What do you think about mental health?


So are we destined to be unhappy?

Is it me, or is unhappiness becoming more and more widespread? Show me a street and I will show you gloomy people where a smile is as rare as integrity in politicians. When I lived near a rail station one hour’s commuting time from London, I would often be on my way back from the gym as the 7pm arrival brought in hundreds of gloomy-faced commuters. Heads down; shoulders’ hunched; grim-faced; trudgery in motion. You’d think they were on their way to their execution.
Although modern life, in the West, at least, has ticked more and more boxes of human endeavour  — better health care, greater longevity, higher standards of education, instant communication world-wide, access to more knowledge in one day than we will even need in an entire lifetime; we are more widely travelled, and, tellingly, generally enjoy far greater prosperity. We don’t have to make do with our parents’ choice of marriage partners from the neighbouring village; and if our relationship doesn’t work out, we can quickly move onto another. We can, and do, seek employment or business opportunities from a global choice of offerings, rather than be limited to what’s available in the local neighbourhood.

Continue reading “So are we destined to be unhappy?”

The Quest for Happiness

Is the quest for happiness the ultimate endeavour? Why is happiness so elusive? Is it feasible to assume happiness can be sustained?
Although some people are happy much of the time, most others are mostly sad. Some are downright gloomy. There’s a word for that: dysphoria.
Might it be that it’s less a case of unhappiness is inevitable; could it be depression is widespread. Why do so many people seem unable to achieve or sustain a state of happiness? After all we were not “given” a pervading sense of gloom. Similarly we don’t “get” depression; I really think we DO depression. We create it. Our body language slumps; our speech and mind slows; we focus on what keeps us miserable. And we sit down, feel sorry for ourselves, push friends and family away, and the deepening spiral looms, in which depressive thoughts lead to lower mood.
Of course,  that’s not to say anyone can be immune from the impact of a stressful or traumatic event. Such will inevitably be a factor in triggering sadness and anxiety.
But we may also be instrumental in maintaining that state. Most people assume that some are “born” lucky and others were not.