We recently came across a comic that’s making its way around the internet right now, and since it deals with a topic that we’re pretty passionate, we thought it would be a great idea to archive it on our site and use it to encourage more people to think about depression in a new light.
Depression is (obviously) a very real condition that many of us have suffered or do suffer from, but like many other ‘disorders,’ it has been capitalized on and used for profit to satisfy greed and ego.
Despite the fact that a lot of the drugs prescribed for depression have harmful effects, and that it is possible to alter brain chemistry in other ways – exercise, neuroplasticity, etc. – massive amounts of medication are dished out to approximately 400 million people worldwide.
Indeed, while it may be surprising to some, depression is actually considered to be the leading cause of disability around the world.
American psychologist Lisa Cosgrove and others have investigated financial ties between the Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel of Mental Disorders (DSM) panel members and the pharmaceutical industry.
In doing so, they found that of 170 DSM panel members, 95 (56%) had one or more financial associations with companies in the pharmaceutical industry, and one hundred percent of the members of the panels on ‘mood disorders’ and ‘schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders’ had financial ties to drug companies.
The connections are especially strong in those diagnostic areas where drugs are the first line of treatment for mental disorders. In the next edition of the manual, it’s the same thing.(source)(source)
The DSM, it would seem, has more to do with politics than science, since its diagnostic criteria are not based on science whatsoever:
No blood tests exist for the disorders in the DSM. It relies on judgments from practitioners who rely on the manual. – Lisa Cosgrove, PhD, Professor of Counseling and School Psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston (source)
The very vocabulary of psychiatry is now defined at all levels by the pharmaceutical industry. – Dr. Irwin Savodnik, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California at Los Angeles (source)
Why Do So Many Of Us Feel Depressed All The Time?
Again, a chemical imbalance in our brain might not be the result of biology. In fact, Neuroplasticity is showing us how our thoughts and our perception of the environment around us can re-wire our brain(source)(source). Perhaps it’s time to take a look at the human experience, and what each individual has to go through during their lifespan that contributes to this feeling.
In today’s world, feeling depressed is normal. As I’ve mentioned in many of my previous articles, many of us are forced into lives that we do not want to live, working long hours at a job we don’t like. It’s almost as if we’ve been trained to accept being part of a system that treats us like robots, doing the same thing, all day, every day.
Such joyless monotony cannot help but have a negative impact on a person’s psychological well-being, and experiments have been conducted to illustrate exactly how this works. For example, something interesting happens when you put a rat alone in an empty cage and then give it two drinking options: water laced with cocaine (and other drugs), or normal water. In this environment, the rat will always choose the drugged water, seeking to escape from its distress pharmacologically.
But what if you gave the rat something else to do (fun, friends, toys, good food) while still having both options of water? In this instance, even rats who were exposed to the drugs previously chose to abstain from the drug-laced water when given the choice. You can read about the details of that experiment here. Although it was done to examine drug-induced addiction, it also serves as a good analogy for depression.
Is it about our environment? Our bonds, our connections, and our access to fulfilling, enjoyable activities? Is it about how we think about and perceive the world around us? Is it because we are not being nourished (mentally and spiritually)?
The below comic illustrates how depression makes one feel, but it’s time to recognize that it’s not really a ‘disorder’ as it is so commonly thought to be. We have the power to lift ourselves out of these negative feelings without harmful medication, the manufacture of which seems entirely profit driven.
Comic was put together by Nick Seluk, the artist and Sarah Flanigan, the story teller.