There is no evidence to suggest that the ideas presented in this book can treat depression or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Or any condition related to anxiety.
If you suffer depression it is unlikely that this book will assist you.
This book’s main aim is to discover what makes a healthy person happy and unhappy. It’s about the natural state of happiness and it takes an evolutionary approach. It’s a philosophy book. However, in the process of identifying the keys to happiness it has also become a ‘self help’ book for people (not suffering depression) wanting to be a little happier.
I like to think that if someone grew up applying most of the keys listed in this blog, that person would be less likely to become depressed later in life. But I have no idea if that’s the case. I certainly don’t claim it to be so.
If you are suffering depression or from anxiety I am concerned that if you try to apply the ideas in this book, and they fail to help, you might blame yourself. I don’t want that.
I feel for you, and am comforted a little by the knowledge that the healthcare professionals continue to find ways of treating those illnesses, and that one day those illnesses will be curable.
To those of you suffering, I fervently hope you soon find relief and live an enjoyable life.
What is depression?
It’s an illness, so to expect a depressed person to cheer up would be like expecting you to flap your arms and fly. And, to expect a depressed person to read a few ‘happy keys’ and become well again is also naive and simplistic. Depression is an illness in the same way pneumonia is an illness – it’s not the person’s fault.
The symptoms? People afflicted can’t become interested in anything; just existing is a battle. They are unable to take pleasure in any activity. They sleep poorly or sleep too much. They may dwell on the idea of suicide or on death in general. They are chronically sad or anxious or empty. Often they feel anger; always despair.
One form of depression is bipolar disorder. Sufferers experience dramatic mood swings from energetic euphoria to listless, pervasive despair.
Some people don’t realise they are depressed because to them it seems normal. “It’s the way I have always felt,” they’ll tell you.
And some sufferers develop coping strategies unhelpful in the long run. Alcohol, for example.
If you know anyone with symptoms of depression or bipolar disorder, talk with them about how they feel. If you think they may be depressed, persuade them to see the school’s counsellor or a good doctor, one they feel comfortable with. A psychologist can introduce the sufferer to different ways of thinking. Medication from a psychiatrist can provide relief.
If you are in Australia, contact:
Beyond Blue: 1300 22 46 36, or
Lifeline 13 11 14 or
Salvo Care Line 1300 36 36 22.
If you are in the U.S.A. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline,
toll free: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
If you live in another country, would you care to leave your nation’s Suicide Prevention Body details in the Comment section below?