4 responses to “Does “Choose to Be Happy” Piss You Off?”

  1. Christina Frank

    Definitely. I think there is tremendous pressure on cancer patients to be “brave,” more than with any other illness.

  2. Christina Frank

    Yes, it does piss me off! I agree with Alisa. As someone who struggles with true depression, there is nothing worse than reading all the platitudes about happiness being an “inside job.” All that does is add to the burden/shame and stigma surrounding depression. No one would say to someone with cancer: “Choose to be free of life-threatening tumors!” or to someone with diabetes: “Choose to make enough insulin!”

  3. Alisa Bowman

    There is some research to show that acting happy (generally by smiling) will lift your mood. That said, I think the people who say that you can “make yourself happy” haven’t truly been depressed. Some of depression really is chemical–it can come on because of the weather, because of passing neurological weirdness, from lack of sleep, whatever. Just telling yourself “be happy” when your brain is saying “I suffer,” just doesn’t cut it. When I’m deep in it, all the reframing in the world doesn’t do squat. Just have to normalize it and wait it out.

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