"Terminal Happiness" With Havidol

Do you feel unsatisfied, irritated, impatient with yourself? Ever?

Do you not always enjoy activities that you once enjoyed? Do you feel older than you used to be?

Stop right there—you could be suffering from a serious problem called Dysphoric Social Attention Consumption Deficit Anxiety Disorder (DSACDAD).

Don't be afraid: millions do. And help is on the way, in the form of—what else?—a pill. That would be Havidol®, the trade name of Avafynetime HCl. As the Havidol package insert reminds us, "No prescription drug can promise endless happiness." But with Havidol, you can achieve the "terminal happiness" you desire.

i-ae42720207bce71e4b225eb7b83be1b6-Havidol.jpg

If this sounds both a little familiar and a little fishy, well, it should. Havidol is a fake pharmaceutical. It's the brain-child of an Australian artist named Justine Cooper, who created an entire spoof marketing campaign for Havidol, including a sprawling website explaining the dangers of DSACDAD and the benefits of treatment:

DSACDAD can strike at any time. It targets a large sector of the population. If you believe that despite the opportunities, achievements and acquisitions you already have, something is still missing, then HAVIDOL may be right for you. HAVIDOL's unique nature enables it to make physiological adjustments that bring about positive change without you having to recognize exactly what your problem is.

Cooper's show "Havidol: When More is Not Enough" appears in New York City at the Daneyal Mahmoud Gallery, through March 17. The work, including the Havidol website and a plethora of video and print advertising materials for the fictitious drug, lampoons direct-to-consumer advertising of antidepressants and other so-called "lifestyle" drugs.

ScienceBlogs Neurontic and Molecule of the Day (twice, here and here!) have covered Cooper's project. (MoTD pointed out that to a chemist's eyes, Havidol's molecular structure looks a little screwy.) They've proved themselves savvier than some stumblers upon the Havidol website; Reuters reports that the Havidol webpage has been linked to by a handful of serious websites about mental illness.

Image from the Havidol homepage.

More like this

See also the followups (one, two) to this post. From the taking jokes too seriously department... Havidol is a fake drug campaign by Justine Cooper that's on display in NY at the Daneyal Mahmood gallery (warning, slow loading, natively embedded video). It seems like a pretty well-done faux-drug…
Ever wonder what the pilot for "Gray's Anatomy:Uncanny Valley" would be like? Well, you're in luck! If It Weren't For You (I'd Be Sued) from Justine Cooper on Vimeo. Yes, that was a . . . music video in which an unseen clinician serenades the mannequins used in medical simulation with an infectious…
Now they've got Howard Dean and Wesley Clark giving talks at YearlyKos. They're so vindictive over there—you know they're only recruiting these big names to rub my nose in the fact that I had to back out of leading the science caucus. I hope Tara is pleased that she gets to take over my job.
Sorry if you're sick of this, but I'm having fun. You might remember my post on Havidol. (see also this follow-up). Justine Cooper (presumably) left a comment on the initial post, plus the prescribing information (PDF) has been updated. It's still not quite right - here, apparently, is your…