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10/09/2003 Archived Entry: "National Depression Screening Day"

OH! I ALMOST MISSED IT! Today is National Depression Screening Day. There was this flyer on the board down at the P.O. "Do you feel glum? Nervous? Hyper? Excitable? Listless? Hopeless? Have you gained or lost weight lately?"

If you have any of these "symptoms of mental illness," you're supposed to Get Down, Get Tested, and And Get Medicated, Baby!

Guess that means all of us, since who the heck isn't something between hyper and hopeless in this crazy world? Gimme my pills! Drug me, drug me! Make me Instantly Happpeeeee!

Yeah, yeah. This makes such great sense. Ban all the drugs that make us feel good just for the fun of it. Then hype, hype, hype all the drugs that enable us merely to tolerate the hectic, confused, TV-polluted, politician-ridden, overregulated, brand-named, fragmented, propagandized lives we're leading.

These depression-screening events are the brainchild of the phramaceutical makers and the whole mental-illness industry (to call it the mental-health industry is a serious misnomer, since these folks are invested in defining every sorrow or discontent as a "brain disease"). They foster our dependencies and keep us from looking in the right direction when we need to really do something about our lives.

Not to demean anyone's suffering. And suffering is the word. I know; I've dragged my own sorry self through years of crushing depression. I know what it's like to be so miserable you can scarcely move, and so hopeless death beckons like a blessing. And drugs and therapy may carry us through those blackest days.

But if we're miserable as an everyday matter, before we go down to the intersection of Prozac Road and Zoloft Highway to catch a ride, maybe we ought to ask whether we could make life choices that would lift us into happiness, rather than just medicating over whatever bad choices or bad conditions we're living with. And if we feel we have no choices, maybe that in itself is a problem about which ... we should make some choices?

Posted by Claire @ 04:51 PM CST

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