Thursday, April 29, 2010

Why do so many women have depression?

An article in the Guardian based on Allison Pearson's announcement that she is suffering from depression.

Some extracts:

Now, says Rowe, while women are still often seen as mothers rather than individuals, there are many more pressures at play. "There's still this idea that you've got to be a wonderful mother, but you also have to have a brilliant career, and you've got to look attractive all the time," she says. "There is no way that you can maintain that and bring up children. But it's still being presented to women all the time, in every magazine, on every screen, that you should."...

"I think we're conditioned to think that sadness shouldn't be part of the human condition," says Martin. "But it is. It's like all of these difficult emotions, like loss, fear of mortality. All of these emotions that seem so difficult, so they're just pushed away – then they bubble up. Perhaps we have to become a bit better at understanding and dealing with them." ...

I agree that depression isn't just a problem for women but for men and children as well. More men suicide than women.

I agree with this comment:

'The Capitalist Dream is a myth which has been bought wholesale and until very recently barely ever questioned. We are human animals who frequently forget our humanity and purpose in life and have been conditioned to aspire to a way of life which is incompatible with our essential being.

There are important things in life which contribute to the sum of our happiness, and there are unimportant things which detract and divert us from that.
The colour of one's aga or curtains renewed very year fall into the second group, as do the length of our skirts or colour of our wardrobe.There is more to life than 'stuff', a fact which we forget at our peril.

Many of us have lost sight of the fact that people are important to our sum total of happiness, and those we connect with and who we can reciprocally depend on are most important of all. The rest is dross.'

and increasingly I'm agreeing with this:

'We urgently, desperately need to break out of this silo-mentality that says that we can solve these problems by focussing on women or focussing on men or focussing on ethnic minorities or focussing on ethnic majorities or focussing on sexual minorities or focussing on sexual majorities or indeed focussing on any identity politics sub-group: the problem is liberal capitalism, and until we deal with that and establish a society based instead on equality we will never solve the problems of any isolated sub-group.':

and this:
Perhaps a holiday in Gaza or Haiti might give everyone some perspective. We are without doubt the whiniest navel-gazing society ever.

Comments welcome.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

This is such a big issue for my women friends in their 40's. I know so many women who have ongoing struggles with mental illness. I'm interested to know why. Is it stage of life? Getting worn out? Societal pressure? Our own expectations on ourselves? Lifestyle/cost of living? I don't know - it's complicated, but very sad.