Bah, Happiness: Gloom Is Normal

Sadness is a normal emotion, not a disease, cries anti-joy crowd
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2008 8:06 AM CST
Bah, Happiness: Gloom Is Normal
Bah, happiness. Growing numbers of people are wallowing in the normalcy of sadness and melancholy.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Maybe you're feeling a little down—not to worry! Turn to self-help books, psychiatrists, little blue pills, or Dr. Phil to make you happier! But in Against Happiness, melancholy Eric Wilson rails against our culture’s “craven disregard for the value of sadness.” And a growing wave of morose-minded thinkers is joining the anti-happiness bandwagon, Newsweek reports.

Thanks to modern society, sadness has become a disease to be treated, with plenty of perfectly normal human reactions falling under the clinical definition of depression. But like all emotions, melancholy has an evolutionary purpose, driving exploration and change. Since Aristotle, great minds have been driven by unhappiness to rethink the status quo. “The happy man is a hollow man,” Wilson muses. (Read more psychiatry stories.)

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