In our ongoing discussion of the ecology of the depression experience, and looking at the personal, biological and environmental factors that are each part of the whole, we can make some observations about how to overcome this human and life threatening reality.
Environmentally, we have seen the post-industrial society, at least here in America, become a nation of diminished size of families (1 in 4 Americans now live alone), fewer family farms and more persons living in isolated and disconnected environments. It appears that we all are moving away from that wholesome community form of life toward an individualistic and Selfie generation. The “we” society is gradually turning into the “me” generation.
To quote David Karp (Speaking of Sadness, Pg. 195.), he states that “The estimated 11 to 15 million people suffering from depression and the million more with anxiety disorders are the victims of a society that has lost sight of what I now see as a shared sociological and spiritual message. It is that our individual emotional health and the health of society are inseparable. If we do not nourish society by realizing our individual responsibilities to it, we pay the price in terms of individual illness. In this way, those millions pained by affective disorder are part of a dialectical process in which the extent of collective suffering eventually creates an urge to change the social structures that have made so many of us ill. During this current moment of cultural discontent we may be better able to appreciate the spiritual message that all of us are connected to and responsible for each other. Although we can never return to the small, intimate communities of the nineteenth century, such a communitarian vision is the necessary starting place for efforts at social reconnection and thereby the creation of a more generally happy society.”
In another place Karp contends that “we may be at a juncture where we are ready as a culture to see the wisdom in the spiritual idea that our individual well-being is inseparable from that seamless web of connections…”
At our Depressed Anonymous group fellowship meetings it is evident how the “we” trumps the “me” at every turn and how the “we” of the fellowship produces, not only spiritual recovery from isolation and being disconnected, it also provides the tools in which a community of people who care about each other is built.
Won’t you care to join in this community building adventure? Search our website menu to find if your community has a Depressed Anonymous meeting. You can also read the personal stories of those who made the choice of a “we” life over the disconnected and isolated “me” life in Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition.
See our guide Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition.(2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.