Popehat on depression

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The biggest problem beyond those without access to treatment is that for some people in professions like aviation where even getting diagnosed means the end of a very expensive and difficult to attain position.
As long as the pilot stays away from the doctor and answers flight physical questions with reasonable denial I suppose they are legally fine. Fortunately I understand that light antidepressants have been permitted by the FAA in recent years, but as we see with the Germanwings incident mental health suddenly becomes public knowledge though this was posthumous.
Seeking help is a minefield in a hard society where cancer or a severed spine are honorable but any psychiatric disability is a sign of weakness and it’s revelation can very easily lead to poverty and rejection.
The most important message in the Ken White post is that people around the depression patient give support, but for Americans without insurance in an anti-healthcare state how do they access serious help without the tens of thousands of cash dollars for a short inpatient stay?


…maybe I’m just all politically upitty today, but this encapsulates to me the rot at the heart of most Conservative rhetoric these days…and not unlinked to when Regan dismantled the (admittedly pretty shitty) state-run mental care in the US.

…I wonder now how many of those folks are just kind of depressed and deep in denial…

At any rate, glad Ken’s got the help he needs! I hope we come together as a country to ensure that more people in his position can feel OK admitting that other people are important.


The self bootstrap bullshit is an insane ego fuelled logic bomb to comfort those who have but will not share and torment those who god has obviously left behind with (surprise!) depression for their failure at wealth on top of depression at their crappy status. It is why it can be perilous for Americans to seek treatment because if the problem is psychiatric then he who suffers is assumed to just be too lazy to bootstrap better or ‘snap out of it’.
The golden rule of the American prosperity gospel.
εἴ τις οὐ θέλει ἐργάζεσθαι μηδὲ ἐσθιέτω
“He who does not work shall not eat” II Thessalonians 3:10


I had a boss who, when I finally admitted to him that I have mild (Mild) anxiety, said, “well why don’t you just go on disability”.

I wanted to sock him so bad.

Admitting you need help is crucial. But as with humor, Know Your Audience. There are asshats everywhere, including ones that suffer from the same things but will still use it against you.


Christ, what an asshole. I hope you no longer have to deal with that person.


A great reason why we need medical privacy from employers and why they should have no say in your insurance.


I very much share the late, great Iain Banks’ idea that any truly aware intelligence will live with a constant, uneasy sense that something is wrong in the universe.

Depression seems like a logical reaction to the world, I think that with proper training it can be reforged into a slightly different, less debilitating energy but to be cognisant of the conditions that give rise to depression without being trapped by that perception is tricky and the solution seems always to be an individuals personal discovery.


A hearty dose of “screw the world and the orbit it rode in on” helps quite significantly.


I have tried that, and whilst it’s empowering behaviour, of a sort, it also means that you are making the vehicle of your mind give free passage to energy sapping emotions.

It’s commonly sneered at as archaic or just plain stupid but I find recourse to a metaphor from magick to sum up the situation quite neatly. You can rend the substrate of your mind to induce high peaks of energy displacement, giving a sensation of power and self-assuredness found very rarely in a more calm mind but you must be prepared to find ways of dealing with the subsequent pits and valleys of reactive counter-emotion. This is what I liken to Nietzsche’s ‘Lust for Power’ and is emblematic of the kind of self-assuredness found in those people who we commonly find exerting their psychopathic and inhumane treatment of their fellows in an attempt to climb the social ladder or perhaps the self deception concerning the position they were born to, found so often in those ‘elites’.

I’m not saying it can’t be made to work but it generally involves a lot of self-obfuscation and ritualistic cleansing of the psyche and I’m fairly sure it still leaves an unmistakeable taint of tension and stress in even the expert practitioner.

Compare this with Nietzsche’s ‘Will to power’ which does not involve the use of self distortion and instead puts one on a path toward clear self-recognition, ‘warts and all’. This is the difficult, elusive path and it’s not one to tread upon lightly, Nietzsche himself broke down from the stress. But I feel with a modern understanding of neurochemistry, stress management techniques and psychology, designed holistically for the whole body-mind system, it’s a viable practice. Throw in some Zen or some Yoga or Pilates practice to increase breath control and you’re laughing. :wink:

For every up there’s a corresponding down. The ups have to be worth it - they are spent in the shop. The downs are for bickering on the Net.

Practitioners of some forms of meditation would argue that the power output of the mind can be amplified immensely once such peaks and valleys have been ‘smoothed out’. I’m not sure if there is an electronics, voltage/power metaphor in here I’m missing (electronics were always my weak point in physics), so apologies if there’s a cogent image I could have used. Something to do with a clean power source or something. But I guess that would mean less noise, and not shallower peaks and valleys. LOL

The counterexample can be the one of charging the capacitor banks, giving a lot of power out, then cooling down and charging again to repeat the cycle.

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