Rise in Anxiety/Depression - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 03-26-2008, 01:22 PM
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Why do you guys think it is that more and more people have both anxiety and depression nowadays? Or do you think that there has not been a rise, but people have just been given more validation and security in discussing it openly...meaning, there may have always been this amount, but it was not given validation.



What aspects of today's society are making people more depressed and anxious than in the past? Do you think the rise of technology has anything to do with it (i.e; people are less active, doing less with their time, always connected to others through phone/internet)?



Thoughts on this?
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#2 Old 03-26-2008, 03:51 PM
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Do you mean those people who suffer from both anxiety and depression dually, or those people with depression AND those people with anxiety combined?



I would say the primary reason behind a rise in depression rates is the fact that there is less of a stigma attached to the illness now. People are not so afraid to go to their doctor, their family, or their friends. There is better support in place than in past decades and more information to be found freely online. It is also now more likely that a person will get help for milder depressions than before when they may have struggled on without that extra support.



I think the secondary reason is due to over-diagnosis. But this is responsible for a very tiny percentage of people compared to genuine sufferers, something I cannot stress enough.



I do not think society stresses have much of a part to play at all in clinical depression. It is a physical condition after all. For milder depressions, situational depressions, it may well play a part. But not a big one.



As for anxiety I am not so sure. Some/most of it will be down to those who suffer from anxiety as a full blown illness and/or in conjunction with a separate mental illness. Over-diagnosis may well have a small part to play as well. With anxiety I think some of the spectrum may indeed be down to changes in society. But... life has always been stressful, so I'm not sure how much blame can really be placed on "modern living".



All, just my opinion - I do not know actual facts and figures :]
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#3 Old 03-26-2008, 05:27 PM
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I think poor diets might be partially to blame as well. I know I've read that some psychological problems are tied to caffiene intake and other dietary factors that are more common in today's society than in the past.



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#4 Old 03-26-2008, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by CountessKerouac View Post


What aspects of today's society are making people more depressed and anxious than in the past? Do you think the rise of technology has anything to do with it (i.e; people are less active, doing less with their time, always connected to others through phone/internet)?



Thoughts on this?





I have no idea what causes depression or anxiety for the majority of sufferers. For me, it happened long before I had internet, a cell phone, or caffiene at my fingertips. I was a typical little kid in the 1980's constantly running around outside and making up my own games when inside. TV was not frequent. I was introverted, but not incapable of being in social settings or making friends. When I was seven years old, we moved to another state. I completely shut down, stopping talking, stopped playing, became obsessed with death. I've suffered from depression ever since. It's not something that ever goes away. It just gets better and worse. Something about being pulled away from my security of what I'd known created a sort of chemical reaction in my body that never completely went away.
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#5 Old 03-26-2008, 05:56 PM
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For me, I see it as people putting too much emphasis on working to try and earn more money to buy more stuff. We're neglecting family, partly because we're too tired from "working". Holidays and family gatherings have become a chore because our jobs are sucking the life out of us. So when we have a day off we want to veg out. The extended family unit is disintegrating. More and more family members are moving farther away so they can have a bigger house with more "stuff". Trying to "keep up" causes anxiety and the feeling of failing to do so causes depression. All generally speaking, of course. It's just some comments I hear from friends/co-workers.
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#6 Old 03-26-2008, 06:16 PM
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I think it has more to do with our attitudes about seeking help for our problems than it does with an actual rise in those problems. For instance, my grandmother was a very anxious person who also probably had bouts of depression, but it probably would have never entered her mind to seek psychiatric help. For her, life was just hard and you dealt with it. She was not raised in a culture of self-reflection, and it probably would have seemed silly to her to talk about her feelings with a doctor, much less take medication. I think this is true for most people of her generation. Only the clearly mentally ill (suicidal, psychotic, etc.) were given attention for their problems.
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#7 Old 03-26-2008, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by karenlovessnow View Post

Holidays and family gatherings have become a chore because our jobs are sucking the life out of us.



I agree. This country, at least, is a country of workaholics.



I refuse to join the trend. I won't work overtime and I wouldn't even work full time if I could get by on less.
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#8 Old 03-26-2008, 07:07 PM
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I agree ^^^. My first response when considering anxiety is thoughts of my job. I like my job but I get wound up pretty easily over it.
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#9 Old 03-26-2008, 07:55 PM
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I think the rise if for numerous reasons (in no specific order).
  • People can go to doctors without fear (pills are advertised on TV)
  • Doctors assume everything's depression or anxiety (I was sent to a psyc. hospital and listed as suicidal -- why? I didn't sleep from 10p-6a every day so I MUST be nuts!)
  • The world's a f*d up place, and now we know it, and it's shoved into our faces. Murders, robbery, abuse, car accidents -- and that's just by noon.
  • Up to 60 hours/week are needed just to own a decent sized house in a part of town that's not "too dangerous" to live in while being able to afford insurance, medical expenses, food, utilities, car, and everything else -- if you're lucky.
  • Many people are one paycheck, or one accident/illness, from not being able to pay bills.
  • Anywhere you go, there's someone that's a sexual predator -- and someone wanting to scam you. Is that person smiling because s/he likes you, or for some other "horror movie" reason?



I personally say that the depressed and anxiety diagnoses people are NORMAL. It's the others that are happy about how everything is that's screwed in the head.
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#10 Old 03-26-2008, 10:19 PM
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I'm really depressed at the moment, much worse than my usual state of melancholy because I've been listening to a bulldozer for 5 hours, clearing yet another 2.5 acre block in my street. Where do these ******* people think the wildlife will live when it's all gone. I feel under siege on my little block of land.
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#11 Old 03-27-2008, 03:49 AM
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Perhaps there are more incidences of it because there are more people in the world.
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#12 Old 03-27-2008, 04:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CountessKerouac View Post

Why do you guys think it is that more and more people have both anxiety and depression nowadays? Or do you think that there has not been a rise, but people have just been given more validation and security in discussing it openly...meaning, there may have always been this amount, but it was not given validation.



What aspects of today's society are making people more depressed and anxious than in the past? Do you think the rise of technology has anything to do with it (i.e; people are less active, doing less with their time, always connected to others through phone/internet)?



Thoughts on this?



Why? I'm not necessarily sure there is more depression and anxiety. True, it does seem to me there is on a day to day basis but maybe that's just because one: I'm living it and two: we are currently quite open about it. I



To pluck one example from history (and I'm using this one solely because I was looking up photos from that time) Victorian times seemed pretty depressing. The romanticism of Melancholy and Death particularly, strikes me as very telling. I'm not sure we are "more depressed" than Victorian times for example. We do seem "more depressed" than the Roaring 20's, for example. I wouldn't say, though, we are more anxious than the 20's. Flamboyance and movement is often a good cover for a bout of anxiety.



It's like sex. I'm sure we are all having about the same amount of sex as in Victorian times (maybe a few more parters... same amount of bonking though) but sex now just seems so much more, I don't know...around simply because it's in the open and focussed on, rather than being hidden behind bedroom doors.



Some periods do seem more "depressed" than others when you examine their literature and art. We are certainly not the only ones to have lived through waves of public depression, though, that's for sure.

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#13 Old 03-27-2008, 07:14 AM
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I think it's also important to remember that there is a spectrum for both anxiety and depression that is considered "normal". Everyone gets depressed, everyone gets anxious.



NOT everyone gets clinical depression, or clinical anxiety. Those are medical conditions, where the behaviour is abnormal.
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#14 Old 03-27-2008, 07:19 AM
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What aspects of today's society are making people more depressed and anxious than in the past?


"and I stand

upon a mountain

made of weak and useless men"

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#15 Old 03-27-2008, 02:45 PM
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#16 Old 03-27-2008, 03:27 PM
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I think that psychiatrists have created more "syndromes" that would not have been considered before. Since medication, more people are diagnosed. You have to remember that before Prozac and such, there was only the mental asylum/ psych ward, and they sent a lot of people there who did not have to go.



On the plus side, they used to institutionalize men and women for being homosexuals, and also women (mainly) for disobeying their parents.



I personally think that most depression that is caused by external forces should not be medicated. (For example if you are miserable because of an abusive parent.)
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#17 Old 03-27-2008, 03:27 PM
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There was an interesting review in the Guardian Weekly on two books that have come out "Risk: The Science and Politics of Fear" by Dan Gardner, and "Panicology" by Simon Birscoe and Hugh Aldersey Williams, which touch on this topic.



Pity I can't find the article on-line.



One thing I remember that struck me in the article was that one of the authors was pointing out that, contrary to the "olden days" when people were more fatalistic, people today think they can control everything in life. Death and illness for instance are things which people no longer just accept as "part of life", but struggle against. We have this illusion that we can control life, and when we can't, we obviously get anxious and depressed. Mankind has only recently "cast off the mental shackles of submissive fatalism" and our minds are not yet geared to this.



Also, we are bombarded with scary articles on television and radio, and we tend to see danger and risk all around us. An article about bird flu, and everyone stocks up on Tamiflu. Fear sells.



I think a bit of fatalism is not a bad thing. The article I mention was called "Nothing to fear but fear itself". Few people remember this.
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#18 Old 03-27-2008, 03:31 PM
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I think it all comes down to the Nazi science of psychiatry. If everyone had just eaten their vitamins and exercised and watched Top Gun over and over again while singing "Xenu is holy", no mental problems would exist.

"and I stand

upon a mountain

made of weak and useless men"

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#19 Old 03-27-2008, 03:44 PM
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Well, I know I get helluva depressed everytime I see SevenSeas' new avatar. Makes me feel anxious too, like I'm in a room with no door.
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#20 Old 03-27-2008, 11:00 PM
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I have a theory and I am not saying that it is a good thing and/or bad thing. It is neutral and natural.



I think that since the dawn of the Industrial revolution, there has been an increase in both individualism (for a whole host of reasons) and self-reflection. Even though our basic behaviors (i.e; drinking, sex, work, labor, etc) are all fairly still just as prominent and existent at the same rate as before...we as a nation, and as a globalized world, are very analytical of our lives because we are aware of all of our options. We almost have too many options. There is also no clear sense of right and wrong...which I completely agree with because...who the hell has the authority to decide what is right and what is wrong? But, since we have come so very far both philosophically and scientifically...there is so much uncertainty and confusion....it is like one type of mind trying to operate in a body it wasn't designed for. Our minds like ignorance....even though it was our minds who were curious enough to explore and to discover and invent....some part of our minds still would rather stay ignorant...that still wants mom to tell it what it should be doing.



Our minds still like knowing that what we are doing is "right", who we are worshipping is "right", that our life partner is "right", etc. With so much emphasis on individual happiness and individual self-centeredness, we have strayed so far from our roots as beings who need to be occupied and ignorant and happy....that we are confused



We are a baffled culture now. We don't know what we are doing. And it scares us...but at the same time, who the hell wants to be ignorant?
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#21 Old 03-28-2008, 02:41 AM
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Do you think the rise of technology has anything to do with it (i.e; people are less active, doing less with their time, always connected to others through phone/internet)?



If anything, the rise of technology has made me more content.



It's a good feeling to always be in touch with my friends and family....well my friends mostly. LOL
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#22 Old 03-28-2008, 02:47 AM
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I'm really depressed at the moment, much worse than my usual state of melancholy because I've been listening to a bulldozer for 5 hours, clearing yet another 2.5 acre block in my street. Where do these ******* people think the wildlife will live when it's all gone. I feel under siege on my little block of land.



The wildlife have to die to make room for all the new people.

"If you want to know where you would have stood on slavery before the civil war, don't look at where you stand on slavery today, look at where you stand on animal rights." - Paul Watson.

 

Every animal you eat
was running for her life

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#23 Old 03-28-2008, 02:54 PM
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This is a really good thread. I don't have any answers, just thoughts.



After I discovered animal rights (particulary veg*anism), I began to feel better mentally. Not eating meat was something I could control. (Someone else had mentioned control in this thread.) So it made me feel empowered. I could actually do something to help the world. Every day on my drive to work for months I would smile as I thought about this.



It hasn't "healed" me. I still get anxious, though not really depressed. But I do feel more empowered since discovering AR.



Oh, another thing, too. Discovering AR made me realize there are other people out there who are like me. That I'm not "crazy" for caring about animals, that, in fact, it's the people who don't care about them who have problems.
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#24 Old 03-31-2008, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by CountessKerouac View Post

Why do you guys think it is that more and more people have both anxiety and depression nowadays? Or do you think that there has not been a rise, but people have just been given more validation and security in discussing it openly...meaning, there may have always been this amount, but it was not given validation.



What aspects of today's society are making people more depressed and anxious than in the past? Do you think the rise of technology has anything to do with it (i.e; people are less active, doing less with their time, always connected to others through phone/internet)?



Thoughts on this?





Hmmm...I think the reasons for the rise in anxiety/depression are complex. I see one big deal as our lack of natural/physical work. Outdoor work for instance. Natural stimulation. I also think we have a problem with media over-stimulation....and that the continued watching of tv programs that show people who are more beautiful than you and have more stuff and money than you will ever see despite the fact that you live in a two worker household is depressing. I think people work too much and that our lives are too busy. We don't have enough time for real human interraction or real interraction with nature.



Plus we've become so centered around what we want, and what will make us happy and satisfied....we forget that this is a toddler/child's way of relating to the world, and not meant to be a permanet state of our spiritual life.



B
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