02 May, 2012

Mental Health Month: Depression and Oppression

Given our rapidly deteriorating national psyche in the United States as displayed by increasing alienation, decreasing civic involvement, increases in mental health problems and addictions and decreasing connection to a rapidly deteriorating natural world, it's easy to blame the problem on schools, institutions, hollywood and even a government that is broken. Indeed, there is a lot of evidence that much of depression comes from being alienated, feeling powerless and abject poverty. Add to that the sad truth that our government and the people in power would much rather die and take a lot of us with it than to really change.

Sorry if that makes you depressed. I know it makes me depressed quite often. And hopeless. Spending twelve years in a public school learning to live in fear does that to a person.

But in the same way that alcoholics can't expect corrupt parents to fix their problems, we can't expect corrupt systems, Governments and Institutions to fix ours. It's a long road, something that starts with rebuilding self-esteem (without verging into narcissistic self love) and empowerment in our own communities and our worlds.

I am the all powerful writer of this article, yet I don't really have any concrete answers. A few books that have helped me in this process are How to Find Morale, Energy and Community in a World Gone Crazy and some of the ideas in the Icarus Project (which strangely enough overlap with some other punk, permaculture philosophies).


Andrea Rouda said...

Have some chocolate!

ozjthomas said...

LoL. Indeed!!!

As to the question about buffers, I have sunglasses, which help with sensory stimulation, but as far as buffers with people and situations, it's something I need to work on, probably. Also, I like the book you sent me also although there were some out of date concepts. =)