Interestingly, I was on Facebook during class today when I saw someone posted this article about NY. It was interesting, as it suggests that NY is the least happiest state, while ‘sunny states’ seem to be more happy. However, happiness is entirely subjective as sunshine isn’t the only thing that influences mood.
Though, let’s say that this covers ‘happiness’ in general, you would see states that list high: for instance Arizona, Montana, Florida, and Wyoming. Now look at this, regarding suicide ratio per state. Montana lists as # 2, Arizona #8, Florida # 17, Wyoming #4. Strange to see that New York is listed as #49, only behind New Jersey, NEW JERSEY; containing the least amount of suicides; even in spite the uproar of The Jersey Shore…
It seems that states that are listed as least happy, are also the states with the lowest rates of depression. While in contrast, those that are happiest, seem to be states with higher rates of suicide; perhaps aside from Hawaii because it’s practically a requirement that you be happy, very happy on that little island… However, one can agree there is a trend.
Which brings me to the idea, that the happiness content of an environment largely influences the dispositions of depressed people. The environment shapes a child, molding him into the being he is; which also depends on where he lived and how he was raised. However, once the adolescent develops (around six), societal pressures in the environment begin to mold the child with the inclusion of anxiety. If a child begins to differ from the norm, they become depressed since they don’t share a similar disposition to those around. Thus, more anxiety arises in wonderment, “Why can’t I connect?” Or seem to be similar to those in the happy environment; sending them into a deeper hold of depression; where suicide usually arises.
However, it is opposite for states that less happier, since the depressed people would be in an environment, labeled ‘less happy’. So they are around people who share a similar disposition from either the environment or societal pressures. This allows them to fit in with a crowd and feel less anxiety in wondering “What’s wrong with me?”. It’s hard to say how happy people would fit into a ‘depressed’ environment, because again, people are subjective . Theres a chance some may not care for the aura of depressed people, so they go on unheeded, whilst others fall subject to sadness.
Though, depressed is such a overused and vague term, it is the outcome of a polarization of feelings. Common perceptions think that because someone is not happy, they are sad. There is no middle ground, no feelings of indifference. I wonder how they would translate that within the system of happiness polls taken. Regardless, the environment shapes who we are, and just because someone is labeled sad or depressed, doesn’t necessarily mean they are worse off.