Posted by zalle on July 30, 2003, at 21:39:38
In reply to Would like everyone's opinion...., posted by john Henry on July 30, 2003, at 6:47:42
i personally believe its the way our society has changed. i think maybe Aldous Huxley prediction of our future in his book "Brave New World" may not be far off the truth. Consider Huxley's SOMA to be all the chemicals and drugs people use today (alcohol, nicotine, pot, anti-depressants, emphitemenes, ectasy,etc etc) and it seems that his prediction of a chemically/ drug dependent society is accurate.
I saw a documentary on australian tv that said 30% of our population is dependent on some form of chemical drug. I believe this large figure is due to several different societal changes. The first being that there seems to be this constant demand to escape what we believe is a "mundane life". whether this has always been apparent i'm not sure but i know for certain that "depression " has got a lot of negative stigma to it that never used to exist in the past. For example ....30 - 40 years ago (i'm not sure on exact dates) people with mental illness and depression sufferers were believed by society to be gifted. This was the correlation that was evident between the "mentally ill" and apparent increased artistic abiity. Yet now even the word depressed has such negative conotations. It seems the use of the word melancholy is not used much anymore. Melancholy describes the feeling of depression but it does not imply that this feeling is negative or undesirable. Somehow our society has been convinced of needing to live a constantly happy, joyous existance and if we are ever to feel anything seperate to that then we therefore labelled as "mentally ill".To be happy and joyfull at all times is unattainable......anyone knows that......but yet we still believe the propaganda that is telling us....that we need this and that medication because unhappiness and depression is abnormal. Since when is depression an illness??....it mightn't be the most desirable or pleasant experience ( i won't deny that it can be quite debilatating) but who is it to say that it is abnormal? As an example of this all you need to do is read this site...there was someone saying that they needed to take anti-depressents for shyness. Since when has shyness been a mental disablity? Are we forgetting that diversity is a positive aspect of living? Not everyone is out spoken and "out going" but somehow now the drug companies are telling us that this is the "normal" way to be. I remember when i was young that shyness was not considered a negative trait at all. I saw an extremely disturbing documentary about a huge pharmaceutical company in america that was specifically targeting children by using marketing methods that say shyness and sadness can be cured. Many parents wouldn't allow their children to drink alcohol or smoke pot...so how is it that they can approve that their children take powerful mind altering drugs like anti-depressents. Shyness is a common trait and it is not to be confused with low self esteem. The assumption cannot be made that because someone is shy that therefore they automatically have low self esteem. Although i don't believe that shyness in itself is an abnormality i do think that low self esteem is a serious issue and needs to be treated. However to tell people that low esteem is caused by a "chemical inbalance" or even inherited genetically is (i believe) a blatant lie.
It seems that using reasons like this just give the drug companies more justification and reason for people to take their drugs. What about societal factors that cause depression?? the constant image of what is beautiful that is unattainable to most of us......surely that must be a factor in self esteem issues?......what about our upbringing ...our teachers ..our schools.....if your not pretty, academic or sporty you have no worth (I found through my exxperience)..surely that is a factor to being depressed and feeling low self esteem??
it is not our "brain chemistry" that needs to be changed it is that we need to change this society.
It is too easy to ignore the real causes of depression by blaming it on factors that are really out of our control. We can't control our brain chemistry ...we can't control our genetics (well,,that is changing) so we end up taking the drugs and forgetting about the real issues. it causes silence and suppresion.....Can you imagine if all drugs were taken away .......society would become restless because they would have nothing to 'escape' and then surely people would start to fight to live in a better society. Governments don't want that so of course they endorse the use of anti-depressants.
Are we heading towards a world like Huxleys "Brave New World" ...where everyone takes SOMA to deal with every challenging human emotion that exists...
Maybe ...just maybe depression is necessary ...how can we progress without experience ...without challenges?