Monday, 18 April 2011

the great depression

I wrote a post last week in which I talked about how I was feeling much better since starting my new job, and how my doctor had been saying I was suffering from depression.

Luckily for me it was a temporary thing that I knew would pass in time.

What has struck me is the number of people who have responded empathising and saying that they understood how I had been feeling all too well. Not just in the comments but I've had some very supportive private messages and also from personal friends that read my blog.
It's almost as if there is an epidemic.
If I wasn't so shit at maths I'd work out the percentage of people I know that are depressed because I think it would be quite astounding.

I believe that it's perfectly normal to experience periods in our lives when we have lows. It's necessary in order to appreciate the highs.
Yin and yang.
Without darkness would we truly enjoy the light.
There needs to be balance in all things.
Emotions - all of them, are part of what makes us human and I guess true depression is caused when there is an imbalance of experiences as well as endorphins and seratonin.
No doubt the chemical issue makes it harder for people to cope with the pitfalls of life.

I don't know.

I do think that there is a culture at the moment to cure everything with pills.
My own doctor has offered me medication more then once, I refused. Given everything that occurred in my life I would've been more concerned if I hadn't been affected in some way.
But this trend of treating the symptom rather then looking at the cause is not good. Were I to arrive at my doctors complaining of severe stomach pain she might give me something to ease the pain but I'd be sent to the hospital to see what was causing it.
It does seem that often this doesn't apply when the pain is mental.

Of course most of the adults I know who experience depression are all to aware of where the root cause of their problems lie, but I have also known young people be diagnosed as depressed and prescribed prozac without even being offered any kind of counselling to explore why or address the reason.

Personally I'd rather feel bad then feel nothing, for me that would be more worrying.
If I was numbed out on meds I might not be aware of how much better I feel now.
But it's this that tells me I was right to refuse the medication unlike true depressives who would never feel better without it.

If you look at the most common symptoms of depression how many of us have experienced at least one or two at some point in our lives ?
Quite a lot of us I bet.
Sound familiar ?

What I'm really curious about is what is going on to make so many people feel so bad.
Of course every individual is the product of the circumstances of their own life, but being a stoner the type of person who loves to ponder the bigger picture I guess I'm wondering if there isn't some kind of collective consciousness occurring here.

You will be assimilated.
Or have I just watched too many Borg episodes of Star Trek ?

Depression is a sick emotion not a physical illness, although it can manifest that way, but the core of the problem is a feeling and as empathic beings we are capable of tuning it to each others emotions.

I have cried with friends over something they have lost and felt their joy when good things happen, bawled my eyes out at a sad film and cried and cheered over a happy ending.

Unless you are made of stone I think it would be very hard to watch news footage of the worlds disasters and not feel some degree of sympathy for the victims.

Some feelings are more contagious then measles and I have known people in whose company I have felt emotionally drained after any period of time, simply because they are always on a downer.

We live in societies where people are committing atrocities against one another, in a world that is being slowly destroyed by it's inhabitants and on a planet that appears to be rebelling against us.
Is it not possible that the planets depressed ?

Perhaps those who truly experience depression as suffering are just more in tune with the state of the world.


  1. i have many theories about depression ... having suffered since a wee kid, i really believe it has to do with our planets environment, chemicals, and many more things ... i'll take up your whole comments yakking though xo

  2. Well I have always been manic-depressive. But you're right, where the world is now and against everything that is going wrong, makes every mind feel down at the pits, even unconsciously. It is a collective paradigm I think. You can be happy in one minute then hear something horrible about a friend or the rest of the world. Happiness just don't last as it used to.

  3. That's a very interesting theory. Last night I was in a pretty good mood until I heard on the news that a 12 yr old girl was killed in a car accident. Her mother was driving and survived. They were hit by a teenager who was on heroin. I couldn't stop thinking about the mom and the incredible emptiness she must be feeling. I couldn't get to sleep. And then I started thinking about other things. My brain wouldn't stop. It's no surprise that when people shoot themselves, it's always in the head. The mind can be an endless source of tortuous noise. I had to take an ambien to shut it up last night. I'm also on celexa, which I think helps me, especially with anxiety. I think you're right about how it sort of flattens your emotions. It's about pros/cons. For me, it's worth it but at some point I would love to be med-free.


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