Interesting thread, I’ve been following since the start. It’s a subject I’ve had on my mind recently for one reason or another. Might I ask a question?
Those who worry about being sent into a low ebb by this thread might not want to read this post, I don’t know.
I’m not a depression sufferer myself yet, as far as I’m aware, but I await the big breakdown I try to keep at bay with the choices I make.
Two members of my immediate family are receiving ongoing treatment for depression, as are two of my friends. I don’t want to generalise here; I speak of their cases alone and understand that depression can be an illness in need of treatment just like any other.
When I consider their lives and the way they’re lived I tend to find myself thinking of their depression not as an illness but as a symptom. I had always assumed (before the diagnoses came) that their frustrations are an obvious result of the environment in which they (we all) exist.
I won’t go into specific details but they all – like many of us today – are dedicated to ultimately meaningless work, they seek solace in consumerism, with nice cars, shiny toys and endless creature comforts being the supposed rewards for their mentally tiring but physically unstimulating (and occasionally morally bankrupt) jobs.
They’ve diligently and correctly pieced together the accepted middle class jigsaw only to find the end picture gets us no nearer to any sense of satisfaction. I think to myself that their depression isn’t an illness but a symptom of an ill society. When the goals are wrong, scoring cannot bring victory.
I feel really insensitive and ignorant thinking what I do, and would never say it to any of them, but when we live the lives we do, what do we expect?
It has seemed wrong to me that (in the cases I speak of here) the solution offered by a doctor has always been a medicinal one. They treat it medically because they’re from a medical background in the same way a plumber would try to blame your low water pressure or a car salesman would say you need a convertible. To me the problem seems... bigger. I dunno, sociological?
I’ve often wondered if the doctor would be so keen to prescribe meds if they could afford the time to spend a week just looking at the life of their patient. Would they ever conclude that the depression isn’t the illness but a symptom. A symptom can be treated, but while ever the cause is still there the problem will remain.