Life from an outsider's perspective…

Depression Epedemic.

Preface: This article is turning out to be very difficult to write. Part of the reason is that I began writing it when I was suffering from depression myself. Hence, my motivation was a lot less than it is now. Depressed people also have a slanted or warped perspective – they have an extremely negative or pessimistic outlook on life. This is something I wanted to take advantage of during the time that I was “infected” with the disease. During this phase I wrote some paragraphs which seemed to retain that negativity, but they weren’t written well. I can tell from my own words now that I was struggling with everything.

Yet I normally enjoy being an optimistic person, always thinking very positively. So it’s challenging for me to write now because I’m cured (at least temporarily)! This didn’t happen overnight – it was a gradual process over several months, gradually transforming from pessimist through to optimist. I’ve had this article in draft form for some time now and just want to present the idea to you as part of the section “Vida Enigmática”. Let’s just say that it’s not a prediction. It’s a possible future scenario. Hyper-optimistic people will definitely not be able to relate to this article – they simply will not be able to comprehend the situation I describe below.

Everyone knows that the usual cause of voluntary suicide is severe & chronic depression. Whenever you stop striving to be happy for any considerable length of time, either consciously or subconsciously, you’re taking a big personal risk; whenever a person fights to retain their happiness, at that point they are literally fighting for their own survivial. Chronically depressed people usually resort to taking their own lives to cease the constant suffering they endure. They see it as the only way out of their constant misery. How many happy people voluntarily attempt to commit suicide? I think the answer to that question is obviously none. For this reason, in my opinion, chronic depression is one of the most insidious new diseases to face us in the 21st century. It deprives us simultaneously of our happiness, our motivation, our social life – our very life force if you will. People that feel depressed do not feel any use to society. Sorry to paint this morbid picture, but in my opinion, people with suicidal tendencies are technically in effect already ‘dying’, just like any patient suffering from cancer in the last advanced stages.

Imagine for a moment the the following possible future scenario: imagine that we’ve urbanised everything to the point that the remaining natural environment is reduced to mere pockets surrounded by dense, wholey artificial construction. Imagine that we’ve mined a lot of the Earth already and we fight over the dwindling useful resources. Imagine that we’ve severely jeopardised the condition of the entire atmosphere to the point that it is no longer breathable. Imagine that we live in confined synthetic spaces, hermetically sealed from the outside world. Imagine that there are no natural food sources, that everthing is hydroponic or synthetically derived (I’m even dubious of all the proliferation of packeted foodstuffs – it’s like we’re being prepared for something unimagineable where fresh food is not an option).

We might be able to survive all that, but imagine a future so bleak that chronic depression becomes an epedemic and mass suicide threatens our survival. Lying dormant for thousands upon thousands of generations, perhaps this latent natural mechanism will provide the means to wipe us out either partially or entirely. Envisage a future in which people commit mass suicide. Sounds like science fiction? Well just imagine hypothetically for a moment if everyone around you had already commited suicide. Your friends, family and work colleagues. Without work, wouldn’t your morale then be at a new all-time low? We are a social species; without others we cease to be. It could even be found to be contagious, in a manner of speaking. We might even find ourselves fighting for our own survivial as a species, and regaining some much-needed happiness as a result. It’s a scary thought, because depression is reportedly on the rise. And I don’t think all the gadgets are going to solve this one. We have to find true meaning in our lives before we can walk the path of happiness.

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