• Bitter Crank
    6.7k
    A hopper car filled with antidepressants rolls out of Big Pharma's rail yards every few minutes. I don't suspect a plot to hook the world on SSRIs, but our thinking on depression is on the wrong track. Depression (definitely real) is probably not curable with drugs, except in a specific subset of cases. [1] Most of us are depressed because our lives have deteriorated into desperation.

    Depression is a social disease. You get it when people humiliate, berate, and reject you It gets worse when you do not have a friend in the world. It is very bad when you are isolated in the solitary confinement of a crowd. When ten-damned-things-after-another hinder you from every side, and when you feel rejected and despised by all, eventually you are going to feel defeated and worthless. Want to make it worse still? Drink heavily, use recreational drugs to feel better for a little while, gamble for a short high (while you go broke and get something else to worry about).

    The Cure is Change, and let me be the first to admit great difficulty achieving the kind of change that I really needed to make.

    None the less, if we don't remove ourselves from the factories of despair in which we work, get free of the hopeless relationships that no longer float, reject the humiliation games that lots of people enjoy playing, and quit habits that take us down a little further, all the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and all the other neurotransmitter jiggering won't help us.

    There are several stumbling blocks. The first is figuring out what kind of change is going to make a real difference. If you can figure out what you should do, finding the courage to go ahead and do it will be the next challenge. Saying good bye to a relationship that isn't working for either of you might seem worse than not having a relationship at all.

    Changing one shit-hole job for another one, for instance, won't help. We might not know what kind of work will make us happy. Dumping one hopeless relationship and then starting another hopeless affair will not make one feel better. Maybe we need to learn about what a good relationship looks like, and learn how to build one.

    Maybe you need therapy. No so much to help cope with feeling terrible, but getting information that will help you. Like, what kind of work situations do you really like? How do you find those kinds of situations? Or, maybe you need to learn how to build a circle of people who can be cultivated into meaningful friendships. Or maybe you need some life management skills, so that your life doesn't resemble one continuous train wreck.

    [1] Some people are afflicted with severe depression alone, or depression accompanied by bouts of mania; depression can be so severe that patients become psychotic or reach a catatonic state. Drugs, ECT, long-term custodial care, and lots of therapy are needed to help people with these kinds of severe conditions. Fortunately, 98% of the population will never experience this sort of thing.
    1. Depression usually begins with: (10 votes)
        Genes that predispose us to depression, regardless of life events
          0%
        Defective neurotransmitters that result in depression, regardless of life events
          0%
        Work and social conditions which are psychologically unhealthy for us, regardless of our biology
        60%
        Self-defeating ideas and delusional thinking that leads to bad life experiences
        40%
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k
    Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes. Oh wait, that wasn't the poll.
  • Pseudonym
    1.2k
    I realise this might not be a particularly novel thing to say, but seeing as it is on topic. If you trip over a step at work and break your leg, you can sue your employer, so all steps are now brightly labelled. If it were ever proven that the stress of work caused depression what would happen to the economy?
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k


    The economy being a higher priority than mental health, right?
  • Posty McPostface
    5.8k
    Ah, but how does one prevent the depression? It would seem there are countless ways of trying to get out of it once depressed; but little education or prophylactic means of preventing it from arising. That needs to be addressed on a national scale in my opinion.
  • Pseudonym
    1.2k
    The economy being a higher priority than mental health, right?Noble Dust

    Not in my opinion, no, but an awful lot of what I suspect you rely on on, both for necessity and comfort, comes from an economy which, by design, requires that people commit to a degree of unrewarding work which may well be inescapably detrimental to their mental health.

    My point was to raise the issue that we may be more responsible ourselves than is often acknowledged in these discussions. But maybe I've misjudged you and you actually live on a self-sufficient commune, in which case, good on you!
  • Agustino
    11.3k

    I can't vote, since I disagree with all options you have provided.

    Genes that predispose us to depression, regardless of life eventsBitter Crank
    Calling the genes responsible is obfuscation. When people don't know what else to say, or they don't understand the causes, then they blame the genes. It's like in the olden days, people would blame the devil for depression...

    Defective neurotransmitters that result in depression, regardless of life eventsBitter Crank
    Nope, the brain has neuroplasticity and can change how it functions and perceives - it can and does rewire itself.

    Work and social conditions which are psychologically unhealthy for us, regardless of our biologyBitter Crank
    I found the opposite to be true. Lack of work is psychologically unhealthy. I recently took a break from work for 2 weeks over the Christmas holidays, and I was restless because I didn't know what to do with so much free time.

    Self-defeating ideas and delusional thinking that leads to bad life experiencesBitter Crank
    This does happen, though I think it is a symptom and not the cause.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes. Oh wait, that wasn't the poll.Noble Dust
    Solutions...
    Are you Lonely?
    Don't give a damn about it.
    Isolated?
    Don't give a damn about it.
    Humiliated?
    Nihil perduti!
    Stressed out?
    Don't give a damn about it.
    Feeling worthless?
    So what?
    Rejected?
    Because you're a genius, far above everyone else!
    Depressed?
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k


    Gee, why didn't I think of all that before now???
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k
    Not in my opinion, no, but an awful lot of what I suspect you rely on on, both for necessity and comfort, comes from an economy which, by design, requires that people commit to a degree of unrewarding work which may well be inescapably detrimental to their mental health.Pseudonym

    No, I totally agree. I think I misread you again.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Gee, why didn't I think of all that before now???Noble Dust
    Exactly... depressed people often don't find the solution because they keep searching. The search is part of the problem because it continues the same habit of thought that is at the origin of the depression, namely excessive rumination.

    Problems of thought cannot be solved - they are not problems. It's not like when you have a broken bone, where you can fix it by heading out to the doctor. Problems of thought have no solution, and as such cannot be fixed. The effort to fix them, makes them persist. It is like a car's engine that is running very hard while the car is lifted above ground...
  • dog
    89
    I found the opposite to be true. Lack of work is psychologically unhealthy. I recently took a break from work for 2 weeks over the Christmas holidays, and I was restless because I didn't know what to do with so much free time.Agustino

    I hear you on lack of work. Perhaps it's a matter of having good work. Or if the work is unpleasant, there had better be a nice home life as a contrast.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Or if the work is unpleasant, there had better be a nice home life as a contrast.dog
    All work has aspects that are unpleasant, especially for young people, since young people start work at a low level, regardless of whether they're in more creative fields like music, acting, film, entrepreneurship, or otherwise.
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k
    Exactly... depressed people often don't find the solution because they keep searching.Agustino

    Did you catch my sarcasm, or no?

    The search is part of the problem because it continues the same habit of thought that is at the origin of the depression, namely excessive rumination.Agustino

    Do you have a more detailed approach in mind that would help mentally ill people to stop "giving a damn"?
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Did you catch my sarcasm, or no?Noble Dust
    Yes.

    Do you have a more detailed approach in mind that would help mentally ill people to stop "giving a damn"?Noble Dust
    Well mindfulness, prayer and contemplation (non-discursive) help, but really, just STOP IT!
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k
    but really, just STOP IT!Agustino

    That's where you're going astray.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    That's where you're going astray.Noble Dust
    Why? That's what helped me for example.

    J. Krishnamurti, the great Indian philosopher and spiritual teacher, spoke and traveled almost continuously all over the world for more than fifty years attempting to convey through words—which are content—that which is beyond words, beyond content. At one of his talks in the later part of his life, he surprised his audience by asking, “Do you want to know my secret?” Everyone became very alert. Many people in the audience had been coming to listen to him for twenty or thirty years and still failed to grasp the essence of his teaching. Finally, after all these years, the master would give them the key to understanding. “This is my secret,” he said. “I don’t mind what happens.”
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k
    Why? That's what helped me for example.Agustino

    Why? Because it doesn't help me, for example.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Your question is silly. It's like me asking you "how do I move my legs?". What would you answer?
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k


    What question? My "why" was rhetorical.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    This one:
    Do you have a more detailed approach in mind that would help mentally ill people to stop "giving a damn"?Noble Dust
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k


    Giving a more detailed approach for how to deal with mental illness is not the same as asking you how to move your legs, no.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Giving a more detailed approach for how to deal with mental illness is not the same as asking you how to move your legs, no.Noble Dust
    That's not what you asked for. You asked for a more detailed approach to stop giving a damn. And I said that asking for that is like asking for a more detailed approach to moving your legs. And it is.
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k


    That is what I asked for; I made a black joke about having a mental illness, you responded by saying "stop giving a damn!", I responded by asking for a detailed approach to not giving a damn, which means I asked for a detailed approach for how to deal with my mental illness.
  • dog
    89
    Depression is a social disease. You get it when people humiliate, berate, and reject you It gets worse when you do not have a friend in the world. It is very bad when you are isolated in the solitary confinement of a crowd. When ten-damned-things-after-another hinder you from every side, and when you feel rejected and despised by all, eventually you are going to feel defeated and worthless. Want to make it worse still? Drink heavily, use recreational drugs to feel better for a little while, gamble for a short high (while you go broke and get something else to worry about).Bitter Crank

    I'm sure that some depression is like that, but I've been hit by it a few times when it didn't make sense on paper. There was also a strong philosophical connection. As far as I could tell, we were 'monkeys' in and from the blind/amoral machine of nature. I knew the retorts and could eloquently mock my negative rhetoric, but those mockeries couldn't get traction. In retrospect, I think death offered a purity and silence in contrast to the impurity and noise of life. Also suicide appealed to me as a decisive action. I think there's a part of us that wants to kill and die. Suicide offers both at once.

    I'm not depressed now and do not advocate suicide. But I understand the mood and the fantasy. And it can come when one is otherwise successful. I'd divide it into 2 forms. The young man version involves a disgust at what life requires. The old man version (and I'm not that old) involves jadedness. One has tasted intensities perhaps never again to be matched, been married, proved one's self to a significant degree, had big intellectual realizations. I have had a taste of this, but my father is struggling, I think, with the thing itself. Retired chain-smoker without non-family relationships. I wish he was doing what I think you're doing: reading, learning, staying fascinated, taking care of himself.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    which means I asked for a detailed approach for how to deal with my mental illness.Noble Dust
    Only by proxy.
  • dog
    89

    Perhaps. But it feels good to be working toward one's dream. At some point I stopped working menial jobs and got into a field I really liked. Even though the entry level stuff was annoying at times, I enjoyed a sense of being on the way. My efforts were accumulating. I was paying off the house, not renting.

    Of course not everyone is going to love their field. I have occasionally envied those with simpler jobs than my own. I have to continually learn new things. Some of them are exciting. Others boring. I'm also never exactly 'off work,' since I do lots of work at home. I always 'could be' working. So I've envied 9 to 5 types who don't have to think about work in the evening. The grass is always greener, I guess. Or rather we always see how things could be a little better when we're not joyfully immersed.
  • Bitter Crank
    6.7k
    I recently took a break from work for 2 weeks over the Christmas holidays, and I was restless because I didn't know what to do with so much free time.Agustino

    We'll take up the tragic cases of unimaginative workaholics in another thread
  • Posty McPostface
    5.8k
    We'll take up the tragic cases of unimaginative workaholics in another threadBitter Crank

    Something to envy in our society.
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k


    In other words, you don't have a response to my argument, it looks like.
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