Why should depression and pain be the enemy of happiness?
Depression is a serious illness and it is different from the common feelings of unhappiness or of being fed up for short periods of time. Depression or feelings of extreme sadness can last a long time and can be severe enough to interfere with daily life. Symptoms such as feelings of helplessness, guilt and low self-esteem are common. People with a family history of depression are more likely to suffer from depression themselves.
Research by Diener and others has shown that both positive and negative life events have an effect on subjective well being, therefore if someone is affected by long term depression particularly as result of bereavement or divorce or redundancy for example then the prospect of an improvement in well being and happiness may seem impossible.
In the biopsychosocial approach in psychology, the idea that the body, the mind and a persons social environment interact in many ways to affect the well being, health and happiness of a person may help sufferers to clarify their understanding of some of the issues and problems that confront them.
Back to depression being the enemy of happiness. It is possible that a physically healthy person who has a good life style financially secure and cared for and loved by family and friends could still feel totally unhappy due to the psychological effects of depression?
Objective health, for example physical fitness, healthy diet, positive lifestyle may well be fine but if someone is unhappy because they live a world where they feel unloved uncared for or disregarded, then their happiness may be affected.