‘Living in an Age of Melancholy: When Society Becomes Depressed’ by Douglas Bloch

“Depression is not just a private, psychological matter. It is, in fact, a social problem … The fact that depression seems to be “in the air” right now can be both the cause and result of a level of a societal malaise that so many feel.” Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation

dblochIn a recent Ted Talk, Depression is a Disease of Civilization, Professor Stephen Ilardi advances the thesis that depression is a disease of our modern lifestyle. As an example, Ilardi compares our modern culture to the Kaluli people – an indigenous tribe that lives in the highlands of New Guinea. |

When an anthopologist interviewed over 2,000 Kaluli, he found that only one person exhibited the symptoms of clinical depression, despite the fact the Kaluli are plagued by high rates of infant mortality, parasitic infection, and violent death. Yet, despite their harsh lives, the Kaluli do not experience depression as we know it.

Ilardi believes this is due to the fact that the human genome of the Kaluli (as well as all humans) is well adapated to the agrarian, hunter gatherer lifestyle which shaped 99% of people who came before us.

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My Favourite Blogs – ‘Loneliness: a call to generosity’ by Pat Deegan

100_0690Here is a wonderful blog from US recovery advocate Pat Deegan:

‘Like many people, I experienced periods of intense loneliness during my recovery after being diagnosed with schizophrenia. Over time, I learned that my loneliness was a call for me to be more generous and to give of myself. Here’s what I mean:

Loneliness and being alone are two different things. In my early recovery, being alone was an important self-care strategy for me.

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Veronica Valli’s Review of Kristen Johnston’s Book

Veronica Valli photo2-225x300has recently reviewed the book by Kristen Johnston, which I have to confess I have not read yet. Kristen is not only a top actress, but has been doing lots of excellent advocacy work for Recovery and the Recovery Movement in the US. Her book looks well worth a read:

‘A while ago someone pressed a copy of ‘Guts’ into my hands, with the admonishment that I ‘had to read this immediately.’ So I promptly put it on my shelf and forgot about it. Having recently had a baby, the only books I was interested in were, ‘How the f**k do I get this kid to sleep’ variety.

But after meeting the author on Twitter (where else) I decided to pick it up.

You’ll know Kristen Johnston from her hit shows ‘3rd Rock from the Sun’ and ‘The Exes’. British readers will remember her as ‘Ivana Humpalot’ in the Austin Powers movies and for a hysterical cameo in ‘Sex and the City’.

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Loneliness: a call to generosity

100_0690Here is a wonderful blog from US recovery advocate Pat Deegan:

‘Like many people, I experienced periods of intense loneliness during my recovery after being diagnosed with schizophrenia. Over time, I learned that my loneliness was a call for me to be more generous and to give of myself. Here’s what I mean:

Loneliness and being alone are two different things. In my early recovery, being alone was an important self-care strategy for me.

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Reflections on Kevan’s Story (Part 2)

DSC00130In yesterday’s blog, we looked at how Kevan’s thinking started to change in the early stages of his recovery after 25 years problematic drinking – and eight years in and out of psychiatric hospital.

After a chance discussion with a vicar, he ‘realised’ that he was in mourning for his friend alcohol. He missed his friend so much, even though he knew he was much better off without it.

Most importantly, Kevan began to understand that he was responsible for his addiction to alcohol and was also responsible for overcoming his problem.

After nine months without drinking (and still on Antabuse), Kevan’s thinking was becoming clearer and he was coping with things easier. He was now developing a hatred for alcohol!

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