Is Everyone Else Depressed?


It’s lovely that some folks are privileged enough to not be feeling the malaise; but this thread is about sympathizing and consoling each other.

I concur that playing Wolfenstien and indulging in other antifascist entertainment is a good place to start.


I’ve been helping my friend out of one of those financial pileups over the past few weeks. Once I reviewed things with him the situation didn’t look so dire as he had intimated, but he spent the previous 6 months hiding it from everyone – worst of all from himself. He felt he was a failure in mid-life and got into one of those spirals that could have taken down not only his finances but his relationships as well. I’m glad I was able to get him to open up before it was too late. Now there’s still a path out, albeit a tough one.

For those interested in generational depression, here’s an article I read today on Gen-X women in middle age. As you might imagine, not a great picture.

Well, some people don’t get the concept of a rhetorical question, I suppose. Or don’t want to get it.





Wasn’t as fucked recently as 2009. At least this time I had lots of interviews. Definitely wasn’t as fucked at the 70s recession either.

Recession/Depression, Something/I'm Guessin'

This is true. I remember being quite fond of the evening news on my local Fox affiliate. (Sup, KTVU. Although it’s my understanding that they are owned by Fox now vs being an affiliate so I have no idea if things have changed in recent years. I left the Bay Area in 2003.)


To get back on topic, I haven’t been depressed but definitely anxious and stressed like never before. Every day it feels like things are spiraling further out of control. I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop. I am trying not to let the fuckers win, but I can’t shake the feeling that we’re heading to some serious dark times and worse yet that there’s people who are happy about this.

I know some folks that have been completely checked out since the election and I don’t want to become like them. I try to keep myself on top of current events but it’s so much, so fast. It’s hard to keep up.


I had to kick myself off Twitter… I dunno, Twitter certainly had some issues before, but now it is more like Suffering As a Service. It is an oppressive litany of agonies under Trump.

Plus it’s impossible to have any nuance in 140 (sorry 280, for some) characters and the perma-broken “threading”.

I’ve used Twitter since 2007 and I liked it a lot but lately it was causing serious deterioration in my mental health. The funny thing is right after I deleted my account, I immediately felt this wave of relief. (I reinstated with a “I’m not here, and this is why” as the last reply, later, after realizing that “delete everything” isn’t what I stand for.)


Joined much later than you, because at the time it was the fastest and virtually unfiltered access to news I wanted. I had friends and relations in countries which underwent political turmoil, and even revolutions. Nothing could deliver the information from there as fast. I curated my TL, and in a year’s time I had about six hundred people following me, most of them actual people I would sometimes engage with. Then, #brexitvote happened. And my mood sank, a lot. Then, Trump.

On the 9th of November, I left twitter for four weeks to see if I a) could get over my addiction to communicate with a lot of personas I rather liked, and b) to see if four weeks was enough to calm my TL down about the manure hitting the windmill. Turns out yes, and no.

It’s fun to crack some craig in 140 chars as long as the ones you joke about are not actually taking over the world.

I re-activated my bb bbs account, and have been more active here since.

Currently, I am thinking of leaving.
While the mods do a great job, the world outside creeps. And while retreating to a life without the stimulus of being in contact with pseudonymous personas from far away places isn’t something appealing, I know I don’t make a difference by spending my time here. While I feel this echo chamber helps a lot of people, I am self-conscious enough to realise that I don’t change myself or the world writing here. I haven’t found a replacement in RL, but I’m working on it. My brain desperately needs input, and I need (vitally) to discuss my thoughts with people. However, I might need to re-focus on things where I have a stake, and at least some real influence.

I am not depressed. I know depression, and existential dread. I really do. This isn’t it. But I haven’t a good word for my outlook on the world and my personal life. I am being realistic about it, but when I truly tell people the thoughts in my heart of hearts, they think I am depressed. Which is rubbish. I detest the label of being “negative”, too. But, and I don’t say that lightly, even Germans who are traditionally painted as “worrywarts” are mostly not prepared to face realities. It’s totally weird how they worry about the wrong stuff most of the time.
When I announced I would go off twitter, and for which reasons, I got pm’d by some really worried people who sincerly and soberly asked me if I was suicidal. I am not. I read my Camus, I got really angry about it, but I keep pushing that stone.

There is no consolation but the fact that this universe, from the tiniest to the largest things in it, is fucking amazeballs. I can marvel at it. Starting with a flower unfolding, and a hoverfly buzzing about. I know the hoverfly larvae live in the mud, eat rotting stuff. I know the Aconitum is as poisonous as it gets in our native flora, and death by aconitine is really unpleasant. But this just adds to my pleasure observing it.

Knowledge is not bliss. Quite the opposite. But it sets things in a context. And this is how I don’t get depressed.

Only very sad and angry I have to cry every now and then, when I can’t emotionally cope with the world.


Twitter is just exhausting. It’s an endless stream of people pissed off at each other, and not injustifiably so, either:

It wasn’t this bad before Trump, but that uncorked a lot of resentment. Again I am not saying it is in any way unjustified but it is exhausting to read and experience.


I’ll add a few thinks about my previous post.

I noticed that people that go with the system do not seem depressed. For example, people who like shopping and telling their friends what great deals they had do not seem depressed.

If we keep the rat cage analogy, these people correspond to the rats who learned the right behaviour and got less electric shocks and more food pellets. They like the food pellets, they are not depressed.

As to myself I don’t like shopping. My parents were relatively strict and part of my education is that spending money on futilities was a sin. Telling people you bought something and how great you found it was a sign of pride, one of the seven deadly sins. I am still vaguely ashamed when I buy something. Under the analogy I am like a rat that would not like the food pellets the Skinner box serves.

Now, if one puts a rat which does not like the food pellets in a Skinner box, the experience will go awry. The animal cannot be trained properly, because negative reinforcement alone (the electric shocks) is not sufficient for training. It sometimes happens with rats, experiments have a number of negative results.

People here took the example of twitter. I have a twitter account. I started it to follow some accounts about arts (photography, architecture…). But each time I connect to it, I have a feeling that the twitter system is running in circles. I am presented with things of little interest to me, a bizarre selection of advertisements and the posts are quite repetitive.

Twitter, like all recent social networks does not present you with an unselected list of posts. Their system uses an algorithm to present you with the posts which are most suited to twitter’s objectives. Their main objective is for you to click on the advertisements and buy things on the related sites. I never do that. Neither do I buy things one the computer I use for twitter, so cross-site tracking will probably determine that I never buy everything. I am like the rat which will never eat any pellet. Presumably, the algorithm of twitter has not be designed for that case and the results are erratic. Possibly, for me or for some other people in a similar situation, the algorithm has been designed with a negative reinforcement loop (the equivalent of the electric shocks) and will eventually turn the feed to be uncomfortable.

I would like to point out that the algorithm is not designed to make users depressive. Skinner boxes are not designed to kill rats with electric shocks, they are designed to give them food pellets so that the experiment succeeds. It just so happens that the experiment turns nasty with uncooperative rats.

I took twitter as an example, but all social networks use a similar system. Also: social networks are everywhere, it seems that every new web site and new app added more and more “social” features in the past years.

Does this theory appear a reasonable explanation on why everyone here appears depressed?


It kinda feels like everything is coming to a head, where no one can take it anymore, but no one’s acknowledging that fact. Does anyone else feel that way / see that in their friends?

You’re not the only one that feels this way as I’ve seen it communicated in comments sections in articles on the economy and society and it’s perhaps a sense of the current state of affairs throughout the world(more so events happening at home) that we’re made aware of under different circumstances, in your case the election was a huge influence in feeling this disconnect. It’s interesting. One reader on a NYT article on economy stated that “the human spirit is broken.”


It wasn’t this bad before Trump, but that uncorked a lot of resentment. Again I am not saying it is in any way unjustified but it is exhausting to read and experience.

Uh yeah it’s unnerving and exhausting for sure.


Last night I wanted to watch TV, but there is very little great TV currently that isn’t dark and depressing. I had to stop watching Breaking Bad or last year’s short lived Vinyl (which I loved) at times because it was too hard to watch incredibly self destructive behavior, but that is basically all we get now. Couldn’t watch Mad Men for the same reason, forget about cringe comedies. Started Tin Star and The Deuce, same thing, so fucking DARK!

There’s so little pure escapism. I hate Marvel. I can dig back in Trek or some other TV SF, or read SF & Patrick O’Brian. Why, when the world sucks so bad, do they want to only show us more misery on TV?


I think there is plenty of mindless light comedy / sitcom tv, your tastes might be getting in the way?


There is plenty of old school rerun cheese to be seen on the likes of MeTV which has Svengoolie, there there is Comet and other such stations running old films and shows that we never saw all of when we were younger.


I did say “great tv” didn’t I? :slight_smile:
I’ve barely watched sitcoms in 40 years, and much of the current ones are cringe based. Few are subtle like Bob Newhart or MTM was. They had some cringeworthy characters, but it wasn’t the basis like it is for Big Bang. They were originally called “situation comedies” because it was normal people in funny situations, not freaks in normal situations. Not all, I have to admit I cringed at The Honeymooners and found it hard to watch. I guess it’s hard enough keeping the self destructiveness out of my own life, why watch it?


Well in that case definitely give Black Mirror a good thorough watching :wink:


Sorry about the layoff. That bites. I’ve been there. Wishing you clear headedness and lots of callbacks and interviews!


“Skinner boxes are not designed to kill rats with electric shocks, they are designed to give them food pellets so that the experiment succeeds. It just so happens that the experiment turns nasty with uncooperative rats.”

To me, the main difference between us and rats in the box is that we enrich the experimenters monetarily. So, it is in their interest not to see us happy or depressed or any other emotional state but stimulated to spend money, or to be money in some form of transaction, such as information or a business lead.


Well, there is The Good Place. It’s ethically deep, but not reflective of society today. A very sophisticated comedy. How did you like Brooklyn 99 or The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt?


I don’t think it’s correct to say that human hazard shows have scaled with the times unless it’s been proven by study. With respect to violence we live in the safest of times.