Artificial Happiness

Watching an old episode on C-SPAN 2 Book TV, the Author whom spoke about his latest book was awkwardly impassive. In addition, he bungled several words. Fortunately, the subject matter presented kept my attention. The book title, “Artificial Happiness” by Dr. Ronald W. Dworkin. Artificial happiness can be described as anti-depressants given by physicians, when perhaps unnecessary. Dependency on addicting substances. Or an excessive indulgency in various exercises to naturally enhance endorphins. Dr. Dworkin promptly made a distinction regarding clinical depression and unhappiness. Possibly the Author was anxious not to appear as another Tom Cruise - Scientologist, demoting psychology and psychiatry medication. Basically, clinical depression is long term and unhappiness is short term. Essentially, Dr. Ronald W. Dworkin depicted a woman, whom during an interpersonal relationship - wasn’t happy. Her physician treated her with Prozac. After a year on the medication, she did not become any happier. Understandably, she quit taking the pills. Still unhappy, she left her boyfriend. Asked if she wasn’t medicated a year ago, might she had left him? She answered, “Yes, and perhaps I may not have wasted a year of my life, in the process.

I am uncertain how enjoyable or helpful the book” Artificial Happiness” will or can be. Perchance another Reader will inform us if it’s worth a buy. I turned the channel when the Author began blaming any Religion for peoples’ insatiable desire for happiness. The main subject matter is what interests me, unhappiness. Most of us understand or can personally relate to the ingredients for artificial happiness. Narcotics, alcohol, or thrill search bungie jumping. Or merely, overindulging in a gallon of our favorite ice cream - topped with tons of whipped cream, eaten with a shovel! Or playing a sad song repeatedly. All are artificial happiness schemes. All, temporary emotional bandages. Whereas; short term unhappiness - treated by a SSRI, Tricyclic, or MAOI – are mostly inhibitors. The key word being inhibitors, they inhibit us from being happy. Why? Maybe because impermanent unhappiness is a necessary evil. There are times that emerge like an era, when we must grieve. Grieve for loss - loss of a loved one, loss of a job… There are days when hormones may kick and you must scream, cry… From Ecclesiastes:

For every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time of war, and a time of peace.

Or The Byrds Song:
To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones
A time to gather stones together

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time of war, a time of peace
A time of love, a time of hate
A time you may embrace
A time to refrain from embracing

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time to love, a time to hate
A time of peace, I swear it's not too late!

The simple fact is, various famous-treasured poems, literature, songs, plays, movies, paintings… exists because there are moments of unhappiness in everyone’s’ life.

So, pass the ice cream!

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