Published November 29, 2014 22 Comments
Keith Gottschalk says
November 29, 2014 at 7:01 am
I would settle for a decent intelligent conversation but most of the time that’s out of reach. Happiness? That’s a room without a door.
November 29, 2014 at 7:02 am
THIS. ENTIRE. COMIC. Seriously, this is one of those that those who don’t have Depression or Anxiety will ever understand. I also have Schizoid PD, and I have given up trying to be happy ever. I have decided to seek peace, calm, and quiet, and even just getting a few moments of that in life is difficult.
Kelly Ravine Young says
November 29, 2014 at 8:25 am
I hate it when people tell you to ‘just be happier’.
Jonnett Walker says
November 29, 2014 at 8:31 am
“you have to choose happiness ” :-/
Hillary A. Dennison says
November 30, 2014 at 7:18 am
Yup! As if I am CHOOSING to feel like shit.
Brenna Smith says
November 29, 2014 at 8:57 am
I would if it were that easy!
Tytti Salo says
November 29, 2014 at 9:31 am
I had similar thoughts today.
Daniel Walker says
November 29, 2014 at 9:47 am
Since it’s partly relevant and came up for me recently enough to still be in my recently closed tabs: http://www.cracked.com/blog/the-5-most-useless-pieces-advice-everyone-gives/
Corey Johnson says
November 29, 2014 at 3:10 pm
you guys ever check out actualized .org vids on youtube? very no bs approach to beating depression, dood has a qurky personality but it grew on me.
November 29, 2014 at 3:51 pm
I call these people the ‘power of positive thinkers’ and their trite, cliche sayings seem endless.
Andrew Henderson says
November 29, 2014 at 3:56 pm
As much as I understand and agree with the point of the comic, I have to argue the phrasing of the first panel. Granted, I haven’t read the study, so I can’t say for sure that the researchers didn’t make that claim, but the phrasing to me feels like it’s saying, to use an analogy, that poor people are poor because they focus on money, where in reality, it’s more likely that they focus on money because they don’t have much of it, and need to make it last by not spending it on extraneous purchases, and generally living paycheck to paycheck.
I feel that that’s what it’s like with happiness, or whatever positive emotional states one wishes to ascribe to the ill-defined and abstract notions of “happiness”; it’s not that focusing on happiness makes one unhappy, it’s that people who are happy rarely dwell on their happiness, and people who are unhappy dwell on its’ lack. That dwelling doesn’t exactly help matters, but it’s not in any way the cause, but instead a symptom.
El Rex says
November 30, 2014 at 2:28 am
Although I dont know. Maybe it’s not true, but I always imagined people who have lots of money dwelling on it a lot but then again, I never met any.
November 30, 2014 at 7:47 am
You can search for the study on PubMed (“Can seeking happiness make people unhappy?”, the full text is free! ^_^ ) and the researchers indeed claim that actively seeking happiness and constantly evaluating whether you are happy enough can lead to unhappiness. I don’t have the patience to read the article right now (1 am here…) but there you have it.
Naturally this doesn’t mean that mental illnesses would stem from this or that all of them could be cured just by shifting this life goal. But be it a symptom or a learned behavior pattern (or a vicious cycle of them both), interpretations on feelings can cause suffering. If I recall correctly, there is also research on trying to avoid or silence negative thoughts, and it indeed seems to make the thoughts a lot nosier and noisier… There is this entire psychotherapy school (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) with mindfulness practices that aims to alleviate problems like this (huge hit here in Finland), I believe the book that I’m currently reading about it was mentioned two comics back in the comments. 🙂
Raeven Irata says
December 5, 2014 at 7:25 am
I am inclined to agree with Andrew Henderson. That’s what I would think too (although I’m not very knowledgeable). I would say people dwell on happiness because they aren’t happy (like in pane 2), not vice versa.
Tiamat Noricum says
November 30, 2014 at 3:04 am
Conversations like this brings the mental serial killer out of me o.ò
December 2, 2014 at 12:11 am
Seems to hit a raw nerve with a load of other people here as well.
Sister Latch Key says
December 13, 2014 at 4:54 am
This is great! I think artsy/depression folks should join forces and go more mainstream with a tv show or something involving the lives of people with depression and how much we have to do just to make it through a day.
December 16, 2014 at 6:01 pm
For some reason, the expression on the last panel’s woman reminds me of the swearing friend, and the approach is equally effective on depression.
December 16, 2014 at 6:06 pm
The odd time the Sexy Losers style slips in. The swearing friend did make a cameo in this comic a few strips back. Other cameos include Yuko Ishida, Dr. Lovetalk, Goth Chick, and Shiunji Watanabe.
December 29, 2014 at 10:42 pm
Neko Seabridge says
May 9, 2015 at 6:02 pm
ugh the “just cheer up” fine.. show me how then?
Fabian Melendez says
November 12, 2015 at 7:59 pm
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