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#2513 - 12/03/07 11:20 AM The Great Depression (Swindle?)
Equilibrio Offline
pledge


Registered: 10/21/07
Posts: 56
Loc: Missouri
Reason magazine has an interesting article (here) based on a book called "The Loss of Sadness: How Psychiatry Transformed Normal Sorrow Into Depressive Disorder" , by Allan V. Horwitz and Jerome C. Wakefield.

A sample from the article:

According to Horwitz and Wakefield, “There are no obvious circumstances that would explain a recent upsurge in depressive disorder.” The ranks of the depressed are bulging, they argue, because the clinical category fails to make the elementary distinction between normal, functional sadness and true mental disorder. The depression data are littered with false positives—jilted lovers, white-collar workers who missed out on a promotion, and kids nobody asked to the prom. People who are suffering but aren’t sick.

This is something I have suspected for a long time now. My question is: Why is this such a huge phenomenon?

I have a couple of theories I will run by you. Tell me what you think:

1. Lack of perspective - For the most part, people in the western world today are so coddled and soft that they have no idea what true hardship is. They've never had to endure brutal winters without the benefit of modern conveniences like electricity, central heat and grocery stores. They've rarely been exposed to the brutalities of having their village ransacked and their family raped and killed by marauders. The most incapacitating hardship a lot of people endure these days is the death of a loved one. So it stands to reason that, comparatively speaking, something as trivial as being rejected by a love interest can seem like a tragic, life-ending event.

2. Masochism - Some people just get off on suffering.

3. Sympathy Junkies - These are the people who have Munchausen syndrome. I can see how depression would be an inviting disorder to adopt, as it doesn't require the concoction of physical evidence and apparently there is no shortage of psychiatric professionals willing to diagnose it based on the patient's word.

Deep down, I have a suspicion that a vast majority of suffering in developed countries is self-inflicted. This article seems to be a step in supporting this theory.

If you ask me, the real tragedy here is that because most of these people actually start taking anti-depressants, they still can't appreciate the delicate balance between real joy and sorrow; how one plays off of the other and gives us contrast. Instead, they are chemically happy-fied...Further skewing an already flawed perspective.

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#2525 - 12/03/07 07:37 PM Re: The Great Depression (Swindle?) [Re: Equilibrio]
ZephyrGirl Offline
R.I.P.
active member


Registered: 08/28/07
Posts: 706
Loc: Adelaide Australia
I can't remember who said it, but there was an American guy I heard interviewed on the radio some years back talking about how we are told we can do and be ANYTHING, which is just setting us up for failure and deppression.

Whilst it's a nice thought, it's wholly unrealistic.

Zeph
_________________________
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass -
It's about learning to dance in the rain.


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#2527 - 12/03/07 10:15 PM Re: The Great Depression (Swindle?) [Re: ZephyrGirl]
TornadoCreator Offline
member


Registered: 10/24/07
Posts: 586
Loc: No Fixed Address
I've been at the Western Worlds rock bottom.

I spent 3 months homeless last year. (and a further 3 months squatting illegally). During those three months I spent a total of 3 1/2 weeks sleeping on the street. I ate when people fed me, which was relatively often but I did go hungry a fair few nights.

I became quite resourceful and I know that regardless of what happens I can ensure my survival and claw my way back up in society because I've done it before. (I even dated whilst homeless, the 'wild, impulsive' thing seemed to turn her on, really it was me being impulsive in order to survive).

Why am I mentioning all this... well because I have never had depression. I've been depressed. I've been out right miserable. I've had days, and on occasion whole weeks where I've felt like shit and not wanted to do anything but sleep, watch TV and tell people to fuck off. But I've never had depression. Why? Because depression is a lie that people tell themselves because they're too weak willed to decide what it is in their lives they need to make them happy and then go out and bloody well get it.
_________________________
If you can't practice what you preach, at least have the decency to preach what you practice

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#2543 - 12/04/07 02:33 PM Re: The Great Depression (Swindle?) [Re: TornadoCreator]
undeadridinghood Offline
pledge


Registered: 08/31/07
Posts: 72
Loc: Washington State
I agree that depression is over diagnosed, and that too many people are on prescription drugs because of it. The drugs numb you entirely, not just the depression. It's harder to get over being sad when you're on them if you aren't actually depressed. However, I do think that depression is real, despite what any of you say. When a person is sad, suicidal, sleeping poorly or sleeping too much, all of those well known symptoms, but without a real reason, I believe that it is depression. I've been through it myself. Unfortunately, I was on the medication for too long and it prevented me from "getting over it" for a long time. I was on antidepressants since seventh grade, and only went off of them last summer. I probably should have gone off of them a year earlier. Not before then, however. One thing about the over diagnosis is that the doctors, psychologists, etc, all think that they have a cookie cutter cure for it. They've seen so many cases of the same thing over and over that they aren't willing to work much harder than that to treat a person. I never had luck with counselors because they always assumed that I needed children's counseling because I was younger.

My father has been living with depression basically since I was born. The only person he has to blame for it is himself. He can get over it, though the drugs make it hard for him. I don't think he's really self centered, and he doesn't mope much, but he's incapable of having fun. He has no social life, no friends, and basically does nothing but work and watch tv. I don't know if he'd be better without the drugs, but at least he'd be different.

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#2552 - 12/04/07 09:02 PM Re: The Great Depression (Swindle?) [Re: undeadridinghood]
SSSnake Offline
pledge


Registered: 11/04/07
Posts: 79
Loc: PA. U.S.A.
\:\(
_________________________
"Est et fideli tuta silentio merces:"—"for faithful silence, also, there is a sure reward."

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#2568 - 12/05/07 05:53 AM Re: The Great Depression (Swindle?) [Re: undeadridinghood]
TornadoCreator Offline
member


Registered: 10/24/07
Posts: 586
Loc: No Fixed Address
But I still fail to see how this can be a problem needing drugs... surely all your father needs is time and some motivation to figure out what it is that will make him happy. What it is that's missing from his life. I can't imagine what it would be like to truly not know.

I'm not in a particularly good position myself. I'm in constant pain and doctors don't know why, I have no university education and no job (I recently lost mine due to being physically incapable of doing it). I'm also not in any stable relationship at the moment.

What would make me happy is having a job somewhere, doing what I love. Being in a stable relationship where I could raise a family and having the prospect of going back to university. I don't know HOW I'll achieve this but I know I want this. I can't understand people who don't know what they want. Even in the short term, I want to watch TV, play some computer games, go out with my friends, visit my family in the near future and currently I want a bacon sandwich.... that's what will make me happy. I just don't understand how people out there can't just think for a few seconds and come up with a list of stuff they WANT to do.
_________________________
If you can't practice what you preach, at least have the decency to preach what you practice

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#2571 - 12/05/07 07:39 AM Re: The Great Depression (Swindle?) [Re: TornadoCreator]
Equilibrio Offline
pledge


Registered: 10/21/07
Posts: 56
Loc: Missouri
You have a healthy perspective of your situation, TC.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that there isn't a need for medication in some cases. Some people have abnormal brain chemistries.

I think that most people who think that they are suffering from depression are actually suffering from disappointment, which is bound to happen when one sets their expectations too high for their abilities. Either improve your abilities or lower your expectations...No drugs required.

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