Getting philosophical about depression.

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no_answer
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:24 pm
Location: usa

Getting philosophical about depression.

Postby no_answer » Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:13 pm

I think I read it or heard somewhere: "There is nothing wrong with the depression, but our attitude toward it".
The medical and pharmaceutical establishments pathologize every situation where someone feels unmotivated, anti-social and sad for extended period of time. Why wouldn't someone driven, gregarious and upbeat gets pathologized? The former is a valley, while the latter is a peak.
Taking that geographical analogy as an example what would we say about the land surface of our planet adopting the commonly held perspective on what is known as "depression"? "The valleys are abnormal, they are the wounds, illnesses of the planet Earth", we might say. While the peaks are the hallmarks of the planet's health. We get a sense of a great accomplishment for climbing a peak, the higher the peak the more acclaim for conquering it (even if that results in perishing in an attempt: eg George Mallory). Peaks are healthy, while valleys are sick. Very rarely you hear the news or announcements or ambitions to get to some valley as the destination (there are a few notable canyons that are tourist attractions, but the accolades or bragging rights are not even close to what you get for getting to the top of some peak).
Despite the objective nonsense of the described bias, I'm completely in the grip of common illusion, just like most of us. I get to the peaks. I rarely go to the valleys, then back up to the rim as I do my hikes. I do believe it is better to be excited, upbeat and social than unmotivated, reclusive and sad.
But isn't this attitude the reason of my deep dissatisfaction with the way things are (see the first sentence of my post)?
Maybe, I am a valley, not the deepest one, but with the valley floor below the average elevation of land mass surface above the sea level. Am I to work hard all my life in attempt to elevate my "valley floor"? How high would I have to elevate it to be satisfied? Do I have to becaome a peak? Will it be unquestionably healthy? Will it make me feel better (even though from the valley floor it feels like it will)? Is it worthwhile to spend resources to build the earthwork? Is it possible to change the point of attack and spend my resources (if any required at all) to get satisfied with the geographical fate of the valley?
As you have correctly guessed, I'm finding no answer:)

Frame
Moderator
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Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:25 am
Location: Pennsylvania

Postby Frame » Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:53 pm

Wonderful post no answer.
Very deep (no pun intended) and insightful.

I think your talking about common truths here. And if we, as a culture, could learn to respect the valleys as well as the peaks we would be closer to bringing dignity to a huge portion of the population.

Funny thing; it's like the inheritance tax. It's not the rich people that oppose it. It's the people who want to be rich (most of us).

If you talk to people who have spent a great deal of time at the peaks, they have more appreciation for those in the valleys. They know it's lonely and difficult up there too. It's most of us, who strive to rise, who haven't made it yet, who don't want to turn back, don't want to look down, that ignore, minimize, demonize, pathologize, those struggling in the troughs.

No answer here either.
[Did I say Great post?]

no_answer
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:24 pm
Location: usa

Postby no_answer » Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:01 pm

As always, Frame, glad to read your thoughtful reply.

I'm being entranced by the geographical analogies. In that spirit, I'm making sense of the "valley" person's tendency to isolate themselves: the limited area of an island restricts the variety of possible elevations, so that the "valley floor" is closer to the average elevation or even above it. Therefore, even the valley starts feeling more like the peak.
Unfortunately, no man is an island. Then, someday, I spot a distant snow-clad mountain that makes my "valleyness" all too obvious. Needless to say, it is easier for me to be a foul-weather friend. Only recently I started understanding how unfair it is to the "peaks" (as you mentioned, their life is lonely and difficult as well, but I've never interacted with them, cause that was outside my foul-weather threshold of tolerance of a friendship). I think the "peaks" may be suffering for the same kind of reason: they surround themselves with "valleys" quite willingly to further increase their prominence, unwittingly creating a major case of shadenfreunde (but, maybe, it is because i live in the Cascades, where most peaks are like that...as I understand, the Andes and Himalayas and even Rockies are more of an oligopoly of "peak" equals).
Well, lest I talk myself into a major acrophobia I better go back to my valley for now.

Prycejosh1987
Posts: 415
Joined: Sun May 31, 2020 10:54 am
Location: Birmingham UK

Re: Getting philosophical about depression.

Postby Prycejosh1987 » Sun Jun 07, 2020 2:34 pm

no_answer wrote:I think I read it or heard somewhere: "There is nothing wrong with the depression, but our attitude toward it".
The medical and pharmaceutical establishments pathologize every situation where someone feels unmotivated, anti-social and sad for extended period of time. Why wouldn't someone driven, gregarious and upbeat gets pathologized? The former is a valley, while the latter is a peak.
Taking that geographical analogy as an example what would we say about the land surface of our planet adopting the commonly held perspective on what is known as "depression"? "The valleys are abnormal, they are the wounds, illnesses of the planet Earth", we might say. While the peaks are the hallmarks of the planet's health. We get a sense of a great accomplishment for climbing a peak, the higher the peak the more acclaim for conquering it (even if that results in perishing in an attempt: eg George Mallory). Peaks are healthy, while valleys are sick. Very rarely you hear the news or announcements or ambitions to get to some valley as the destination (there are a few notable canyons that are tourist attractions, but the accolades or bragging rights are not even close to what you get for getting to the top of some peak).
Despite the objective nonsense of the described bias, I'm completely in the grip of common illusion, just like most of us. I get to the peaks. I rarely go to the valleys, then back up to the rim as I do my hikes. I do believe it is better to be excited, upbeat and social than unmotivated, reclusive and sad.
But isn't this attitude the reason of my deep dissatisfaction with the way things are (see the first sentence of my post)?
Maybe, I am a valley, not the deepest one, but with the valley floor below the average elevation of land mass surface above the sea level. Am I to work hard all my life in attempt to elevate my "valley floor"? How high would I have to elevate it to be satisfied? Do I have to becaome a peak? Will it be unquestionably healthy? Will it make me feel better (even though from the valley floor it feels like it will)? Is it worthwhile to spend resources to build the earthwork? Is it possible to change the point of attack and spend my resources (if any required at all) to get satisfied with the geographical fate of the valley?
As you have correctly guessed, I'm finding no answer:)

I agree with most of what you said. I think that you can be satisfied with your life, if you make the right choices and really think about what you want out of life. It is worthwhile to spend resources to be satisfied "in your valley". You can get what you want out of life, but nothing is free in this life (apart from the air you breathe), even water has to be paid for. Sometimes you can be given "lifelines" (someone can do the work and give you an easier access to success), Like being a celebrities child or knowing someone who works at the place you want to work at, etc.

Tealeaves
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed May 05, 2021 3:54 am

Re: Getting philosophical about depression.

Postby Tealeaves » Wed May 05, 2021 6:52 am

Ah but the high peaks have their troubles.
The air is very thin and cold, up there
And no thank you to earthquakes, it's a far pedestal to fall from


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