Giving a Voice to the Silence offers positive angles to the issue that faces those with mental illness. Living with Schizo-Affective Disorder and being able to share my experiences with others, is the best way I know how to pay it forward. Life can be difficult, my goal is to bring a bit of hope to a place where many feel there is none.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Struggle for Happiness

NYCImage from Flickr

The goal for many is to be happy and healthy - unfortunately it also a struggle for about half the population of America. In interviews of 100,000 people, 47 % were said to be struggling and 4% were suffering. 49 % said they are content.

Those who are thriving are usually those with a higher income, more education and are healthy. In the case of those who are suffering, find trouble meeting even their most basic needs such as food, shelter and health care.

The U.S., while not number 1 in health measures, when it comes to well-being - we are not #1 either. Denmark tops the charts with 83% are classified as thriving, with only 1% suffering.

With this information there is hope that it can be used to help offer a healthier, happier society - on a personal level. Though the U.S. spends more on health care than any other country, the health care system ranks only 37th. This information can detect what is making us unhappy.

Can this help bring us the answers we so desperately crave? The hope that the everyday drag can be something more? On the other hand, is it the professionals that need to tell us what is making us unhappy? For most of us it is probably quite obvious - in these cases it is up to US, not some else to fix it. It is true we need assistance for medical cases, but our own happiness is in our hands.

I am not unsympathetic to those who live with depression and struggle most days to smile, I live the same way - with Bipolar Disorder invading my brain on a daily basis, it has taken me many, many years to get to a place where I know what is happening with me and take care of myself. It is possible, with a little faith.