help correct a chemical imbalance in the brain; western medicine can do much for individuals that are afflicted with depression and other mental ailments . Happiness has been a major fascination for scientists, chemists, and mental health professionals alike for decades upon decades. Recently, a Harvard study (that has aged almost 80 years) has shed some light on the subject of longevity and the answer to the question: “What is the secret to happiness?”.

The Harvard Happiness Study

The study began in 1938 – in the midst of the Great Depression – when researchers began to track the health of 268 Harvard sophomores to study the key to healthy and happy lives. Known as part of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, it is one of the longest studies of happiness ever conducted, revealing a plethora of information on adult growth and happiness. All of the surviving research subjects are now in their mid-90s, with only 19 still alive; in fact, one of the original recruits was the late President John F. Kennedy!

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The offspring of the men were also studied, which now include over 1,300 adults, all aged 50-60 presently. The study aimed to show how early-life experiences and economic class affected aging, health, and longevity over time. Some participants became successful doctors, musicians, lawyers, and businessmen, while others fell into alcoholism, mental illness, and less-than-favorable outcomes. Financed by the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Institute of Aging, the study found one variable to be the most relevant in terms of long-lasting happiness: personal relationships.

Relationships: The Key to Happiness

More than anything else: be it fame, money, prestige, education, social class, gender, IQ, or even genes, a strong correlation was found between men’s blooming lives and their healthy relationships with their friends, family, and community. Healthy relationships were even a better predictor of overall physical health at age 50 than cholesterol levels! The people who were most satisfied in their relationships at around age 50 were the healthiest when they hit the age of 80. Those that reported dissatisfaction in their personal relationships with friends and family were also at a higher risk for heart disease, drug addiction, alcoholism, sudden death, and a lowered quality of life.

Happiness research has come quite a way since the 1930s. From physical constitution, to measurements of skulls, to blood DNA testing, biological determinism, and views of genetics, healthy social relationships seem to be the #1 determinant in a happy, fulfilled life. “When the study began, nobody cared about empathy or attachment. But the key to healthy aging is relationships, relationships, relationships.” – George Vaillant

Pharmaceutical Consulting

Pharma Resource Group is a nationwide leader in pharmaceutical resources and services. We offer tactical and logical solutions for a variety of industries and issues with an emphasis on practicality, functionality, and flawless execution. We offer project-based solutions by results-driven practices. We got our start in the pharmaceutical industry, but also serve the academia, automotive, biological, packaged goods, financial, healthcare, IT, government, retail, and nutraceutical industries as well. Contact us at (610) 924-9092.