Ignore The Environment

Ignore The Environment

Imagine for a second, doctors prescribing pain killers (such as morphine and oxycodone), anti-depressants (such as Zoloft and Lexapro), and anti-anxiety drugs (such as Xanax and Klonopin) to holocaust victims, as a solution to their mental pain and suffering. And never questioning the environment itself—the persecution, the torture, the murder. To a degree, this is what we have today. Symptoms (panic disorder, depression, anxiety) are treated, but no one is interested in the stressful environment (growing up poor, adverse childhood experiences, being discriminated, abusive employers, etc). CHANGING THE ENVIRONMENT (for example by supporting equality) is a robust and durable solution to human suffering.

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19 Replies

  • That's a terrible picture and I find it quite upsetting.

  • Lucy, I agree the picture is terrible and upsetting. Did you get the point of my article, though?

  • Not really. I got stuck at the point wondering why someone would think it was ok to stick that on a depression forum .....

  • Lucy, good point. I removed the image. But I still kept the article. The point of my article is that a stressful environment causes anxiety, depression, panic disorder—a whole host of mental illnesses. It's not just genetic in origin. The environmental part is extremely important.

  • Yeh I really agree with that. I had a few weeks off work and my levels of all of the above started to stabilise. The day I went back they started to soar again. My job is such a stressful one and the environment most definitely impacts on my wellbeing.

  • I'm sorry to hear that, Lucy. I went through exactly the same thing before going on disability.

  • Lucy, I think the post was meant to get us all to thinking about WHY we are depressed rather than just accepting meds as a solution - and I think that is one of the most helpful things anyone can do because without understanding why we are unable to understand our difficulties. xx

  • I appreciate that Sue, but nobody needs to see a picture of 10 men about to be gassed in a concentration camp to be reminded of reasons why people get depressed ...

  • Ooh, I didn't see that!

  • Ah Sue I think we're at crossed wires! The original picture I found quite upsetting, but the poster changed it for the one less offensive! X

  • But don't you think, if given the choice of drugs or nothing, and with no option other than to endure their environment, those people would have taken the drugs?

    Changing the environment is hard and takes time. I think we should not ignore the option of changing our situations, but also deal with the reality that for many people they are stuck with it.

  • Findingme, you make a great point. And I ask myself the same thing. Since changing my environment is not easy—wouldn't it be best to just take the meds and numb the pain... I guess what scares me the most, is the lack of long-term studies on a lot of the medications... And certainly a lot of the negative effects (side effects) from the drugs. Klonopin lowered my anxiety, but it also worsened my memory to the point I became a basket-case, and I slowly tapered myself off of it.

  • Yes it's a really evocative picture and I do find it a worrying trend just how many young people seem to be suffering from anxiety and depression and other things nowadays. I do think our society is just a bit crazy right now, or maybe it always was, I don't know. I am trying not to think too deeply at the moment and maybe that is the answer. "Cultivate your own garden" as Albert Camus would say. That phrase from "L'etranger" always stuck with me ; the only thing that helps me make any sense of anything at all is to just to think of the everyday and what is infront of me here and now. A dissapointment in a way but nevertheless true.

    Gemma x

  • Hi Gemma

    I remember someone once saying that what we all now call - depression - or - anxiety - people used to just call unhappiness or difficult life. There has been an increasing trend in the West for us to expect happiness - do we think cave men and women were happy. People have always been unhappy, had hurtful, difficult lives. For me the sad thing is that we all hope meds can fix things for us, whereas they can't really, they can just put a patch over the top for a while.

    Sorry you are feeling low now, are things any better for you?


  • It's funny, that picture (reading back I'm wondering if was a different one as this is the replacement? I'm talking about the picture up now - at 8 o clock Friday evening) came up on one of the slides in my lecture today - and we drew upon a similar kind of issue. The personal reason I don't take anti depressants is because I know my distress is caused by something else. So I feel for me personally that it would be masking the problem. I want help with solving, or at least managing, the root causes. I do think though, we shouldn't dispute the Biological, physical element of the condition either. Some people do need to take anti-depressants in the same way that people with diabetes need to take insulin.


  • I could have written your last post as I have similarly avoided meds much of the time because I understood why I was unhappy - but during two periods of depression I have found a very low dose of meds helpful in enabling me to create the changes in my life that enabled me to feel better. There can be a two way process between meds altering our mood and an alteration in our circumstances. xx

  • As in, by changing your mood you might change your circumstances?

  • I think that was she meant.

  • Yes, changing mood enables different actions which can bring about outer change - change can come from different directions depending on treatment