If You’re Happy And You Know It

Vantage Points Header Joel ElvesonIf you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands (clap clap)

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands (clap clap)

If you’re happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands. (clap clap)

If you’re happy and you know it, stomp your feet (stomp stomp)

If you’re happy and you know it, stomp your feet (stomp stomp)

If you’re happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it

If you’re happy and you know it, stomp your feet. (stomp stomp)

If you’re happy and you know it, shout “Hurray!” (hoo-ray!)

If you’re happy and you know it, shout “Hurray!” (hoo-ray!)

If you’re happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it

If you’re happy and you know it, shout “Hurray!” (hoo-ray!)

If you’re happy and you know it, do all three (clap-clap, stomp-stomp, hoo-ray!)

If you’re happy and you know it, do all three (clap-clap, stomp-stomp, hoo-ray!)

If you’re happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it

If you’re happy and you know it, do all three. (clap-clap, stomp-stomp, hoo-ray!)
–Author Unknown

For 19 million American Adults along with 2% of pre-school and school age children depression is a fact of life. In their lives there is little or no “if you’re happy and you know it.” A simple smile rarely creases their faces. Depression is a common, treatable (with proper medication and psychotherapy) but serious mood disorder. Depression causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities such as sleeping, eating, or working.

Unlike a physical disease such as the flu depression is easily misdiagnosed (only a trained medical professional or psychiatric social worker is qualified to diagnose and treat depression) and can lead to thoughts of suicide (if not actually committing the act) or acts of self –inflicted injuries. People who suffer from depression are often labeled as disturbed people who should be avoided at all cost. Although mood swings are common in people who suffer from depression violent or aggressive behavior towards others is not overly prevalent.

Some of the main causes of depression can be (but not limited to) disease, abuse, conflict, certain medications, traumatic events in a persons’ life, substance abuse, seizures, or just the onset of a dormant chemical imbalance in the brain that suddenly gets to the point where depression onsets. Aside from those listed there can be numerous triggers or causes for depression including the disease having affected the parents of somebody who now suffers from the disease.

Depression is treated with medication, group or individual therapy sessions or an often very effective combination of therapy and medication. There are no shortages of mood stabilizing medications for the treatment of depression with some of them also alleviating symptoms of anxiety (aka panic attacks) that in many instances amplify depression with its overpowering feeling of sadness.

There is also the human side of depression. Caring for &/or about somebody with depression presents numerous stresses, strains and other emotional/physical difficulties on the part of the caregiver. Often caught between wanting to help and be supportive but unsure as to what the right thing to say to that person is. Showing compassion while trying to figure out the maze of emotions the person you are caring for goes through (sometimes a mood can “swing” back and forth within a time frame) goes a long way. Listen to what the person is saying while trying to be understanding as possible. Offer advice (be careful as without proper training giving advice can be harmful to the patient)as to how to face whatever hurdles are in front of the afflicted person.

Going for therapy to help you understand and cope with the stress you now are being put under. It helps to have a compassionate/sympathetic person to talk to but one whose advice can be of tremendous benefit to you. If you neglect your own health or take too much on you yourself risk suffering a breakdown. There are no shortage of people who will offer advice as to what to do or say but only a therapist is a resource you should call upon.

If you are the person is suffering with this disease recognize it for what it is while not stigmatizing yourself as being sick or disturbed. Know that there are millions out there just like you many of whom are living normal lives including raising a family and holding down a career. Depression is an aggressive mental version of cancer that can be beaten. You need not feel that you will be on medication the rest of your life.

Know that even people who seemingly have all you can want in terms of a career or material possessions have amongst them people just like you who are suffering from depression. Athletes, actors, actresses, models, professional athletes and of course those whose livelihood is song suffer as you do with depression, mood swings, and anxiety. As down and hope less ( I know what you are going through from real life experiences) as you are feeling don’t give in. Let your medication (if you are on medication) work for you by taking it when you are supposed to. If you chose alternative therapy gather strength from it as well as from others who are suffering as you are. You need not fight this battle on your own.

Although it hurts and feels like there is little to smile about force up a smile anyway. Then go look in the mirror so you can see how much that smile does for you. Seeing yourself smiling will make you want to smile more. Take pleasure in the simplest things. Don’t get discouraged if your symptoms don’t go away quickly enough for you. Depression like other diseases may need to have the treatment regimen adjusted if the current one isn’t working or not helping enough. You will get there!

I can’t urge you enough not to listen to those who view you as a sick person who has no place in society. You are a treasure unto yourself! While you may not feel that way that is the truth of the matter. I battle diabetes and seizures which leads to depression meaning I know how you feel as I live your life. Avoid the pitfall of shutting yourself away from people. Despite the fear and anxiety you will likely feel from social situation try to get out as much as possible. Simple deep breaths of fresh air while exhaling slowly will do wonders for you. Once again remember you are not alone as there are people who care about you deeply who only want to be there for you.


Joel Elveson
Joel Elveson
INDEPENDENT Executive Recruiting By Joel is an "up and coming" Executive Search Firm formed and headed up by Joel Elveson whose visionary ideas, leadership & creativity have brought to life a more "user-friendly" approach to recruiting. His clients and candidates form powerful strategic partnerships that we use to help you. Joel’s Firm offers Permanent, Temporary (case by case), & Temporary To Permanent staffing solutions for all of your Human Capital Requirements. Contract IT/Consultants are available if needed. Above and beyond they are experts (by way of their personal industry work experience) with mortgage, mortgage banking, middle-market banking, accounting, along with many others under the vast financial spectrum of disciplines. Their business goes beyond candidate recruiting as they also train, mentor and develop your internal recruiting staff with an eye towards helping you reduce the cost of hiring. They will also work in areas such as compensation, effective onboarding processes and alike. In other words, their business is to help your business by becoming an extension of you by filling in gaps that cause delay or waste. The recruiting methods employed by Joel’s team are time tested that results in a high rate of successful placements. Joel was trained in the art of recruiting by some of the top staffing industry executives in addition to the best recruiter trainers who to this day drive me to exceed the lofty goals he has set forth.

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  1. I’m all for therapy, sometimes talking through with someone objective helps a great deal. But this person you’re talking to may not be the person for you. If you have a headache you never go to a brain surgeon; they will always want to operate. The same maxim applies to therapists too.

    I try to be intimate with the health effects of depression; especially how it changes our brain and heart structures. From what I found we become hardwired to be depressed. We become hardwired for chronic diseases. I’ve seen no studies stating that taking medication and talking to a therapist frequently offsets this wiring. I have seen some studies that talk about family routines, being involved in the community or church, and physical exercise such as running and weight lifting are strong factors for offsetting the wiring.

    Then again it’s all based on a hard choice. Do I believe in that magic pill, that magic person to cure me? Or am I responsible for my own depression, that I accept this and do what I need to do?

  2. Chris, Your suggestion has validity to it but for the sufferers of depression hitting a back will not solve the problem. It can take significant amounts of time spent in therapy along with seeing a professional psychiatrist. Tnak you for reading my article and for your comments.

  3. Depression can be hammered into submission by going to the gym and hitting the weights. By doing it right, and doing it regularly it builds our confidence and changes our body language. We stand taller, we show our energy, we show our health; and this translates to people paying attention to you more, listening to you more, and demonstrating that they value you. By sculpting your body, you sculpt your mind, and life outlook.

    • Chris,
      Thank you for your additional comments. I respectfully disagree with your theory that depression can be cured by simply going to the gym and hitting weights. I will say in fairness to yourself going to the gym and working out does have benefits. Depression is caused when the level of a certain chemical in your brain is off. That is the basics of the disease. In the more severe cases where the patient through his own efforts cannot rid himself of his depression that is when it is critical to start psychotherapy possibly in conjunction with a psychiatrist for medication therapy. Depression is a very powerful disease that is not easily cured. Many people have suffered and continue to suffer with the disease for years. I want to thank you again for sharing your comments with the reading audience.