Depression is political

We are told by doctors and therapists that our problems are rooted in ourselves.

The journey back to good mental health always seems to involve examining interpersonal issues, unhappy childhoods, problem relationships. 

I’m not denying that those things have a role in how we function and how we experience life, but there doesn’t seem to be any room in a medical setting for the sociopolitical factors at play.

How many therapists are willing to look at the impact of the here and now, out there in society?

How many acknowledge that being denied benefits, being declared fit for work, even watching your country embark on a suicidal exit from Europe, or electing a President who lacks compassion, can all play a role in depression?

Is it not the case that witnessing cruelty, intolerance, bigotry and selfishness, not to mention institutional corruption, neglect of the sick and survival of the fittest, is detrimental to mental health? 

Our society seems hellbent on silencing the vulnerable and promoting the callous.

And that makes me depressed, possibly more than the stuff that happened to me when I was a kid.


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