Monday, 2 January 2017

A (bleedin' obvious) guide to happiness

Happy New Year!

Welcome back to Questioning Answers in 2017. While we wait to see just what this year will offer in [autism research] blogging terms, I open proceedings with the answer to happiness. Yes, you heard me right, I can officially unveil the Questioning Answers guide to happiness...

Drum roll please... and "Mental health and relationships 'key to happiness'."

As I unclutch my hands from my face and those opening 'bleedin' obvious' words included in the title of this post resonate once more alongside the question: 'how much did this research cost?' I direct you to some further discussion about the Origins of Happiness study (see here) from where results were derived.
Taken from: http://voxeu.org/article/origins-happiness

"So in short. If your suffering from depression your not very happy. Dontcha just love the intellectual elite" and "So in a nutshell, have the report's authors found that people not suffering with depression are generally happier than those that are suffering with it? How much are these geniuses paid?" are just two of the comments following that BBC coverage of the study results. With all due respect to the study authors and their introduction of new watchwords like 'wellbeing creation' over wealth creation, I am kinda reeling from the idea that we actually needed a study/report like this given the lack of surprising outcomes noted.

As per Figure 1 and the 'determinants of adult life satisfaction' is anyone really that surprised that having an education, a job, an income, being in rude health, having a special someone or even special 'some people', not being incarcerated or exposed to criminality and not suffering from depression and/or anxiety actually makes people more satisfied with their lives? No, and neither should you be.

I've little more to say on this topic aside from mentioning that (a) happiness is perhaps a relative term and something that includes both short-term and long-term elements to it and (b) the focus on treating mental health issues such as depression and anxiety with 'psychological therapies' (made by the author(s)) should not necessarily be to the exclusion of other well-validated treatment measures. Indeed, I might advance the position of a greater 'correlation' between physical health and mental health in light of other research findings (see here).

So: Be Happy! (I promise that my blogging this year will get better).

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