Don't know how to be depressed?
Updated: Jul 18, 2019
I have a friend who says, ‘I simply don’t know how to be depressed’. (And I go, ‘What is there to know, it’s not THAT hard, is it?’). I have also heard of people who will initiate sex with their partner when they are having an argument, simply because they are not comfortable with feeling angry and want to get out of that state as soon as possible. (If you are raising your eyebrows right now, you should know that it’s more common than you might think).
Not ever being depressed or angry sounds good, doesn’t it? Well, it shouldn’t.
I spent a large chunk of my research career studying negative emotions and trying to show their… health benefits. Yes, you read that correctly. No, we (my dear friend and collaborator Stacey and I) are not arguing you should be depressed and angry to be healthy. We are arguing that you should be able to experience these feelings in appropriate situations in order to be healthy, both mentally and physically.
The beauty of negative emotions is one of my favorite topics to talk about and I will share some of our research, too. Today, though, I’d like to share a funny article I came across, which uses strong (and therefore convincing) language to demonstrate how negative emotions, when experienced in appropriate context, can help us fully engage with life.