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Everyone Is Miserable: Here's What We Can Do About It

What we need to be Happy

What we need to be Happy

Depression is caused by the lack of what we need to be happy:

  • We need to belong to a group. 
  • We need to be valued by other people.
  • We need to know that we are good at something.
  • We need to know we are secure in our future.

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Everyone Is Miserable: Here's What We Can Do About It

Everyone Is Miserable: Here's What We Can Do About It

https://www.fastcompany.com/40527184/everyones-miserable-heres-why-and-what-we-can-do-about-it

fastcompany.com

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Key Ideas

Unhappiness vs Depression

Unhappiness and depression are on the same platform. They both are caused due to our disconnection from what makes us happy.

What we need to be Happy

Depression is caused by the lack of what we need to be happy:

  • We need to belong to a group. 
  • We need to be valued by other people.
  • We need to know that we are good at something.
  • We need to know we are secure in our future.

Soul-Destroying Work

If the work you're doing isn't meaningful, people are bound to get anxious, depressed and unhappy. The most stress-inducing is the work that is monotonous and boring.

Meaningful Values

To be happy, we need to have meaningful values:

  • Avoid materialism and consumerism.
  • Find lost connections with nature and people.
  • Be more giving.
  • Avoid social media
  • Live by basic values like loving your friends and family, and doing what we love.

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Depression and medication

Doctors for long treated depression as something inside your brain, which can be treated with meds, with no outside influence.

Certain exceptions (like losing a loved one and this leadi...

Isolated diagnosis

To treat someone who seemingly has depression, while isolating this from any other situation, event or circumstance that might have triggered it is a flawed way to diagnose a potential mental illness.

The root cause of the problem of depression is not addressed in this way.

Happy pills

Antidepressant prescription and eventually their doses have doubled over the past decade, yet depression and anxiety are spiraling out of control.

The real cause of depression does not seem to be completely inside our heads, and pill-popping is just a stop-gap measure, which may even be harmful.

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Effects of ordinary medication

There’s emerging evidence that ordinary medications - from paracetamol to antihistamines, statins, asthma medications, and antidepressants - can change our brains. They can make us impulsive...

The crisis of over-medication
  • The US buys an equivalent of 298 paracetamol tablets per person every year.
  • The average American consumes $1,200 worth of prescription medications over the same period.
  • In the UK, one in 10 people over the age of 65 takes eight medications every week.
Statins and personality changes 
  • People with lower cholesterol levels are more likely to die violent deaths.
  • If you put primates on a low-cholesterol diet, they become more aggressive. Lowering animals’ cholesterol seems to affect their levels of serotonin. Even fruit flies start fighting if you interfere with their serotonin levels.
  • Studies have linked serotonin levels in people to violence, impulsivity, suicide, and murder.
  • In a randomized controlled trial, statins were found to increase aggression in post-menopausal women though, oddly, not in men. Giving statins to Nile tilapia made them more confrontational and altered the levels of serotonin in their brains.

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The "kindness pandemic"

Viruses aren’t the only things that spread through networks of people. Attitudes and behaviors do too. And we should take advantage of it. 
Spreading happiness and kindness right now is ...

Spreading connection

70% of our happiness comes from your relationships with other people. And the social distancing situation has left some with zero people around them. 
So reach out. Extended time without social contact is bad: Send a text, make that phone/video call, anything you want to let people know you care and are thinking about them.

Spreading help

Ask people if they need anything.  There are people out there in need of a little more than well wishes right now. And when people see others helping, they’re more likely to help. 

Also, if you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it.

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