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  #81  
Old 09.07.2019, 22:33
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Re: Happy - are you?

For example:
https://www.theguardian.com/society/...ment-channel-4 (2012)
https://maps.org/research/mdma (current in 2019)
https://maps.org/research/mdma/anxie...tening-illness (2015)
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Old 09.07.2019, 23:06
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Re: Happy - are you?

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If you - or anyone else here - have/has used MDMA, do you think/feel that it affected your general, overall capacity to feel happy not DURING the trip, but subsequently? Did your brain perhaps learn a pattern you could later recall/access, so you could feel good even when you were not using the drug?
Of course I have not myself but someone I know used to take it during the rave years and it didn’t change them one bit. Happy before, very happy when wasted because their serotonin receptors were going like the clappers, then back to normal after that. They seemed to have turned out alright in the end, I think they even have a family out here.

The only study I remember about mdma being actively bad for you was when they gave it to rabbits and in the end it sent them nuts. The detail revealed they had been given mdma continually for 2 years before going crazy, which isnt that surprising really.
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  #83  
Old 09.07.2019, 23:13
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Re: Happy - are you?

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...they gave it to rabbits and in the end it sent them nuts. The detail revealed they had been given mdma continually for 2 years before going crazy, which isnt that surprising really.
https://youtu.be/xJuyrNeSa-M
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  #84  
Old 09.07.2019, 23:54
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Re: Happy - are you?

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I think people have different ways of measuring happiness and some even tend to classify it into degrees of contentment. Looking only at the grand scheme - crucial moments of one's life, great achievements etc. makes some redefine this concept in a different way than other people.
Others, like myself, who enjoy the little things and what they already have - family, friends, good health, a job, a home, travelling, reading, whatever don't use this term with stinginess, there's nothing exaggerated in my opinion to say you're happy. Ok, if you attribute this word a more profound meaning you can say you're content with your life.

I don't know, can a happiness drug help people with depression other than for a very short term? That's a very slippery slope and wouldn't encourage anyone personally.
It is a bit like Quantum theory; once you start measuring the effects you find the actual act of measuring changes the effects you are measuring-

Same with trying to measure happiness; the more you examine it the more it slips away. Another issue is how do you rate your measurements? I mean there are no independent standards you can compare with! It is all very subjective. Suppose I feel very happy but you might rate the same feelings as ordinarily happy or not?
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Old 10.07.2019, 00:14
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Re: Happy - are you?

Measurements eh?

OH was given 12 mths to live when he was 13. It makes him happy to have grey hair and wrinkles now because he made it this far and many people don't. A decent cup of coffee and good ice cream are among many other things that make him happy.

Our nephew made it just past 25. Every time I make his mum smile or laugh through her eternal pain, I'm doing what I promised him I would, and that makes me happy. We've laughed together a few times today, so it's been a good day.
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  #86  
Old 10.07.2019, 08:48
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Re: Happy - are you?

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It is a bit like Quantum theory; once you start measuring the effects you find the actual act of measuring changes the effects you are measuring-

Same with trying to measure happiness; the more you examine it the more it slips away. Another issue is how do you rate your measurements? I mean there are no independent standards you can compare with! It is all very subjective. Suppose I feel very happy but you might rate the same feelings as ordinarily happy or not?
I agree, it's a fuzzy concept. Apparently there are studies on "happiness" and how people perceive their happiness, which are the things that bring them "happiness" and generally accepted indicators.

I have seen happy people (in my view) who are not checking a lot of those marks. So it's very subjective.

I think it is also a matter of linguistics and communication - in some cultures it's largely expected to keep a positive attitude and share only positive things "How are you?" "I'm great, I'm fantastic" etc. One thing some people notice in certain cultures is that you're not expected to share too much while in others is totally expected to be "sincere"..E.g."How are you?" "Fine, thank you, but my back is hurting and I couldn't sleep well last night so I'm tired and can't wait to get home" "......." Linguistics, communication, societal norms, personal expectations. All of these make the whole idea a bit complicated. I think gratefulness is maybe the right word sometimes. I don't expect myself or others to be in high spirits all the time, or to be always "happy", and positive or whatever. Probably that's one of the reasons some people try drugs and stuff - to get to a phase which they think it's the closest related to being "happy".
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Old 10.07.2019, 10:42
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Re: Happy - are you?

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The thing is, most of those I've ever met, who were experiencing depression, did not fulfil a cliché of a "mad, mentally ill, deranged" person, but also not even of the Hollywood cliché of a person with depression (dirty, miserable looking, groaning and sighing, helpless, complaining, unable to understand a conversation).

I know seriously, life-threateningly depressed people who are barely coping at all, who, if one saw them in a café, at the library or in the movies, would be behaviourally inconspicuous. The days one sees them out there, are in those windows of respite, in which they have dragged themselves up out of bed, scraping together the energy, sometimes with hours and hours of effort, sometimes with gentle, strong support from someone they trust, and lo, there they are, inwardly falling apart, though looking groomed and polite like everyone else. And when they coincidentally bump into their neighbour or their work colleague and say they've been booked off ill, they are met with: "Wow, well you don't look ill!" or a pronouncement over their heads: "Oh, I'm so glad you're feeling better!"
This is like reading the story of my life at the moment.

Many personal situations have occurred in the last couple of years, lastly being my mum's sudden death and I can resonate entirely with what you describe above.

From the outside, I am functioning, doing my job well and maintaining friendships. Inwardly I am dying and struggle every day when I wake up and realise that I haven't passed away peacefully in my sleep. That is what depression is like and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

I have recovered from it once before and will keep on fighting to get through this episode but it is anything but easy. I am yet to be signed off sick and refuse to do so as I know for me it won't be helpful. Not all people who suffer with depression or anxiety use it as a green card to pull a sicky for months on end....most of us actually keep on fighting as we know if we stop we have lost everything.
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  #88  
Old 10.07.2019, 10:53
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Re: Happy - are you?

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I think it is also a matter of linguistics and communication - in some cultures it's largely expected to keep a positive attitude and share only positive things "How are you?" "I'm great, I'm fantastic" etc. One thing some people notice in certain cultures is that you're not expected to share too much while in others is totally expected to be "sincere"..E.g."How are you?" "Fine, thank you, but my back is hurting and I couldn't sleep well last night so I'm tired and can't wait to get home" "......." Linguistics, communication, societal norms, personal expectations. All of these make the whole idea a bit complicated. I think gratefulness is maybe the right word sometimes. I don't expect myself or others to be in high spirits all the time, or to be always "happy", and positive or whatever. Probably that's one of the reasons some people try drugs and stuff - to get to a phase which they think it's the closest related to being "happy".
Yes, there is surely a cultural difference. Also about what is considered as helpful or positively contributory to another's happiness. In Switzerland, for example, discretion is very important, and keeping one's nose out of another's business, not interfering. In some other cultures, this is considered rank neglect and inhumane.

Therefore, to go along with your example above, in some cultures the "How are you?" also necessarily includes: "And how is your mother? Is she still alive? And has your sister recovered after that awful child-birth? Wow, I mean, 36 hours in labour, that must have been hell. You must have been terrified for her. So how is she now? Is she in pain? And has her husband got a job yet?"

In Switzerland, only the closest friends would know the details of someone's sister's labour, in the first place. And if they did, they would unlikly be so pushy, so terribly indiscrete, as to ask after her well-being or her husband's employment (which is, indirectly, talking about money, which is a taboo). They would wait until the person themselves wanted to open up and talk about the situation. Asking would be adding to the private pain, and would potentially make the person feel uncomfortable and unhappy, perhaps even violated: "They were delving into my private, vulnerable matters."

In some other cultures, however, all these questions are PART OF "How are YOU?" because it is natural to assume that YOU, in some way, are COMPRISED OF not only yourself but automatically your mother and your sister and her husband. They ARE you, so therefore it would be rude, callous, unkind and plain disrespectful not to ask how that "arm" or "leg" of your being is doing. In such a cultural context, the enquiry could make one feel seen, understood, cared for and met with a kindness which could make one happy.
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Old 10.07.2019, 11:11
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Re: Happy - are you?

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In Switzerland, only the closest friends would know the details of someone's sister's labour, in the first place. And if they did, they would unlikly be so pushy, so terribly indiscrete, as to ask after her well-being or her husband's employment (which is, indirectly, talking about money, which is a taboo). They would wait until the person themselves wanted to open up and talk about the situation. Asking would be adding to the private pain, and would potentially make the person feel uncomfortable and unhappy, perhaps even violated: "They were delving into my private, vulnerable matters."
.
I broke many taboos with my friends (except the money thing, which I think it's rather taboo in most cultures) and asked them about their family members regularly. Maybe they're atypical Swiss, but didn't mind answering, if not confessing to me themselves before any question. Wait! Is this a sign we're close friends? I thought so, but one always needs a reassurance...

Wonderfully put, doropfiz.
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Old 10.07.2019, 11:34
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Re: Happy - are you?

Oh, no, money is definitely not a taboo in most cultures! In some it is perfectly usual to know, by asking or by having been told by the person themselves or mainly because it is general knowledge anyway, who is poor and who is rich, how much they lack, and how they got into that position.

Also - and I've just checked this, again, with a Real Swiss Person - the Swiss are often glad (relieved, maybe even happy) when someone like you, or like me, breaks through their usual taboos to ask about their personal lives, in a way that their Swiss friends would hesitate to do. Asking can open the doors that, for them, seem to have no handles from within.
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Old 10.07.2019, 13:23
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Re: Happy - are you?

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.
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  #92  
Old 10.07.2019, 13:41
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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 think in principle I agree. I also think I'd use other words for the same principle. Loads of the times we carry on with patterns we were exposed to as kids, these selfdestructive patterns aren't even ours...yet we still feed them. I don't think it is easy to see, that unconstructive ways sometimes for some folks are solely in their own hands while they are busy looking elsewhere or falling into a complete inhibition.

Cyrulnik is a phenomenal French psychiatrist researching the effect of wealth in the modern society on lack of drive, motivation, narcissism and failing personal responsibility and failing to find meaning of self. He is kinda close to Peterson but in more clinical and phenomenological way.

I'd question your stats, though. The fact is that serious malnutrition, shortage of drinking water and epidemies of serious illnesses prevent maybe the system to register unhappiness. Europe is doing well, hence the nuances in diagnostics. Another thing is that poor countries imho show more faith. More faith, less unhappiness? Or maybe the social interractions are not about individualism but collectivity and appartenance...belonging to a group.

I'd say, another research I read did say - more internet means less happiness, more isolation, less real social contact. I think it's pretty true.
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  #93  
Old 10.07.2019, 15:30
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Re: Happy - are you?

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... 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...
Indeed. Depression isn't just a more intense form of sadness. (I'd be happy if it were.)
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Old 10.07.2019, 16:07
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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 am not sure the expectation to be happy is the problem; more the false expectation to be able to live the sort of comfortable life often portrayed in films or television.
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Old 10.07.2019, 16:23
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Re: Happy - are you?

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I am not sure the expectation to be happy is the problem; more the false expectation to be able to live the sort of comfortable life often portrayed in films or television.
I doubt it is TV or movies...but FB (or whatever online thing). Makes people compare themselves to the extreme with normal earthlings (as opposed to fiction, I think flicks don't do it anymore....like books don't), asking themselves "How come this perfect happy FB friend has what I don't." The fact that people purposely craft and create their online personas and online lives...doesn't hit home, always. The simple rules of branding. It is like with online dating - "millions of happy couples" it ain't. Conartists. People get happier when they trust themselves enough to control less. Sounds zen, doesn't it. I don't know much about budhism.
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Old 10.07.2019, 16:28
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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 wonder. I'd be depressed if I didn't have clean water or enough food or could barely pay my bills and wouldn't see any way out of that situation. But who knows how many cases are registered in medical stats in Africa.
I agree with you only on this point - many people don't know anymore how to cope with conditions that are not always optimal. Or with their own emotions. I'm not sure that these are confused with depression by that many, though.
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Old 10.07.2019, 16:49
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Re: Happy - are you?

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I am not sure the expectation to be happy is the problem; more the false expectation to be able to live the sort of comfortable life often portrayed in films or television.
I believe it was some great 20th century philosopher who observed that "A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest."

And so with films and TV -- I don't think of them as mostly offering false expectations of happiness. Sure they do sometimes, but usually when a movie starts by showing a perfect family, full of attractive, charming, successful people, you can be damn sure that within minutes they will be plunged into some nightmare, darker than any experience we are ever likely to have.

In any case, movies are populated by actors. They're not real. And even 'real people' are not very real. If you ever chance upon the British tabloids, you'll know that those grinning celebs with perfect teeth and bodies seem to have private lives trashed by booze or drugs or relationship problems or are threatened by financial ruin.

So it's not a good idea to measure ourselves against figures who pretend to be perfect and happy -- because they rarely are.

For my own part, I've got happier as I've got older. Every decade seems to be better than the last. In part this is because I have more money and more control, but some of it is undoubtedly down to experience -- just learning how to deal with the knocks, and (regarding happiness) working out what's worth focusing on and what isn't.
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Old 10.07.2019, 16:49
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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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Old 10.07.2019, 16:58
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Re: Happy - are you?

Loz's post made me think of entitlement, too. I guess those who expect outside factors to make them happy from some kind of entitlement, usually end up unhappy, even if they get what they feel they are entitled to. So next to gratitude, there would be...not sure, modesty. Or merit. Anticipation when we work for something. Although today I am super happily eating fantastic avocados . Simple things.
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Old 10.07.2019, 17:38
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Re: Happy - are you?

@Pachyderm

with films and TV I was not thinking about perfect families...

More about the fact that many people live with very limited means but in films and TV no matter how dire the situation the people always seem to have enough money to get drunk in a bar, eat in a nice restaurant, stay in a hotel, go on holiday, take a taxi home, etc.
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