The manosphere has been abuzz about depression, anxiety and suicide lately so I figured it’s as good a time as ever to give my two cents.
To me there are two schools of thought for depression: it’s chemical and out of your control, or it’s mental and all just an illusion of the mind.
Personally I think depression in the clinical sense fails to understand the underlying cause of the collection of symptoms known as “depression.” Academics and other brainiacs know there is a lack of certain brain chemicals causing the condition known as “depression” but that is merely a deeper symptom and not an underlying cause.
The chemical reality not withstanding, my personal opinion is that depression comes from a lack of fulfillment in life. I’ve been depressed in my teen years and it’s not fun, but honestly unless you’re locked in a closet beneath your staircase and fed tablescraps, depression is something you can change as you muster up the willpower to change your mindset and change your life. It just takes a while to realize that. Life tragedies withstanding, it’s normal to feel depressed when you have no mission and aren’t striving to fulfill it, and frankly I can’t blame anyone for not having one in this day and age.
We live in a spiritual dark age.
As Thumotic pointed out in his recent article on depression and anxiety (link at end), here in the West we used to rely on churches as the cornerstone of our personal existential philosophies. Now we no longer have this handed to us and every man is expected to find or become his own God to fill that void. Not that there is anything wrong with that, it’s just that it leaves clueless guys like you and me with some more work to do.
American civil society is collapsing. Whether you believe in God or not, the Church used to play a very important role in our communities. We abandoned the Church, and we did not replace it with something that provides the same social and community-building functions. It was once very difficult for someone to ‘fall off the radar.’ In 2013, anyone who wishes to live an alienated and lonely life, will encounter no strong resistance from his community as he slips away.
[...]On a psychological level – again, whatever your faith or lack thereof – a sincere belief in the existence of God who both a) loves you, and b) disapproves of suicide, is an effective clinical solution to the condition that we call ‘depression’. A pious and God-fearing generation, faced with the perfect storm of risk factors above, might find the strength to persevere. But our present cohort is quite possibly the most Godless that has lived in the history of human civilization. Atheistic rationalists that we are, we can’t be expected to voluntarily live a second longer than is convenient and pleasurable.
We have a shitty economy that is becoming increasingly automated
This, and everything is becoming automated and people are less employed than ever which Thumotic and Captain Capitalism have pointed out. In creating convenience for ourselves we forgot that we’re supposed to fit into this automated system somehow. Instead of freeing us from menial tasks, technology is creating misery, at least in how we use it to perpetuate a system that is broken to begin with. Would a good society have a McDonald’s in the first place, let alone one that is automated? And how the fuck does an economy work for robots? Do they pay for goods and services or are they slaves built to work for free?
Perhaps this is part of the reason for the hope that transhumanists hold onto that there will be a technological singularity, life will somehow magically become better once we live for thousands of years in existential ennui and can upload our brains to the matrix.
My question is: if we haven’t mastered ourselves as the ancients once did, what makes them think that we will have mastered technology? We will be slaves to our creations. Wide-spread depression may be a symptom of this society-wide unconscious disillusionment with the system as it stands today. Add technology to that and it’s suicide.
Now, back to the main point of this article…
If you have depression, you need to determine what your mission is. Unless you suffer from a rare disorder rooted in your biology or you popped too many mollies in your time and fried your brain, it is not a “chemical imbalance” at the root of your problems as the pharmaceutical industry would have you believe. Your brain already has the ability to give you those feel-good neurotransmitters: It just won’t let you until you get back on track.
Now I know what this implies: depression, and ultimately much of your life situation, is within your locus of control. Some of you might see this as an even bigger issue on top of your problem. I however think it should be seen as a positive. This means you can choose not to be in a depressing life situation. There is hope.
If you’re in a slump, self-medicate and “fake it til you make it”. Depression is only as real as you let it be. I’m not here to say that depression isn’t real but I’m here to tell you that you have a choice and it is possible to do something about it.
By “fake it” I mean fake like you aren’t depressed. Adopt something, anything worthwhile as your mission and go forward from there. And by self-medicate I don’t mean drugs and alcohol… I’ll explain.
For “faking it,” you can change your mission from “finding a career” where you plant your ass in a chair from 9 to 5, and turn that into “learn a marketable skill” and/or “make some money.” These are just examples but the sky’s the limit.
Trades and skills are not going out of style. The reason we have a shortage of jobs is because not enough people have hard skills that the economy needs and everyone is schooled to believe they’re going to be an academic or a paper shuffler. For most of us that’s not going to happen so we have to make our own way.
Willpower and positivity is a snowball effect. The little amount you do today will turn into an insurmountable force later on. So start doing something today. Anything. Even if you don’t feel like it.
For picking yourself up I suggest checking out Victor Pride’s excellent 30 Days of Discipline this week to learn how to become your own master. I’d also check out the rest of his site for more ways to kick ass in the crumbling world economy. 2 of his most recommended articles for depression are linked below.
Tomorrow (Monday) I will cover some effective and healthy herbal and supplemental solutions for self-medicating your way out of a slump and to pick yourself up by the bootstraps and start kicking ass. Once you’ve got a firm foundation, you can go forth in any direction you choose, and you’ll know where to go when you get there. Depression is part chemical but don’t that fool you out of knowing what you want to do.
Save this page and read these in the meanwhile:
Thumotic — The Coming Suicide Epidemic
How Buddhism can help your game
30 Days to X: Considering Suicide? Play Golf
Apocalypse Cometh: A career for a young man
Apocalypse Cometh: More careers for the young man
Bold & Determined: How to cure depression the old-fashioned way
Bold & Determined: 19 Ways to Improve Your Mood
Captain Capitalism: The Increasing Desire to “Get Fired and Collect Unemployment”
Good Looking Loser — Depression, an Academic Examination: The Basics (Part 1)