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Fall 2009...

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ai Bio enhanceD nano neuRo humoR FoReVeR young 78 Fall 2009 neuRo M odern cosmetic pharmacology focuses so heavily on eliminating depression that it entirely misses one essential point: depressed people are suffering from a lack of fun. Nobody ever describes depression as a "Fun Deficiency Syndrome," but lack of fun is clearly the root cause of all depression. It is impossible to be depressed when you are having fun, yet modern therapies for depression seek only to minimize depressive symptoms while doing nothing to maximize the daily intake of fun. This backwards approach to treating fun deficiency syndrome — or FDS — is not only dangerously ineffective, it will be viewed by future generations as one of the greatest failures of medicine. While depression has been studied under a microscope, science has barely scratched the surface on fun. The scientific study of fun is considered to be a frivolous exercise, and this assumption would be correct because fun is frivolous. The mistake made by science and academia is in underestimating the value of fun, treating fun as a non-serious diversion instead of a rational goal worthy of scientific examination. This oversight is unfortunate because fun is arguably the greatest thing a human can have. Everyone likes to have fun... no, we love to have fun. When we are having fun we forget ourselves and become one with our actions in a moment of pure playful enjoyment. Having fun goes beyond being happy. Happiness implies a baseline level of contentment and good feelings but it does not include the amusement, exhilaration, laughter and joy associated with fun. If depression is the illness of our age, fun is the cure. The roots of FDS can be traced through human developmental stages. Most people have plenty of fun as children, but the onset of adolescence and high school creates a perfect storm of jaded anxiety that dampens the levels of fun easily found in childhood. The onset of FDS in adolescence leads teenagers to naturally seek extremes of fun behavior to counteract their social anxiety. These extremes include partying, fighting, competitive sports and mating behaviors where risk is maximized to produce the most fun. Most people do not consider this adolescent fun-seeking activity to be a neurologically-wired behavior to cope with developmental anxiety and depression, but it obviously is. This fun-seeking stage lasts well into early- adulthood when chronic FDS becomes more problematic. By middle age, most people are chronically low on fun and this is when depression becomes most acute. If lack of fun is constant and goes untreated it can lead directly to mid-life crisis and, eventually, grumpy-old-fart syndrome. Fun can be scientifically reduced to two distinct variables: risk and reward. It is easy to understand why reward is fun, but risk is the key to maximizing the impact of reward to produce fun. The most extreme examples of this dynamic can be found in compulsive behaviors that can become highly addictive, like sex and gambling. Sex and gambling are both fun and risky, and the higher the risk the more satisfying and more fun the reward. Also, consider horror movies or amusement park rides where a constant level of fear and anxiety is sustained throughout the experience until the resolution brings a safe The perilS of fdS: Fun Deficiency syndrome JAMES KENT The onset of fdS in adolescence leads teenagers to seek extremes of fun behavior to counteract their social anxiety... partying, fighting... Courtesy of Renato Morbach

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