I am wondering, is there someone In this whole world who is actually happy, and satisfied with everything they have? Or, am I searching for something that does not even exist? I know there is a happy moment but that just fades away with time. Then, the sadness seems so much bigger. Sadness is easy to find, but happiness isn’t and, personally, I haven’t found it. Therefore, I am asking, is it really there?
- Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
- Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
- Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
- No correspondence takes place.
- No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
- Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
- Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.
You are asking one of the great existential questions that has plagued philosophers and psychologists for all of time, “Is there such a thing as happiness and, if the answer is yes, what is it?”
The answer to the question is, I believe, rooted in the other great existential question, “Is there any meaning to life?”
Some of our great psychologists and psychiatrists, such as Rollo May and Irwin Yalom, state that it is vital for each person to find meaning in his or her life. Further, that meaningfulness relies upon human relatedness and interaction. All of us need one another and find fulfillment knowing that we have an impact on others.
In my opinion, the word “happiness” lacks any real meaning. You are right in saying that we have moments of elation or excitement but they fade. Rather than relying on a vague and fleeting concept like “happiness,” I believe it makes more sense to speak of feeling balanced, free of the types of depression and anxiety that are long term and chronic. Having said this, it is necessary to be aware that emotions go in cycles. Therefore, we have our ups and downs including the sadness of loss, sickness and other crises.
Therapists are Standing By to Treat Your Depression, Anxiety or Other Mental Health Needs
In essence, the ability to work, have deep relationships and to play, all constitute what may be called “happiness.”
I am making a guess but your email carries with it hints of chronic depression. If that is true then, it would be a good idea for you to seek psychotherapy. Perhaps you life feels empty and meaningless. If so, psychotherapy is a good idea.
Best of Luck