Saturday, April 26

Happiness Is Overrated

In his new book Against Happiness, writer and professor Eric Wilson argues that there is a vital need for sadness in the world and says we're missing out if we medicate it away.

Jerome Wakefield, a professor at New York University School of Medicine, co-authors The Loss of Sadness: How Psychiatry Transformed Normal Sorrow into Depressive Disorder with Allan V. Horwitz.

He wants to be clear that he is not "romanticizing" clinical depression and that he believes it is a serious condition that should be treated. But he worries that today's cornucopia of antidepressants — used to treat even what he calls "mild to moderate sadness" — might make "sweet sorrow" a thing of the past.

"And if that happens, I wonder, what will the future hold? Will our culture become less vital? Will it become less creative?" he asks.

(Exerpts from: In Defense of Sadness: Happiness Is Overrated)

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