Depression in the era of infinite possibilities - Deepstash

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The Comfortable Life is Killing You

Depression in the era of infinite possibilities

Although we are currently experiencing the highest living standards in the history of mankind:

  • Depression rates are constantly rising in the US since the mid-1930s.
  • Approximately 40 million American adults are dealing with anxiety disorder.
  • Over 600,000 children of 5 and under are on some type of psychiatric drug in the US.

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The Comfortable Life is Killing You

The Comfortable Life is Killing You

https://medium.com/@erikrittenberry/the-comfortable-life-is-killing-you-61cae61622e7

medium.com

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Key Ideas

Friedrich Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche

"Society tames the wolf into a dog. And man is the most domesticated animal of all."

Depression and anxiety

According to the existential psychologist, Rollo May:

  • “Depression is the inability to construct a future.”
  • "Anxiety comes from "not being able to know the world you’re in, not being able to orient yourself in your own existence.”

Jean-Paul Sartre

Jean-Paul Sartre

“Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.”

The general neurosis of our times

It is a phenomenon discussed by Carl Jung and is characterized by the absurdity and emptiness of our lives, in the absence of any visible clinical symptoms. And it is all related to the "comfort" of the era we live in.
Possible causes: having more time to overthink; the lack of meaning in our lives and the difficulty of finding our true essence; we are disconnected from nature; we look for outside heroes and lack the ability to take responsibility.

Living with purpose and vitality

  1. Let go of the idea of how your life is "supposed to be". Change strategy, even it means you have to face the unknown.
  2. Embrace your struggles and use them as a fuel for your new life.
  3. Stop the autopilot mode and be aware and present in every action you are doing.
  4. Be smart about your finances. Also, invest more in experiences and less in material things.
  5. Reconnect with nature.

Lao-Tzu

Lao-Tzu

“Chase after money and security, and your heart will never unclench. Care about people’s approval, and you will be their prisoner. Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.”

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Our culture of work

Our culture claims that work is unavoidable and natural. The idea that the world can be freed from work, wholly or in part, has been suppressed for as long as capitalism has existed.

Exploring the abolition of work
  • In 1885, socialist William Morris proposed that in the factories of the future, employees should work only four hours a day.
  • In 1930, John Maynard Keynes predicted that advances in technology would lead to an age of leisure where people might work 15 hours a week.
  • Since the early 2010s, these ideas have been developed further, creating a growing critique of work as an ideology, and exploring alternatives to work.
  • Post-work offers enormous promises: In a life of much less work, life would be calmer, more equal, more communal, more pleasurable, more thoughtful, more politically engaged, more fulfilled.
Work ideology

The work ideology is not natural nor very old.

  • Before the modern era, all cultures thought of work as a means to an end, not an end in itself.
  • Once the modern work ethic was established, working patterns started to shift. Between 1800 and 1900, the average working week shrank from 80 hours to 60 hours, and in the 1970s to roughly 40 hours.
  • In 1979, Bernard Lefkowitz related in his book that people who had given up their jobs reported feelings of "wholeness." During the same period, because wages were high enough, it became possible for most people to work less.
  • During the 80s, work ideology was reimposed by aggressively pro-business governments who were motivated by a desire for social control.
  • By the early 21st century, the work culture seems inescapable.

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    Create a balance between leisure activities and mastery.

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