Sunday, December 2, 2018

Why Are We So Depressed?

Sometimes we want what we want even if we know it’s going to kill us.
Donna Tartt

Sigmund Freud believed most people channeled their death instinct outwardly. The "Death Drive" or that tendency towards self destructive behavior is real. I don't care if you subscribe to Eastern orthodoxies, Western religious dogmatism, or postmodern psychoanalytic theory, we can't deny the fact that there are some people hell bent on destroying themselves.

Self destruction takes on many forms. For some it's alcohol and drug abuse; for others it's engaging in extremely dangerous or risky behavior. No matter the symptom(s) the underlying cause tends to be some form of depression. What has changed in society? Are we more depressed now than before? Why do so many people feel like they are trapped in lives they can't escape?

This isn't a frivolous rhetorical exercise. I'm asking broad, open ended questions for a reason: maybe we need to spend more time thinking, with an open mind, about what's happening around us? How can we possibly help anyone if we haven't asked ourselves tough questions, or examined our own self destructive behaviors? 

I'm not Monday morning quarterbacking depression or any mental health issue. This isn't amateur psychology hour. I'm asking anyone still reading to think about the big questions, and some of the seemingly small questions that have big answers. Who are you? Who am I? How much influence does society, class, culture, and economics play in determining the answers we find? Why are we so depressed?

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