March 26, 2005


An interesting essay, via BitchPhD, on depression -- the post-partum sort in particular, but there are still some good points on depression and mental illness in general.

All of our feelings are biological. To attempt to invalidate some of them as 'less real' or somehow less important because they're hormonal or biochemical or whatever--that would invalidate all of them. The deepest, most profound feeling you have is biological. Hormonal. Biochemical. To say, 'When my boyfriend gives me flowers that makes me feel happy, that's good. But when I don't have the money to pay the utilities and they get shut off again and I feel sad and hopeless and like my life will never change, that's bad, and not only that, but it's actually a biochemical imbalance in my brain that needs to be corrected by drugs,' just doesn't make any sense.

Individual people have to find ways to cope with their individual situations, and often a medication is the best answer. But it is **not** the **societally** best answer **when there are clear social and economic reasons for this mental illness.** Yes, absolutely, if you're a woman and you're depressed and you can't cope, meds can be very helpful. But when that's society's only answer, I have a big problem with it. We don't need drugs as a long-term solution. We need social change.

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