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Old 10.07.2019, 16:49
Chuff Chuff is offline
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Re: Happy - are you?

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I think the expectation to be happy partly to blame for the massive rise in the number of people being treated for depression in the developed world. In order to be happy I think you also have to be able to endure being unhappy. Being unhappy or sad is not the same as being depressed, and the medicalisation of the language used to describe the normal fluctuation of human emotion is leading to the misdiagnosis of depression.

Half the problem is that these days people expect to be happy and have good mental health, in a similar way that people expect to have good physical health. It's really a first world problem, exacerbated by almost an obsession with mental health; that this thread is there only illustrates the point. Depression is now the most common illness treated by doctors in the UK, in Africa it barely makes the top ten. We're constantly told now what emotions are positive and what are negative, and then trying to interpret these emotions through the medical prism of mental illness. People need to remember that anxiety and stress can be good things that can be used well.
I will agree with you on some stuff here with regards to the effect modern society is having on happiness. In my view:

1) The average (ie: not in poverty) youth of today are imo definitely less resilient to adversity than our parents and their parents were as a result of increasingly liberal values (and I have no problem with liberalism as long as it isn't exaggerated to where people feel huge entitlement) and generally higher and more cushioned standards of living. All you need to do is see the student snowflakes complaining or protesting about the most trivial things such as being spoken harshly to, being told they are not good enough to do X or Y not getting the grades they want etc.

2) The rise of celebrity culture, social media showboating on Instagram and just general portrayal of life in the media leads to unrealistic expectations and aspirations of people. People see others getting rich and successful quickly, travelling the world etc and they don't realise this is not the norm and that it takes damn hard work to attain if you are not extraordinarily beautiful, unusually naturally gifted in something or born with a silver spoon in your mouth.

3) There is so much focus on sex and fame and money that even when people find something good they are looking for the next better thing. It's good to always want to improve yourself, but not if you are never satisfied with what you have. I think this leads to breakdowns in relationships and a general feeling of dissatisfaction.

4) Guidance for diagnosis of actual depression is lacking and has led to a sharp rise in the people being mis-diagnosed with depression and being prescribed anti-depressant, for which the withdrawal from can be a nightmare https://www.bbc.com/news/health-47740396
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