Depression, real or imagined?

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by Gravity, May 31, 2006.

  1. Gravity

    Gravity #winning

    The camps seem to be divided by those who believe mental illness is an attitude of mind and therfore should be overcome by say a more positive attitude, and those who feel that depression should be treated with medication.

    I have a couple of concerns:

    1.) Happiness is seen as a state which is a right of the individual. i.e. if a person is not happy, then something is wrong. It may be argued however that happiness takes hard work to attain, and to feel happiness, we too, must feel pain and suffer. If we try to eliminate sadness, and natural emotions, we may run the risk of degenerating the human condition ( Francis Fukuyuma Our post human future)

    2.) The side effects of these pills, and how people come to rely on them in order to function normally. A friend of mine says that she knows when she forgets to take her pill because the world goes fuzzy, and she gets tremors.

    3.) The increased demand for anti-depressants. My sister is a phramacist and has told me that she does more prescriptions for blood pressure and depression than anything else.

    4.) A Doctor's willingness to prescribe them. I went to a doctor once and happened to tell him that I had felt a little bit down, and without much discussion he was going to prescribe them to me, without any offer of counselling beforehand. I did not accept the pills because I was dubious about these kind of drugs and wanted to carry out my own research.

    Now, while I do not agree that all people who feel depressed need a pill, I believe that some mental health drugs, like drugs for schizophrenia do relieve symptoms, so am inclined to think that some people perhaps do need anti-depressants to lead a normal life. It has left me wondering whether depression in the modern sense has always been around, but now that there are drugs for it, it seems that it is a fairly new phenomenon. Or whether, the multi-billion dollar indistry has created a niche in the market, which is underpinned by the generally held view that society is going downhill. Durkheim, called it anomie. Anomie, is when society loses its values and norms which keep it functioning. When a society is in a state of anomie then people are bound to feel unhappy because their lives lose meaning. But anyway, a Durkheimean view of modern mental health industry is not important, if when we speak of anomie, we are dealing with a modern myth which creates a need for these drugs. Nevertheless, it does make you think about what is causing all the depression, (could it be societies ills?) or what is reinforcing this feeling of need for anti-depressants.

    PS : If this is the wrong place to post this I'm sorry.
  2. Inquiring-Mind

    Inquiring-Mind Senior Member


    Have humans always had such high levels of mental illness as we do now? If not, I think it is society and it is underlying systems and how they function.

    I maybe depressed but it is not because I hate myself it is because I hate where I live now(a big noisy and crowed city).
  3. prismatism

    prismatism loves you

    i went through thinking about this a lot.

    mental illnesses are in your head. by definition. you can't control your own head? you need the government to do it for you? they'd be glad to, without even finding out the slightest detail of your personality or your life. they'll make your boogey men go away. but everything in our minds (and in life) is there for a reason. what if van gogh had taken zoloft? these drugs are a shield between ourselves, and ourselves. i think everyone should know who they are, even if who they are is a crazy person, or a sad person. if you deny the truth you'll never have the power to truly change it.

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