Put away the pills and listen to Tennessee Williams

To those who consider happiness their birthright and unhappiness (called depression, of course) unfair, Dalrymple presents Tennessee Williams, “travelling salesman of unhappiness”:
Clearly, he was temperamentally incapable of facile optimism; his early life experiences were not such as to encourage a rosy view of human existence…Williams’s upbringing marked him for life, and no amount of success and recognition could heal the early wounds.
In the modern world, Blanche Dubois, Big Daddy and Doc would all have been “diagnosed” according to the criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association, and given antidepressants. Their serotonin levels would have been considered low and in need of a boost. The antidepressants wouldn’t have worked, of course, but at least they would have prevented them from the need to look inwards, to examine themselves.

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