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View Diary: Why we are depressed as a Society (24 comments)

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  •  I liked and shared the article (3+ / 0-)

    as social analysis. It's important to remember that an extreme response to an extreme situation is not pathological. Having worked with kids in foster care and other victims of abuse, I always kept that in mind, but treatment could help (though I wasn't big on meds).

    However, as someone who truly suffers from a mental illness called depression, I must say that the antidepressants that I never took until I was in my 50's are empowering rather than the reverse.

    Being attentive to the needs of others might not be the point of life, but it is the work of life. It can be ... almost impossibly difficult. But it is not something we give. It is what we get in exchange for having to die. - Jonathan Safran Foer

    by ramara on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 11:30:41 AM PDT

    •  It's the serotonin, stupid. (1+ / 0-)
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      ramara

      I've always had a visceral reaction to the goal of a lot of these antidepressants: increase your serotonin availability and use. Serotonin is the hormone that makes us happy and calm. In other words, it's not a stretch to think of increasing serotonin as a good thing for anyone with a vested interest in keeping us happily passive in the face of the status quo.
      Indeed, Americans value emotional stability and stress relief to such a degree, that we probably long ago stopped caring about what trade-offs we made to reach that state. Sure, we can no longer fight injustice, feel strong emotion, or let things like suffering of the less fortunate get to us. But dammit, we feel calm and we feel good, and that's all that matters.

      Good for your life, and anybody else's with clinical depression, that's been improved by antidepressants. Some people have biochemical reasons for depression. I just think they're outnumbered by socially-induced depression cases.

      Real Democrats don't abandon the middle class. --John Kerry

      by Lucy Montrose on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 07:05:12 AM PDT

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      •  For me it was the opposite (1+ / 0-)
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        Lucy Montrose

        Once I had started on the antidepressants, I could become politically active again - and did. Even though I was still somewhat depressed, I had the energy to engage again with the world.

        I am sure that all psychotropics are over-prescribed and over-used, but there are still those of us for whom they work as intended.

        I believe the definition of mental health is the ability to respond to what is happening here and now. When that requires action, I am once again able to respond by taking action.

        Being attentive to the needs of others might not be the point of life, but it is the work of life. It can be ... almost impossibly difficult. But it is not something we give. It is what we get in exchange for having to die. - Jonathan Safran Foer

        by ramara on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 12:47:20 PM PDT

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