The depression epidemic and the magic pill society( and why its probably your fault)
Anyone more or less aware of the world around him, can notice some disturbing symptoms occurring. The spread of depression and other psychological disease symptoms are through the roof. The kids cant sit still, the adults cant relax. A troubling situation for anyone with any concern with the human condition.
However, if the individual who is considering this question is not only aware, but at least slightly more knowledgeable than the statistical unit, he will soon come to the conclusion that the whole “mental disorder epidemic” is an inevitable result, from a society programming gone wrong.
What I will attempt to do is to expose the main element, use the Pareto principle and make a sturdy case- the psychological dis-ease that our society is experiencing is self inflicted, and can be self- healed as well. I will try to avoid the chemicals for now, and focus on the faulty and dead-end belief systems that were installed in us, handicapping our emotional intelligence and creating a society of emotionally lost children.
The way I see it, there are two main reasons for this.
The overpowered rational paradigm
Ah, the rational mind. The pinnacle of our society. What would we do without it, probably run around the forests, living our monkey lives.
The attachment and the overpowering of the rational paradigm is understandable. The scientific revolution, the explosion of technological advancement, all were the children of men who realized the importance of the scientific method, the process of careful research and testing. I will not diminish the achievement of the rational mode of thinking for our society, because that would be silly, and I am not a stoned hippy.
However, I do claim it do be one of the worst hangups when it comes to psychological health.
The reason for that is that it creates a paradigm of psychological healers as these logical input-output machine operators. Oh, you have depression? Lets find the logical reason for this. This works fine if the problem of the individual is something obvious and from a time that he can remember. Maybe when the patient got that divorce, he closed off, he did not accept the pain. Analyzing it with a psychologist, gave the person a chance to actually go “oh yea, it did feel unpleasant” . Now that is a simple case. What if the patients trauma is something he experienced in childhood, even before his rational mind can recall the memory of the event?
The counter point to the rational based psychology is the emotional and physical body oriented psychological practices, like gestalt practices. The key here is the understanding of a fundamental fact, without which no real progress in mental health can be made- Your memories can be trapped in your muscles, just like in your your mind. Also, your rational mind is not the only thing that has to be satisfied with a logical answer. Your body might need a good shake or a breathing practice, you might need to shout or whine like a little kid. As long as you keep your focus only on the rational mind, you are handicapped. Mental health is not only logical problem solving- it is also about taking care of your non rational needs and worries.
The quick fix- mental fat society
Yes, yes, I know that this is not something new, but lets face it — we are getting very lazy when it comes to figuring out what is going on in our heads. Feel bad? Take sip of coffee, feel the quick rush you get. Take a smoke, it sure helps you forget your problems, even if its for 2 minutes. Or you could just marinade your bottom to the couch, with your daily dose of hypnotizing television, let the news stimulate fear in you, and let you forget your own inner fear and confusion.
Oh, and lets not forget the cherry on the top of magic bullet man’s approuch to life. When it gets really hard, pop that chemical drug pill, and feel like a happy vegetable, at least till the effect wears off.
So what am I calling out here? Our laziness, our desire for quick fixes, our desire to hide the symptom, even if it means that it will be much worse in the long run. We create a society built on the evasion of critical self analysis. We do this to ourselves, and then we do this to our children.
The obvious solution that nobody wants to hear
While this topic can go on and on, I think I will stop right now. Because it is pretty obvious what the cause of our confusion is.
A mixture of emotional intelligence ignorance + a lazy attitude towards your mind, body and emotions = the retardation of individuals ability to self regulate emotional states.
Its stunning how many people will bleed for any achievement in their career, they will learn their industry day and night, sacrifice anything for it. But if they feel bad, getting a bottle of pills will suffice.
As much as I like the criticism of popular belief systems, I would still like to end with a more positive message.
I hope that it wont take too many people being turned to potatoes to get this, but lets repeat the message here: your little TV, your prozac’s and your coffee brakes, and your other little distractions, ultimately, will not distract you from the dark void that is the repressed and unused part of you.
There is only one path, and just like loosing weight, it does not come in a magic pill form. You want mental health? You want motivation and all of those cheerful buzzwords that you have been hearing? You want your children to develop in to fully functioning individuals? Read a book. Try that meditation. Learn about your body and your mind. Make an active effort to understand your operating system.
Most importantly, stop assuming that the general populace knows whats best for you. The most popular “fixes” are mostly attempts to hide a symptom. If its easy and it does not take any effort- its probably useless in the long run.
The mind is a great tool, and its dark corners can be scary, at first. But if the light of awareness shines more brightly, the shadows disappear and you can see the real picture.