It is a community with mass unemployment, high alcohol use – and a frightening reliance on ‘happy pills’.
In the South Wales borough of Blaenau Gwent, as many as one in six are taking antidepressants, it was claimed yesterday.
Campaigners said it highlighted the ‘disturbing’ issue of how high amounts of antidepressants are being handed out in deprived areas across Britain.
In Blaenau Gwent, the NHS issues almost 10,000 prescriptions for the drugs each month – in an area with an adult population of 60,000.
‘Unfortunately depression is closely associated with deprivation and unemployment. This is very disturbing and clearly something which needs to be addressed.’
Wales has the highest rate of antidepressant use in the UK.
The number of prescriptions per head rose by nearly 8 per cent last year, with a similar increase in England and Scotland. - Mail Online
The average family size in westernized countries/societies is between 4 and 6 - it is safe to say that most people are close to, or at least are acquainted with, at least 5 people. Now imagine that out of every 5 people you know and yourself, one of you relies on some form of chemical fix just to be able to cope with the complete shithole that is your life. That is a lot of people.
There are 2 aspects of this situation that require our attention: the first and most obvious is that poverty and hardships are often the cause for people turning to drink and drugs (and for some, because of that, abusive actions). No one wants to live like that, no matter the reason, so why do we allow so many to live in these conditions? Contrary to what the majority of us believe, it is possible to improve life for everyone - we are a clever lot and have and can still accomplish much.
The second consideration that is not quite so obvious is that our approach toward dealing with issues, like mental "abnormalities" (psychological disorders), seldom involves an intent to actually understand and solve the problem. In psychology, we use emotions, thoughts and feelings to try to get a handle on disorders, without actually understanding the causes and effects of these thoughts, feelings and emotions. What psychology has failed to see is that thoughts, feelings and emotions are the cause of these disorders and that so many areas of our society exploits this in order to influence the way we actually live in the world.
Take, for instance, a fairy tale like Cinderella: The fairytale teaches children to want to feel special, to want to be unique - it creates a drive within children to want to feel a certain way about themselves - but the reality they end up facing contradicts this desired self definition, and the child ends up not being able to be what they wanted to be, with no tools to deal with this. This, as well as the idea that love is the greatest attainment in life, that there is this magical feeling that sweeps us off of our feet - which is just an energetic rush that never lasts - so that we will know we have found "the one". Unfortunately the fairytales give no practical advice to actually sustain a relationship, so when the child grows up they are searching for this energetic rush that inevitably fades away, and when it does they will end the relationship and search again for the feeling.
We actually teach our children to spend their lives chasing after fantasies that can never come true. We do not give our children tools to actually deal with reality, such as how to build maintain supportive relationships based on trust, communication and support (as opposed to looking for energetic rushes). We teach our children that appearance is important and is an indicator of "who we are". We teach our children to be bound forever in the back-and-forth of "good" and "evil" - along with the belief that we have no choice in the matter, that we are not responsible for who we are, our thoughts and actions.
Can we really blame our children for turning into monsters, into self-absorbed demons looking for the next feel good fix? They are, after all, simply applying what we taught them.
How does psychology not see this? And if some few have noticed this, why do they not act to investigate and change it? We humans are really not so complex - we are simply products of our environments. It seems a little odd that psychology still doesn't understand human nature and the mind...