Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Is happiness overrated?


Lately HAPPINESS has consumed my thoughts.  It could be because I have not been truly happy in five years.  And I wonder, as I am frowned down upon by family and society, if being happy is really 'normal'.  Everyone says I need to be happy...but do I?

We all know that people aren't as they seem.  Behind closed doors people who look happy might be miserable.  So why should I have to constantly put up a front to hide my feelings?   Is it to make other people feel better?  Is it because my mood effects so many others?  Don't get me wrong, I loved how I felt when I was happy.  I hope that I could be again.  Being unhappy is utterly miserable, but it is easier said than done to reverse that feeling.  At times I would rather just give up and move away to start over than to actually deal with it.  I know that is cowardly, but stewing in depression isn't helping either.  Something needs to change, and I think it would be easier to walk away then to fix it.

I have not tried anti-depressants yet, but using chemical substances to make you less un-happy seems like it somewhat defeats the purpose as well.  Even on anti-depressants, is one happy?  I was so against taking medication four years ago that I refused to agree to it.  I figured I had to work my way out by myself and not be dependant on a drug, and I hoped that in the long run, it would work so well that I would be fixed permanently.  Four years later my depression spell seems to be worse than it has been in three years and I wonder if I made the wrong choice - that I should have tried those happy pills and have been done with it.  The side effects can't be much worse than living in a fog, crying every other day, withdrawn feelings, un-motivation and of course lack of sex drive (also side effect from med).

Getting yourself out of a depression is hard.  You know it is there.  And you know you don't like it.  But you don't want to do anything to fix it.  You even know you deserve to be happy - but it seems like such a far fetched concept.

If you have been in similar situation, what has worked for you?


  1. I have done therapy. I have done anti-depressants. I don't think the anti-depressants really did much for me; however, I do know that they have worked wonders for others.

    Currently, I am seeing a Psychologist and doing cognitive-behavioral therapy: addressing my inaccurate thinking patterns and changing my resulting maladaptive behaviors.

    I think it's important to be content - not necessarily happy. I don't think it's good to be unhappy... it takes work to not be unhappy (for some people) - but it is worth trying to at least be content.

    Good luck.

  2. I clicked over here because your name is Denise too, and that gives me weird joy. I was surprised to find that you too are going through depression. I've started seeing a therapist and decided to set small goals for myself.

    Depression for me means there is no end in sight, nothing can possibly get better, so why try? This is why I think setting small goals will be a good way to increase my motivation without becoming overwhelmed.

    Taking anti-depressants isn't what you're saying it is. Depression can be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain caused by any number of things. It's like being lactose intolerant. Some peoples hormones and chemical composition are imbalanced and imperfect, why not let modern medicing help your body function normally? Don't see it as giving up, see it as taking a step in the right direction to make yourself feel better.

  3. I've been on and off anti-depressants since I was 9. They tend to work well for me. If you have ongoing depression, you'd probably benefit from medicinal therapy. Being depressed from a breakup is one thing... being depressed for 5 years is another. At the very least, I'd suggest seeing a therapist.

    I also think the meds are more effective when you make a conscious effort to fill your life with things that make you happy. Like, right now, I'm SO bored with my life; yearning to be finished with school, have a carrier, my own place, and a better social life. But I'm not balling my eyes out at night because I have lost all hope (which is normally what I do when I'm depressed).

    Depression is a dark, lonely, scary, all consuming battle. If you ever need to vent, or want to talk about it, please don't be afraid to email me. I'd be happy to just listen, or give encouragement. I hope you get through this. I wouldn't wish depression on the devil.