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I was linked to this article on another forum and had not seen anyone post about it here. I'm not going to add much commentary because I would really like people to read it and think about it for themselves.

The Title speaks volumes "The Crisis as a Problem of and for Mental Health". It begins with some serious food for thought:

The problem of mental health today is not a matter of people getting depressed because of a flawed system that can be tweaked slightly in order to fix things. The social system itself is completely insane. Awareness of reality and, accordingly, of one’s essential needs, is the bedrock of mental health. So, too, are thinking realistically about our social circumstances and being able to function, personally and collectively, with autonomy, solidarity and enjoyment. Yet, these capacities tend to fail when a ruling minority imposes psychopathic and addictive ways of functioning which create a society that is well on the way to self-destruction because it attacks the great majority of its own members.
Do we see ourselves in this? I know I do. The author goes on to discuss the various reasons for the global economic crash including this:
The economic, political and ideological responses to the crisis are posited on continuation of everything that caused it in the first place. The pundits now dictating economic policy are the same and so are the parties in power. There has been no self-criticism and no thought of any change of direction. In neoliberal Europe (once called the Europe of peoples), the economic measures being imposed are not aimed at reactivating a productive economy in the citizens’ interests but at debt recovery, feeding the banks and the plundering of countries. The lies and arrogance of the powers-that-be are markedly psychopathic. For them, human beings have no value unless it is to further enrich the rich or as a source of ever-cheaper labour.
Of course the same methods were used here as well as in Europe and currently our "leaders" are trying to impose more austerity at every turn. We are not being represented, only the ruling class is represented. We have no value other than that which they can wring out of our aching backs and calloused hands. Why wouldn't we be depressed? I had a patron talking about how tired of working he was. He is in his mid 30's and said to me yesterday: "Is this all there is to life? I sleep, I eat, I work and that's it? There has to be more". Indeed, we would all hope for more than this but it is the reality for the majority of us. Our standard of living is declining with our wages and yet we see record profits for the job creators. Here is another gem from the article:
This crisis is also a crisis of identity – of personal and collective alienation – if we understand by “identity” the way we see ourselves, our elected leaders and our fellow citizens. It has laid bare the failure of the “democratic” system of representation in which blatantly corrupt ruling parties operate by means of secretive decisions, make the citizens pay for their crimes and folly and limit them to voting (or not voting) every four years, thus ensuring that they will abstain from any meaningful participation in matters that affect everyone.
Again, do we see ourselves here? I'm going to leave you with that and I truly hope you take the time to read the entire article. It goes on to discuss Big Pharma's solution to our market made depression and the staggering numbers of us that are drugged to numbness just to cope with the reality they have created for us. If you are not depressed, you aren't paying attention.
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Comment Preferences

  •  I need a drink! (3+ / 0-)

    This is depressing!

    "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

    by leftykook on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 06:37:07 AM PDT

  •  Our Entire Society is Against Us: Government (11+ / 0-)

    and the economy. Our system was premised on the economy and the people being essentially the same thing, but since the Civil War and the rise of industrialization, the economy and the people have increasingly become separate. The people are now a cost to the economy, which increasingly is the funder for staffing the government, and so the government represents the economy and needs to help it minimize the burdens the people place on the economy and its government.

    We are not the United States; we are merely its occupants.

    There is nothing in our history that informs us about how to proceed.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 06:40:08 AM PDT

    •  Wow. Way to explain it all in a new way. (2+ / 0-)

      I've been saying, no longer a democracy, yada...... but your analysis is another whole new way of looking at it. Thanks!

      We are not the United States; we are merely its occupants.

      "extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy.... the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake." Paul Krugman

      by Gorette on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 08:37:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Fascinating. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kristina40

      A very interesting way to look at it - food for thought.

      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 11:22:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Great comment. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kristina40

      I sometimes see the world becoming what Vonnegut wrote about in his novel 'Player Piano'.

      We are not the United States; we are merely its occupants.
      Explains why we are so divided.

      When exactly did we stop being citizens, and start to be considered as nothing more than 'consumers'? I hate being thought of as a 'consumer', it sounds like something bad to me, like all I can do is use up stuff without contributing anything back to society.

      The .01% must consider us to be nothing more than cattle.

      •  And in many ways (0+ / 0-)

        we've begun to consider ourselves cattle. We've been taught that consuming is Patriotic. In some circles being wasteful is Patriotic and American! I don't know if it is even fixable at this point.

        ~War is Peace~Freedom is Slavery~Ignorance is Strength~ George Orwell "1984"

        by Kristina40 on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:36:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I hope this generates (2+ / 0-)

    a good discussion. Sadly, I have to leave for work very soon and won't be able to participate until this evening when I get back home. I really just wanted to get people to read it and think about it.

    ~War is Peace~Freedom is Slavery~Ignorance is Strength~ George Orwell "1984"

    by Kristina40 on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 06:42:17 AM PDT

  •  People can become very depressed when (11+ / 0-)

    they see a need for change and cannot make it work. They become angry and anger, in early stages provides energy to work, but when that is systematically thwarted and people feel POWERLESS they crash into depression.

    •  Exactly. I was hoping you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xxdr zombiexx

      would find this diary. I've got to take off for work soon so maybe try and get some eyes on  it?

      ~War is Peace~Freedom is Slavery~Ignorance is Strength~ George Orwell "1984"

      by Kristina40 on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 06:47:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I have not read the article// will bookmark (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xxdr zombiexx, ramara, Kristina40

      but when I was told so ungraciously to love it or leave it
      I scoffed at such a ridiculous statement as we need to rethink our concept of the propaganda and even though we do not have a roadmap, if we can rethink the whole concept of America then we might prevail.  

      We are depressed because we are oppressed and instead of serving..the legislators are ruling.   We need to quit feeding the beast.  Easier said than done.  We have been sold a bill of goods based on lies and war and so called patriotism which is not good for it's people.  A militarized police force to further oppress and the so called war on Drugs came from a crazy man..Nixon.  
      Eisenhower warned us of the MIC and religion from the far right has become as oppressive as why settlers fled the Church hundreds of years ago.  There is a solution and it is courage in place of fear.   Stand up and talk back.   Don't stand idly by when a womans rights are being taken.  Don't stand and watch from the sidelines...Get involved and speak up when you see injustice.   This is precisely why I like Daily Kos.. It almost feels like a cyber country with it's own people.  

      Only the people can stand up to families, friends or x friends who joined the tea party.  Cut them off like a cancer...Cut them out of your lives and teach your children the true meaning of your beliefs and equality.   Teach them to not buy into the commercialism of patriots.   Teach them the truth

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 08:48:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The problem is that when we the depressed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx, Kristina40

    find a glimmer of hope and understanding, the system leaves us stranded to flail in the Wind.

    Notice: This Comment © 2013 ROGNM

    by ROGNM on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 06:58:23 AM PDT

  •  Dr. Isern's article (8+ / 0-)

    lays bare the roots of society's crisis: the destruction of jobs at living wages and the conversion of every social institution into a for-profit venture.  He exposes libertarianism as mental illness costumed as "market choice".  Hence my sig! He also points the way out: shredding the notion of extreme individualism and finding ways to work with others to deal with the situation.

    For at least another hundred years we must pretend to ourselves and to everyone that fair is foul and foul is fair; for foul is useful and fair is not. Avarice and usury and precaution must be our gods for a little longer still. --John Maynard Keynes

    by Kurt from CMH on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 07:11:12 AM PDT

    •  What does commoditization of daily life... (0+ / 0-)

      ... look like?

      I think more of these passive people need it spelled out even more clearly to them.

      I means we each individually have to make ourselves marketable. Continually. And "marketability" means, above all, making ourselves likeable by the 1 percent.

      That can be making ourselves the lowest common denominator, no innovative ideas need apply. It can mean making ourselves into supremely positive beings oozing with confidence and manufactured friendliness, all in the name of the sales pitch. (something else antidepressants are good for!) It can mean making ourselves as beautiful as possible (paid for out of our own pockets, of course) because everybody knows that attractiveness sells, and by the way you have to appeal to people who have unlimited budgets for image maintenance; so pony up buttercup.

      But above all, it means adopting and promoting the values of the very rich. So many jobs have become, de facto, cheerleading jobs for corporations and the 1 percent. Who gets hired by a university, for instance, unless they agree to the unspoken job description of "always be presenting a positive image of your university's administrators and board?" What is the description of a service job-- the fastest growing job sector in America-- if not to always put the sales pitch first, no matter how much damage to the truth or our dignity we have to sacrifice? What do you think "hiring for fit" is all about? "Every job is a sales job", indeed.

      The constant imperative to always be marketing ourselves, always be selling, means we spend an increasing amount of money and time on making ourselves marketable. Who has time for personal authenticity when we have livings to make? Who has time for luxuries like fighting injustice, feeling empathy, wanting to live our own lives the way we see fit? Those pesky things mar the comfortable image. They screw up the sales pitch.

      When we have debts and families, we are all called upon to become hustlers. We have to sell out, surrender our dignity, prop up sexist, racist and classist values, because our job descriptions-- make the 1 percent feel good-- demand it.

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

      by Lucy Montrose on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 06:55:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for this article which I'm going to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kristina40

    read now. This is what we need to be discussing here, figuring out what we can do about it, how we can explain it to the many.

    And remembering you from all the BP disaster diaries, was thinking: we are depressed because we see today that a new report says that toxic oil is still washing ashore and having an impact, just like we knew it would. Sigh.

    "extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy.... the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake." Paul Krugman

    by Gorette on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 08:43:17 AM PDT

  •  Depressed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kristina40

    Fox News

  •  depression is submission (3+ / 0-)

    I read an article somewhere where animal behaviorists speculated some interesting parallels between the behaviors of depressed humans and the classic submissive behaviors of low-status herd/pack animals: not feeding aggressively, minimal vocalization, not initiating play or sex, avoiding and retreating from eye contact and touch, and a generally passive and reactive approach to life.

    While brain chemistry plays a role, depression may also be an internalization of real or perceived weakness whose adaptive function is harm/conflict avoidance; these behaviors actually make perfect sense if you have more to lose from biting off more than you can chew than from not aiming as high as you can achieve, especially if you can rely on the basic support of the pack.

    It's also suggestive that submissive behaviors are not [totally] imposed from outside: take a low-ranked animal away from the influence of the pack and its dominant member(s) and they won't suddenly start acting like alphas, but will continue in their submissive habits.

  •  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-)
      Recommended by:
      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

      [ Parent ]

      •  For me it was the opposite (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        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

        [ Parent ]

  •  kristina 60, Discouraged & Sad perhaps however... (0+ / 0-)

    ...Depression is a Disease.

    Our current Congressional House members can discourage me and cause a saddening reaction but those members there with their Hoof in the Mouth disease have, as yet, been unable to infect me( or cause my affect to be a depressive one) .

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