RIP Philo

It's OK To Be Depressed Sometimes

The modern Western mindset has it that depression is an abnormal state. That when you're a bit down, it means you have a medical problem that requires treatment. Of course, this isn't necessarily true. While depression is clearly a major problem for many people that does require treatment of some type, do we all need to be treated every time we are down? More than this, though, if we become depressed, should we consider ourselves in some way abnormal?

You are normal. Very depressing...
Permalink son of parnas 
March 21st, 2007 9:03am
this is normal? fuck.. where's my ear?
Permalink van gogh 
March 21st, 2007 9:10am
So basically what they're saying is that the medical community sometimes over-diagnoses shit, which is a brand new idea that no one has ever come up with before.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
March 21st, 2007 9:20am
As I look around me, at American culture, with its demands of perfection, and its offers to MAKE you more perfect if only you had the money, and it's constant reminders of how unperfect you actually are (so you SHOULD spend your money that way) -- as I see this, it seems to me that the *normal* state of most Americans would be a vague to medium depression -- or dissatisfaction at the very least.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
March 21st, 2007 9:20am
Yep, our culture is sick.

Which leads back to the overdiagnosis by doctors so that they'll have more patients to treat and more bonuses from the drug companies hence more money so that they can be more perfect.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
March 21st, 2007 9:24am
I read somewhere that depression was a kind of "evolved" cry for help.
Permalink Colm 
March 21st, 2007 9:37am
Is there a pill for this?
Permalink Send private email xampl 
March 21st, 2007 10:13am
Because selling 'life style' drugs that cost a couple hundred dollars per month per patient is a fabulous wealth producing scheme for BigPharma. That is why the incessant advertisements that boil down to "you can't handle reality, so take our pill!" appear in almost every magazine and tv network.
Permalink Peter 
March 21st, 2007 10:30am
All the more reason to avoid modern American "culture" like the plague.

"Pill me, Baby!"
Permalink Kepala Kelapa 
March 21st, 2007 10:33am
The situation with pharma marketing depresses me.
Permalink JoC 
March 21st, 2007 10:47am
The thing is that a person with depression gets worse with each depressive episode -- the ability to rebound, 'pick yourself up, and start all over again', the elastic resilience gets worn out. The barrier gets lower and lower till the most mundane of life's little disappointments (missing a turn on a highway, a gnarly code bug) overwhelm an ability to function at all.

So yeah despite being natural like cancer or malaria, there are benefits to treating depression.
Permalink Send private email sour grape snowflake 
March 21st, 2007 10:51am
Like jets, jacuzzis, and jaguars!
Permalink JoC 
March 21st, 2007 10:54am
Drug companies or banks?  Maybe they're both in on you being depressed.
Permalink Michael B 
March 21st, 2007 11:12am
when medicine is run like a business, it's no wonder that it's practitioners will operate in a way that propagates that business.

otoh, diet and lifestyle has a very strong impact on our psychological condition.  i think americans are becoming quite deficient in this regard, so it's somewhat off base to equate westerners and non-westerners.
Permalink Send private email Kenny 
March 21st, 2007 11:27am
To be sure, the US been called hypomanic (slightly manic) -- immigrants self-selected a risk-taking genome (*)?

There was an article about Russia and global warming a few days back. Despite Russia reaping double benefits from both a warmer climate and being able to sell carbon credits (cause of lower industrial output), the attitude of the Russians, scientists too, was one of fatalistic acceptance - 'If you can't be with the one you love, love the enovironment you're with.'

(*) Is that one reason African-Americans (but not Obama, see above) are slightly more depressed than white Americans? Genetics? I wonder if anyone has the balls to test it (it wouldn't be too hard).
Permalink Send private email sour grape snowflake 
March 21st, 2007 12:32pm
i doubt there's a racial genetic tendency for depression.  genetically, being from a different racial background means almost zilch.  you're practically just as likely to have genetic uniformity with someone from Peking than you are from New York.
Permalink Send private email Kenny 
March 21st, 2007 2:35pm
I didn't say it was purely racial. I said that the States is odd kind of place. Most people (not just whites, but Asians and Hispanics) track their ancestory down to risk-takers who immigrated. The two big exceptions are African-Americans (in part) and Native Americans. These two groups have the highest levels of depression as well. Perhaps their levels of depression are normal when compared to the rest of the world (ie, other non-immigrants), but seem abnormal when compared to hyperactive immigrant-progeny who has been self-selected for higher risk/hypomania.

I'd be curious to see children of African African-Caribbean immigrants (Obama, Powell, etc) compared to the non-immigrant African-American. Then it's not about race per se.
Permalink Send private email sour grape snowflake 
March 21st, 2007 3:36pm
"Most people (not just whites, but Asians and Hispanics) track their ancestory down to risk-takers who immigrated"

by that argument black americans track their ancestry back to people who were stupid and/or weak enough that they were able to be captured by men with sticks.

does that explain the differences in IQ?  or is the entire 'our ancestors were xxx so we are too' argument total bunk?

your choice!
Permalink Send private email worldsSmallestViolin 
March 22nd, 2007 1:40am
No. I didn't say that. They were a more random sampling when it comes to risk and depressive tendency. A more average sample that's all. No one said anything about intelligence, starvation-resistance, religiosity, musicality, but nice projection there.
Permalink Send private email strawberry snowflake 
March 22nd, 2007 9:20am

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