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The Misconception About Depression and Happiness

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The most common misconception about depression I’ve faced is the one where happiness is alien to us.

It is not. At least not for myself.

I can see it around me, and I can feel it at appropriate moments too. I will laugh at a funny joke, and I will enjoy myself at places where I can feel freedom to do so. Just because I am depressed, does not mean I am unable to feel joy. But I am scared of feeling this euphoria — scared because I know deep down, that after this moment passes, I will be once again falling down the rabbit hole of despair, loneliness and self-loathing, and it will seem 50 times worse because I would have had a shot of joy. 

So do I avoid moments of happiness? The answer is no. It seems highly impossible to avoid moments of joy; it could simply be an advertisement that makes me smile or a phone call that brightens up my day. No, I will not avoid it. I will not inhibit myself from feeling alive. I spend most of my days questioning my existence and asking myself if this is all worth it. Sometimes, it feels like I should say, “No.” But I thrive and fight on because I long to not only have moments of happiness, but a life of happiness. 

I will get the answers I desire one day. Maybe not in a few days or even in a few weeks, but I know I will not be like this for ever. This dark cloud will wash away, and I will fight for the happiness I desire, instead of feeling anger or jealous toward a passerby with a smile on his face.

Happiness will not be an emotion I feel only at specific times, but an emotion I feel about my life.

If you or someone you know needs help, see our suicide prevention resources.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Originally published: May 24, 2016
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