A Sustainable Point of View

Archive for the Mental Health Category

Depression, Part II: A Brain For Faith And Hope

Depression, Part II: A Brain For Faith And Hope

Human beings were the first organism to stop reacting to their circumstances, and start directing their own futures.1 But with possibility came risk. The gift of self-determination was bestowed with a brain that creates motivation by expecting good things just over the horizon. This is a brain that invented two unique things in the animal kingdom: a need for faith and hope; and a vulnerability to losing both.

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Depression, Part I: A Brain For All Occasions

Depression, Part I: A Brain For All Occasions

What IS depression?

When framing depression as a “mental illness,” we tell a certain kind of story, one that primes us to think along familiar lines of family histories and chemical imbalances. This is a story where suffering starts from the inside out to become the central story of someone’s life; it is a story of depression as a force of nature without meaning or justification, something that must be baked in at the level of the genes or the brain to make sense. Because depression is a disorder; a disease. After all, this is the only explanation we have for why perfectly normal and intelligent people could succumb to a feeling that the world is bleak and that people are hopeless. Right?

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