There are many reasons to be depressed and this blog will be about trying to move up The Happiness Scale a little when it is appropriate. Depression is different from being low on the Happiness Scale but there is some overlap in approach to each of these mental states and perhaps one can, with an effort of will, move away from depression by moving up the Happiness Scale a step. When one is in a pool of despond it is difficult to think and to realize what a better mental state would be as everything hurts and nothing looks good. Look over the Happiness Scale below to understand the approach of increasingly long term human interaction which is intimately related to sustained happiness and the suppression of depression.
Click on the picture to enlarge it for much better readability.
If a person is feeling miserable because of some grievous loss the best approach may be to endure the pain and rework your life without the previously valued object. The horrible loss of your house, a family member, or even a bodily function like hearing can be endured. Over a lifetime many terrible things will have to be adapted to by people. The tragedy followed by the stages of grief have been studied by Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross who posited sequential stages of grief including denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance, which are commonly referred to as the “grief cycle” and this is accepted as normal.
Most normal adults are not presently in a grief cycle because of a recent major traumatic event but are still depressed much of the time without an obvious acute cause. They are feeling what might be called late adolescent gloom. This generally blah feeling can be coped with by most people by simply becoming involved with something which normally interests them and which is mildly challenging. Moving from HAPS~3 Hedonism to HAPS~5 Socialism on the Happiness Scale above is available to most adults most of the time. For example: people when mixing with other people will come into a mildly challenging state just trying to interact and cope with the others. Even walking down a busy sidewalk will automatically create some challenging social interactions and improve most despondent peoples mood. Other people are automatically interesting and challenging. So when a person is at any place on the Happiness Scale and they are feeling lower than they believe they should they can seek out other people one or two steps up on the Happiness Scale and interact with them in a social way as vibrantly as possible. After walking down a street one might up the social interaction by entering a coffee shop and strike up a conversation with some old acquaintances about some subject of mutual interest. Disagreements are inevitable and so the challenging social interaction is inevitable. If all of the persons operate on an acceptable level of social decorum everyone will feel good about the activity. Thus it important to remain civil in these types of interactions and everyone will move towards a central emotional state a little higher than any of them previously had individually.
The higher states of emotional well-being are not usually considered as alleviating gloom but as moving up the Happiness Scale. These people have developed habits of behavior which cultivate a more energetic social interaction and are capable of being more enthusiastic about their situation. These people’s gloom consists of a feeling of not accomplishing as much of their present goal oriented activity as they would wish to be accomplishing. There is an unpleasant feeling but it isn’t the same as adult gloom perhaps a term more like senior ennui would be better.
People at the bottom of the Happiness Scale are struggling with issues of survival and escaping from oppressive situations. They are not even up to feeling depressed they are seeking an immediate absence from the pain which they presently feel. Many of these people when they are of adult age are still unable to enjoy living very much and are claiming the highs, distortions and oblivions associated with drugs to be happiness. But, that level of happiness seems more like an infantile grasping for an absence of pain. They don’t know how to achieve a higher state of pleasure. They believe that feeling warmth, fuzzyness and buzzing is happiness but these are the pleasures of an infantile monkey grasping its mothers warm, hairy body. There are better things mature humans can do and they are the behaviors associated with being higher on the Happiness Scale.
It is easy for people at some point on the scale to see the lower states because they have experienced these miserable conditions personally. But, those people stuck on the lower conditions probably have no experience of the higher ones and don’t know which way to turn to improve their emotional state. How could one possibly explain the pleasures of a Utilitarian state of mind to someone who is struggling to maintain a Hedonistic one and considers the Anarchistic destruction of everything about them as a familiar and desirable type of behavior.
Mood depression is a feeling associated with moving down the Happiness Scale.