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AIBU to think this is irritating or even dangerous?

(30 Posts)
NeopreneMermaid Thu 27-Oct-16 14:02:16

Claire's Accessories range of bits and bobs with 'Choose happy' on them.

I'm not a fan of naff slogans and "inspirational" patronising 'live laugh love' bollocks in general; I find them thr home-decor equivalent of "Cheer up, Love; it might not happen." This one has got me particularly riled and concerned.

I've just reached a point of recovery from more than 25 years of severe depression (along with other MH delights) thanks to finally finding the right combination of meds, therapies and lifestyle changes. The idea that at any point in that time, I could simply have 'chosen happy' is abhorrent and undermines the complex reasons why many people aren't happy. I'd hate for someone going through what I did to see it and feel even worse for not being able to think themselves better.

I might be reading too much into what is a flippant slogan on a cheap product range but the fact it is so flippant suggests to me that this demonstrates how misunderstood MH issues remain, despite improved publicity and the best efforts of Prince Harry et al.

AIBU to think this and WIBU to complain to Claire's?

NeopreneMermaid Thu 27-Oct-16 14:04:01

Gah! Add an apostrophe after Accessories.

mmmuffins Thu 27-Oct-16 14:12:53

YABU. I think many people, on a day to day basis, can chose to think positive, not to dwell on small hardships. I presume this is what the slogan is aimed at. I can see why you'd be affronted by it in regards to your own life, but I really dont think the slogan is talking about depression.

SnipSnipMrBurgess Thu 27-Oct-16 14:14:02

I think you are over thinking it. Im not a fan of Claires in general- but I think this is saying "choose something that makes you happy" instead of "whay you doing being depressed, why cant you just be happy?"

myownprivateidaho Thu 27-Oct-16 14:15:25

Yes sorry I think you would be being unreasonable. No, you can't choose not to be depressed. But outside of depression you can choose to look on the bright side and choose the thing that makes you happy (as opposed to the thing others think you should choose etc). There are lots of interpretations of the slogan that don't relate to depression. I've been severely depressed and I don't think find that slogan offensive.

Lupinlady5 Thu 27-Oct-16 14:17:32

Overthinking. Sorry but YANU

Lupinlady5 Thu 27-Oct-16 14:18:01

Or YABU even! grin

FeckinCrutches Thu 27-Oct-16 14:18:56

You are reading far far too much into it. After 20+ years of panic attacks,anxiety, pnd, depression, hospital admissions, I wouldn't give this a second glance or thought.

Justwanttoweeinpeace Thu 27-Oct-16 14:20:28

The buyer will probably have picked up a similar trinket on a shopping trip somewhere, thought 'slogans sell, in sick to death of writing 'love' on everything so I'll do this instead.'

That will be the maximum thought out into it. Please don't take it personally.

Justwanttoweeinpeace Thu 27-Oct-16 14:20:53

The buyer will probably have picked up a similar trinket on a shopping trip somewhere, thought 'slogans sell, in sick to death of writing 'love' on everything so I'll do this instead.'

That will be the maximum thought out into it. Please don't take it personally.

Justwanttoweeinpeace Thu 27-Oct-16 14:21:22

Sorry for the double post confused

ThumbWitchesAbroad Thu 27-Oct-16 14:21:58

I think I have to agree with Snipsnip here - it's not about you choosing to BE happy, it's about choosing something that would make you happy in a general sense. Even fleetingly.

Different interpretation of the two words, really.

Glad you've found your way through your own mental health problems - this one isn't a battle you need to fight though, I think it's probably you overthinking (or just slight tangential thinking, if you prefer).

QuiteLikely5 Thu 27-Oct-16 14:22:02

You are seriously overthinking this! Like hugely, oceanly, Great Wall of China overthinking it


FlyingElbows Thu 27-Oct-16 14:24:36

You're overthinking it. It doesn't mean "choose not to affected by mental illness" it means "do things you love", "be your own person", "sing even though you sound like a cat being ironed". It's not a dig at or criticism of people who suffer with mental health problems.

Whensmyturn Thu 27-Oct-16 14:25:36

I agree. In years to come I think we will be ashamed of how poorly resourced mental health services are. It seems to me a basic human right to have every chance at happiness. More important than education and many other things we assume everyone has a right to.

YelloDraw Thu 27-Oct-16 14:27:35

Um, yeah. This isn't relaly about you and your MH issues but about people trying to live their lives in a way that makes them as happy as possible.

LilQueenie Thu 27-Oct-16 14:31:14

yabu especially as these are aimed at preteen/teens. Sometimes these type of slogans do help people to see a different perspective before it gets to a deeper level.

IceBeing Thu 27-Oct-16 14:34:30

I sympathise, as it is at some level encouraging wrong thinking in the department of 'choose not to have MH problems', but over all I think the average person isn't going to pick up that connotation.

Not sure though...

BipBippadotta Thu 27-Oct-16 14:54:23

This sort of twee bollocks annoys the shit out of me as well, OP. 'Choose happy' is at worst an encouragement not to think about anything that might make you unhappy or uncomfortable - like the refugee crisis, or welfare cuts, or racism. It also implies that anyone who is unhappy is simply unwilling to 'choose happy' and thus all their problems can be blamed on their own weak character.
'Positive thinking' can be a deeply socially and politically unhelpful outlook, I think.

But... it's some cheap tat in Claire's Accessories. Other dreadful slogans will be available.

TinklyLittleLaugh Thu 27-Oct-16 14:57:05

I freely admit I know fuck all about mental health.

But my young adult DD has been experiencing depression and anxiety, at least partly, I suspect, due to something that has happened to her. She decided not to take up the doctor's offer of medication and she has been referred for counselling.

In the meantime she has been attending a meditation type course which is very much focussed on thinking positive thoughts and not giving headspace to negative stuff. And actually, she feels improved. I think regular exercise is helping too.

So certainly, in my daughter's case, when she is really focussed on trying to get better, and where possibly her depression is more reactive than chemical, I think choosing to be happy can be possible.

Obviously if your life is apparently perfect and you still have depression for no apparent reason, and are too poorly to even have any thoughts of getting better then the above does not apply.

Happy to be educated if I am talking shite.

JustFoundADairyMilkCaramel Thu 27-Oct-16 15:05:57

I'm sorry you've had to deal with mental Heath problems and I hope you continue to make progress.

You are overthinking this though. It's an advertisement aimed at children, not a mantra for all those who read it.


yesterdaysunshine Thu 27-Oct-16 15:07:19

It's just a pretty picture and sweet, albeit meaningless, phrase.

ItShouldHaveBeenJess Thu 27-Oct-16 15:19:03

I wouldn't bother complaining - it's highly likely you will end up banging your head against a brick wall if ignorance regarding MH issues, which could interfere with the progress you have made so far.

I do, however, think you have a point. If it were as simple as 'choosing to 'be happy', then depression and anxiety wouldn't exist. I'm also concerned that products like this are marketed to tweens/teens - in an ideal world, most of them will not have experienced either issue, but such a simplistic 'ideology' discourages open and frank communication about these issues.

ItShouldHaveBeenJess Thu 27-Oct-16 15:19:52

'of' ignorance, not 'if'

NeopreneMermaid Thu 27-Oct-16 15:46:22

Thanks for your replies and insights. I think the target of teens and tweens was also making me worry as I was 14 when I was first hit by depression.

I am also indeed someone who has no real actual problems - happy childhood, living family, happily married, great friends and support, no money worries, etc (outwardly an apparently charmed life) - and this made my depression worse because al my dreams had come true and I still was unhappy to the point of wishing I were dead so what the fuck was wrong with me? I must be a grossly ungrateful and fundamentally horrible person. Anyway, I digress (slightly).

And you're all right to point out I'm over thinking and taking it unnecessarily personally, for which I suppose I have years of anxiety to thank. Good point that I will feel no better banging my head against a wall by officially complaining though.

But I still want to shout, "Don't fucking tell me what to do!" at any twee nonsense that tells me to follow my dreams, laugh more, blah blah blah and tear down Claire's displays while screaming, "I didn't fucking choose depression, you ignorant fucknuts!" whenever I pop in for bobbles. But I won't because, like I said, I'm recovering well. 😂

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