"my heart is darker than these oceans
my heart is frozen underneath"
Friday night and my only company is a little music, ambient lighting, and as usual my runaway mind.
Thinking too much can be unhealthy, I've decided, although there was no real answer to the question I posed. (That's usually the way I operate anyways; I ask, and as soon as I have posed the question, the answer comes, as though I knew it all along.)
My conclusion is two-fold: Thinking too much becomes unhealthy when one becomes so immersed in self and absorbed in dissecting that reality is skewed. (You know, the whole, standing too close and not seeing the whole picture.) The other danger is, of course, when one is focussing too much on unhealthy thoughts.
So why am I thinking about all of this? In a way, it's a conclusion from a progression of thought. Is this making any sense? Hm.
I am no stranger to depression, my own and other's. Many of us aren't. In many ways, it's an age of depression. It's one of the top issues claimed by developed countries, and one of the leading causes of death in these countries. Suicide rates have increased dramatically in the last decade. Probably most of us are wondering why, too.
The prevalence got nothing to do with faith in God, or whether you are a Christian. It's just I don't think Christians and churches particularly like to talk about it. It doesn't jive with Christian values or expectations, and let's face it, if you're feeling blue you're not being much of a light.
More and more people are clinically depressed, and still more are prescribed antidepressants. Now, knowing what lucrative business drug companies do, (and often the terrible, lying, deceiving, people-sacrificing lucrative drug companies), I believe often-addictive antidepressants are an over-prescribed method of shooing people out of the doctor's office and into the pharmacist's line. However, if it weren't for antidepressants, I can't imagine where my family would be today.
My grandfather was what they used to term "manic-depressive", now coined bi-polar. Before antidepressants, he was "treated" via electroshock therapy and other methods of torture. After antidepressants, he balanced enough to, in a small part, regain relationships his behaviour had shattered. But his illness was hereditary; it was not a question of if his descendants would suffer it, but only which of them would.
Now, this is a reality for our family, as it is for many. I do not question the legitimacy of diagnosed mental illness, but the source and the prevalence.
:: Why are so many people depressed, and why do so many people claim to be depressed::
:: Why are more women suffering post-partum::
:: Do we just have more time (too much time) to contemplate our feelings and thoughts::
:: Are we dangerously self-absorbed::
:: Is the term an easy way of saying "my life sucks and I'd something to fix it"::
:: Is legitimate depression caused by chemicals, additives, preservatives, hormones, pesticides, and unknown crap we are ingesting::
:: Is our culture morphing into white collar societies with less and less phsyical work/activity::
:: Have we lost our grounding of faith as a culture::
:: Or that depression has little stigma::
:: Is it fashionable::
::Are we more depressed than ages before us? ::
Mental illness, is of course, no new thing. Definitely chronicled in the Bible. Definitely chronicled through the ages. Back in the day, sociopaths were harnessed as religious leaders, and psychopaths into military leaders. People who went mad because of trauma or war had no name for their unknown terror. Farley Mowat refers to it as "the Worm" in And No Birds Sang. Families like mine have violence, fear, and sadness in their tree because of it.
I am asking questions with no answerable answers. Especially answers that aren't stupid or clinical or black and white. But I would be interested in opening a dialogue here if anyone's interested.
"We are not merely imperfect creatures who must be improved: we are, as Newman said, rebels who must lay down our arms. The first answer, then, to the question why our cure should be painful, is that to render back the will which we have so long claimed for our won, is in itself, wherever and however it is done, a grievous pain." -- The Problem of Pain