The Worst Addiction: Unhappiness

Addiction is acknowledged as a huge human problem, destroying lives, finances and bodies. When you add statistics of drug and alcohol addictions to statistics about all other, self destructive albeit usually legal common addictions such as smoking, gambling, porn, infidelity, workaholism, food, internet, adrenaline etc, it appears that all or the vast majority of humanity is addicted to something. Since happiness is arguably of greater value to us than money, success, relationships and everything else, being the only goal that is end by itself according to Aristotle, wouldn't that automatically make addiction to unhappiness, unsatisfactoriness or plain misery the worst, most self destructive and dangerous addictions? Is unhappiness addictive? Apparently so, since about 5-10% of the population suffers from substance abuse while over 20% of the population in developed countries suffers from serial depression, anxiety attacks and chronic unsatisfactoriness, a percentage that is galloping according to World Health Organization figures. According to David Sack M.D., an addiction expert in an article in (, people who appear addicted to unhappiness tend to find reasons to be miserable when life gets "too good", prefer to take the victim role, compete with others to see who has it the hardest, have difficulty setting and achieving goals only to find out that they can't enjoy their success, struggle to bounce back when things don't go their way, distract, escape or cope by using drugs, alcohol, sex, food or other addictive or compulsive behaviors, stop taking care of their basic needs, feel dissatisfied even when life is going well and have dramatic, unfulfilling relationship. He reports that most chronically unhappy people know of no other way of being and refuse to change or get help. He then proposes that people should seek cognitive behavioral therapy. But therapy to solve an issue with many potential causes, with no real understanding of the issue and with no clear solution besides multitudes of sessions with no clear result besides comfort. There are several scientific studies indicating that many people feel comfortable in misery and victimhood, because of the attention they get, or because they are used to it through traumatic lives of incessant struggle, guilt, regret or shame, a propensity to embrace all the world's pains as their own, fear of disappointment, the feeling of being undeserving of happiness and the ethics of suffering and other reasons, but no clear proposed solutions. The thing is that we are not addicted to unhappiness, we are conditioned and programmed for it as a thousands of years old survival mechanism. And this is why therapy helps to alleviate the symptoms but is quite unsuccessful as a permanent cure, making depression and associated mental conditions the number one killer, destroyer of well being and burden to societies and economies by 2025 overcoming heart disease according to WHO publications and declarations. How can you heal something that is engraved as a desirable characteristic for survival? The reason why the humongous industry of healing, therapy both scientific and alternative and prescription medication is failing in halting what is called "the silent epidemic" of mental disorders is that it is targeting trauma and other "real" sources of unhappiness rather than the true culprit of paradoxical belief systems mandating shame, guilt and unhappiness as methods of being protected, loved and accepted by society through not competing for pride, sex, success and ultimately happiness. It is a fundamental human choice to program our offspring to be safe and to not antagonize anyone rather than happy as a survival mechanism, since very early in human evolution social survival became more important than physical survival. We are programmed since birth with paradoxical beliefs such as "it is too good to be true", "make your self, your family and your country proud but be humble since pride is one of the seven deadly sins and humility the greatest virtue" and much more. Our beliefs form our reality and are our main operating system, dictating how we feel, think and experience reality. Feelings of undeservedness, victimhood or incapability of being happy are based on beliefs and make us invent reasons to be unhappy and unsatisfied even if everything is going fine or give us anxiety through feelings of foreboding and impending doom akin to paranoia. For more information please check ( and (

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