A Grave Disease Called Seriosity

seriosityDo you suffer from Seriosity?  Websters On-Line Dictionary defines Seriosity as “The quality or state of being serious.”  It further states that the first identified use of the word was in 1505 CE.  Symptoms identifying a person suffering from Seriosity include:  earnestness, graveness, sedateness, soberness, solemness, and staidness.  “For instance, John was no fun to be around.  He was always so serious about everything.”  Psychologists identified his condition as Seriosity.  ICD 10 Lists the Code for this condition as 777-398-1234.  The DSM-5 (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) notes in its discussion of Seriosity the following:

“A very common malady these days that is usually accompanied or brought on by reading the daily news or watching too much Cable TV news.”

Symptoms may include but are not limited to:

Extreme intolerance of other views, periodic uncontrollable rants, gloominess, unhappiness, distain for Republicans and sometimes even Democrats, excessive categorization, and frequent “Doomsday” forecasts.

Recommended Treatment Protocols:

Patients require a great deal of empathy, and many will be prone to reject advances or ideas on how to get a life.   Clinicians have found that six months on a desert island without a cell phone or internet is the best treatment for this condition although this is not going to be feasible for all patients.  In lieu of a desert island, a week at Disneyland or a week paddling in the Boundary Waters will help some patients.  For those patients who are less mobile, shock therapy or a night of wild sex can sometimes be helpful.  — Pg 5024, Part 3, Section 8 – DSM-5 

We all know people who suffer from Seriosity.  If we are honest, we might find that at times we also suffer with minor bouts of this condition.  For instance, how often have you said any of the following:

  • The world is going to hell in a handbasket
  • Are people getting dumber or is it just my imagination?
  • When I was young, (Here you add your own finish); we walked ten miles to school every day even during a snowstorm.
  • It’s hopeless, we are powerless to change anything.
  • They just don’t make them like they used to.
  • Have you heard the news about D. Trump getting indicted? Don’t worry, he won’t be found guilty.  

Serious people can seem very boring to others.  A friend who reads my blog said that I liked to categorize everything.  He is right.  I am a serious person.  I have been diagnosed as “Borderline Seriosity” although Karen insists that I have passed the border long ago.


[On being criticized for her serious expression:] “I simply ache from smiling.  Why are women expected to beam all the time?  It’s unfair.  If a man looks solemn, it’s automatically assumed he’s a serious person, not a miserable one.  — Queen Elizabeth II

There are serious people and un-serious people.  Seriosity is an extreme form of seriousness.  Taking oneself too seriously can lead to a great deal of misery and suffering.  It is much more fun to be unserious.  Unserious people take life as one big joke.  Everything that happens to unserious people is simply something that can be turned into one of life’s foibles.  A chance to scorn life and see the hilarity of existence.  Serious people do not see the funny sides of life much less what they should be happy about.   Here are some comments that unserious people might make about life:

  • So what if Goldie Locks ate all the cereal, the bears could still make more
  • So what if the Republicans gerrymandered all the districts in the USA, the baseball game will still be on Saturday or Sunday.
  • So what if climate change may destroy human life on earth, I only have ten years or so to go anyway.    

you-cant-be-serious-9781982171391_hrA serious person will look at death and wonder why life is so serious.  An unserious person will look at death and wonder why life is so funny.  A serious person will look at the inequalities of human existence and wonder how God could have been so flawed in his design capabilities.  An unserious person will look at Bruegel’s the “Triumph of Death” and wonder whether it is time for supper.

“I’m not a very serious person.  You know how they say that clowns are very funny in public and are really sad at home?  I’m really kind of stupid at home and more serious in public.”  — Roland Joffe

Several years ago, a friend of mine told me that humor was a big part of remaining sane in today’s world.  He said that I should work on my humor more and not take things so seriously.  I wanted to take his advice, so I asked him if he knew any good books that could help me be less serious.  A good research study or two about overcoming Seriosity was what I felt would be useful in my quest for a more jocular existence.  He shook his head in some dismay and walked away muttering.

“Basically, I’m a very serious person, but I think the form it takes with me is comedy.  I see the amusing side of all potentially pompous situations.”   — Peter Ustinov

58c5d110-fbfe-4034-9e20-e6883907139c.6290d3e39f006d7cd4fda448718142d2It is now many years later.  I would not exactly describe myself as the “life of the party.”  I am much more interested in why people waste time at parties anyway.  Drinking and talking with people you probably will never see again does not seem like a good use of time.  In all seriousness, being too serious can seriously hurt your social life and even your sex life.  Who wants to be around someone who is doom and gloom all day long.  Day after day, never seeing the bright sunshine that lurks just behind those damn rain clouds.  Not appreciating that one day, everything that you think is really and truly wrong with the world, may just be proven right in the future.   Serious people need to look to the future more with a serious amount of faith and hope.

“Art is the only serious thing in the world.  And the artist is the only person who is never serious.”  — Oscar Wilde

My mother was often a very happy person.  She achieved this inner equanimity by a large dose of denial.  One of her favorite quotes was “ignorance is bliss.”  This phrase became anathema to everything that I believed.  She would argue that cows are happy and give good milk because they do not take the world too seriously.  The less you know, the happier you are.  Put your head in the sand like the proverbial ostrich and you can be happy all day long.  These thoughts were like the devil trying to get me to sell my soul.  My motto could have been “Serious Now, Serious Tomorrow, Serious Forever!”  What is life if you do not take it seriously?

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BUT, BUT, BUT, than again, is happiness simply sheer ignorance?  Can serious people ever be happy?  Can you be happy and serious at the same time?   Many people seem to think that you can be both serious and happy.  Just don’t catch the disease of Seriosity.

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Margaret
    Apr 01, 2023 @ 06:16:49

    John, as it’s April 1st I’m hesitant to comment incase this is a joke 😏
    In all seriousness! though I find it’s beneficial to have a good laugh amongst all the crap that’s ongoing. Increasingly difficult to do these days and I really don’t tolerate well trite comical remarks in the middle of serious conversations. I find it interesting to note those people who find it difficult to be serious at all and have to make a joke, or put a positive slant (toxic positivity!) on everything – I find that annoying. That said, reading jokes on social media or listening to a good comedian can get me out of seriosity mode, and is well appreciated.
    Two weeks ago a lovely, 10 week old kitten came to live with us and he is providing us with lots of laughs 🐈‍⬛



    • Dr. John Persico Jr.
      Apr 01, 2023 @ 08:07:00

      Margaret. Half serious and half funny. I thought might be a good mixture for April 1st. In life I like to try to adhere to the “Golden Mean” but when it comes to balancing humor with seriousness, I am probably way to much on the serious side.. Lots of time, attempts people make to be funny go right over my head. No Fool You. John, we had two cats they both lived to just shy of 18 years. I still miss them. I always liked cats as well as dogs. Good luck with your new kitten. Maybe youth keeps us young as well.

      Liked by 1 person


  2. Majik
    Apr 01, 2023 @ 11:23:35

    Dr. John, if we didn’t find some way to laugh these days, we’d be CRYIN’ ALL THE TIME! 😎 https://youtu.be/lzQ8GDBA8Is



    • Dr. John Persico Jr.
      Apr 01, 2023 @ 13:50:50

      Majik, That’s for darn sure. Thanks for the video. Still miss Elvis the Pelvis but not the latter Las Vegas Elvis. John



  3. Jane Fritz
    Apr 01, 2023 @ 11:56:14

    LOL. I definitely say all the items on that “do you say this” list, and I think Karen is dead right wrt where you are on the seriosity scale! Finding a good balance is important for us serious folks. 😊



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