One in ten Americans are now taking antidepressants. Is this at all shocking? Hardly. I think increasing levels of depression and anxiety are a natural response to the increasingly bizarre and unhealthy environment modern humanity is living in.
Check it out. We have: a global population bursting at the seams, increasingly stressful & sedentary jobs, personal debt at an all time high, piles of nutrient-poor processed food, skyrocketing synthetic chemical exposures, relentless electronic stimulation, rampant corruption in political and religious leadership, and we are all basically being born into a society of psychological and economic slavery that is difficult to perceive, let alone escape. In this environment, feeling anxious and/or depressed may be the sign of a normal and healthy reaction to the situation at hand.
Like all animals, human behavior is largely based on responding to immediate needs to reduce perceived discomfort. So it is not at all surprising that people suffering from anxiety and depression are turning to drugs (prescribed and otherwise), and indulging in foods, alcohol, and other distractions that provide easy distraction and relief.
Here’s my problem with this situation: taking a pill does not help fix society or the course of humanity. I care about the individual people, the course of humanity and all life on this planet. I don’t want anyone to suffer. The long-term costs of medicating the portion of humanity having a normal anxious and depressed response to the toxic, stressful and otherwise unnatural modern way of life are clear: medicated people are less likely to examine our current situation and muster the awareness and courage needed to change our own lives and the world we live in.
So to the growing numbers of anxious and depressed people in the world I say this:
Take heart. You may well be having normal responses to a crazy situation. Drugs are not a long-term answer to the insanity of the modern world. We can all recognize and exercise our freedom to adopt health-promoting diets & lifestyles in line with our natures. We can educate ourselves about what’s going on in the world and start feeding the systems (social, economic, political, ecological…) that promote health and sustainability. We can identify and starve the systems that undermine health and sustainability. Everyone and each of our lives matter, and the world needs us to get involved.
For my top suggestions on how to decrease the symptoms of anxiety and depression without drugs, please check out my other article on this topic: Natural-Treatments-for-Depression-&-Anxiety.
May we all be well!
Dr. T.R. Morris is a licensed naturopathic medical doctor (ND). He is currently serving as faculty and consultant to the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM). The IFM mission is to revolutionize medicine by teaching the latest genetic, nutritional, hormonal and other biochemically-based integrative medicine techniques to MDs and other practitioners looking for new tools to prevent and treat chronic disease. In the past, T.R. served as the medical director of a large integrative clinic and taught (genetics, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, cellular & molecular biology) for 10 years for various medical programs in the Puget Sound. He sees patients in person (or long-distance via Skype consultations) from his home office in Seattle.
Contact Dr. Morris