When is Unhappiness a Good Thing?

Does the mental health system have it wrong?

Mental health experiences, like depression and anxiety, are common for most people. In reality, it is rare if a person has not experienced some depression and anxiety.

Feeling sad is normal. And so is feeling anxious.

Is it healthy to feel sad or to feel anxious?

“By taking the common human experience of unhappiness out of the shadows and acknowledging its existence,
we begin to reduce its power. At first it is nothing but painful to say, “I am profoundly unhappy.” The words cut to the quick. They seem to come with a life sentence and allow no room for anything sweet or hopeful. But the gloom can lift.” Eric Maisel

Sadness and anxiety are part of the experience of being alive. In my experience, feeling some amount of discouragement or having an occasional day where I feel overwhelmed or even hopeless is not a bad thing. Three years ago, I experienced a long year of depression. It taught me that difficult emotions are part of being alive.

When a person can no longer function because of an experience of depression or anxiety, that is often when they need mental health (and in some cases medical) support. They may feel unable to work, talk or open up, unable to live out their normal activities, or they feel dead or numb or so overwhelmed that they do not have the energy to move. Articles like this can help, but they are never enough. These situations need professional care and support.

Recovery is possible for anyone. Even when we face things that are so dark, so bad that we feel it will never end. We can learn to see that even when our situation feels so dark, there are moments that are lighter. By being willing to look, and open up to it, we can find the light in even the darkest day.

When we are in the middle of things, it can be so difficult to see. But there is always a way forward.

What do you think?

Is it healthy to feel some anxiety and some depression? Have you faced a situation where you had the courage to admit to yourself, “I am profoundly unhappy with my life right now”? I’d like to hear how that experience has changed you.

Source for quote: “Rethink Depression,” Page 58-59 | JULY/AUGUST 2012,  naturalsolutionsmag.com

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Keep it Real

Photo by Alexandre Croussette on Unsplash


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