It's about time someone said this!

Guardian Unlimited Books | By genre | Happiness is always a delusion

“Anybody in this culture who watches the news and can be happy – there’s something wrong with them.”

“The cultural demand now is be happy, or enjoy yourself, or succeed. You have to sacrifice your unhappiness and your critique of the values you’re supposed to be taking on. You’re supposed to go: ‘Happiness! Yes, that’s all I want!’ But what about justice or reality or ruthlessness – or whatever my preferred thing is?”

“It’s very simple. The reason that there are so many depressed people is that life is so depressing for many people. It’s not a mystery. There is a presumption that there is a weakness in the people who are depressed or a weakness on the part of scientific research and one of these two groups has got to pull its socks up. Scientists have got to get better and find us a drug and the depressed have got to stop malingering. The ethos is: ‘Actually life is wonderful, great – get out there!’ That’s totally unrealistic and it’s bound to fail.”

“Your psycho- analyst is one of the last people to whom you’re allowed to show that you’re unhappy. If in the public world you’re supposed to be very smiley and having lots of sex and being very successful, at least with your analyst you can articulate your miseries, woes, doubts. It becomes a place where you can admit to and elaborate your doubts and vulnerabilities, which is rare in culture that encourages invulnerability.”