Susan Hyatt and Michael Carter, DGR Southwest Coalition
In 2004 the World Health Organization ranked Major Depressive Disorder as the leading cause of disability in the US among people aged fifteen to forty-four. MDD afflicts about 14.8 million adults, 6.7 percent of the U.S. population aged eighteen and older in a given year. The US National Institute for Mental Health estimates that one in four US adults “suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder.” Many see only one way out: nine in ten suicides—33,000 total in one year in the US alone—had one of these disorders. How can we explain this? If the life of privilege and material wealth in the US and other consumer nations is so desirable that every living thing must pay the price for it, why kill yourself to escape it? What if statistics like these were taken seriously, as a sign of preventable social malaise, not human frailty? Suppose someone cared enough about all this misery to uncover a cause, and take steps to alleviate some of this pain. Might that look like the same effort to end poverty, global warming, and the extinction crisis?
Behavior that is considered normal by civilization—predatory self-interest, say—is considered insane outside of the context of civilization. This behavior is created by the denial of basic human nature, such as a desire to feel a part of a mutual-interest culture. If we consider the idea that many symptoms of so-called mental disorders are natural responses of our minds and bodies to an unhealthy, isolating social system, we can then redefine healthy behavior outside of civilization. We can start to make a conscious effort to reconstruct healthy behavior, remembering that the definitions of healthy, normal, and abnormal behavior have been made by those who have power over us. We can begin to work according to our interests and not theirs. We can reclaim control over our lives and restore confidence and trust in our human nature.
Read the full article on the Deep Green Resistance News Service website.