Depression is one version of hell on earth, and Americans have a lot of it. A recent international study of 18 countries found America near the top, with 19.2 percent of the population having experienced depression — only France, at 21 percent, ranked higher. With our tottering health care system and vigorous arguments that antidepressants are useless, what are people to do?
Lots. Recognize that a stalled body and a stalled economy have much in common. They can degenerate or reinvent and regenerate themselves to survive and thrive. Depression is a systemic, whole body illness — its causes are multiple, its manifestions endless and its treatment multi-faceted. As Jonathan Himmelhoch and others have argued, depression represents an overall failure of the human body to adapt.
It’s time to adapt a new way of looking at the human body — one that aids us to heal ourselves.
When you’re depressed you can’t think, and you can’t sleep. Your IQ drops, you’re tired in your bones and you become convinced this horror will never leave — and nothing will make it better. No wonder depressives were burned as witches in 17th century England and New England; the transformation of the person is so total only devils could have done the work.
And the causes? More than you can name.