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Death and the Sun
Thursday, May 12th, 2005, 09:22 AM
Everywhere in the Western world, the statistics documenting the incidence of depression and other types of mental illness in the population are skyrocketing. Whether is this due to a statistical technicality (there is less social stigma today associated with mental illness, making it easier to seek treatment) or whether the problem really is growing, we can not afford to ignore it.

It is estimated that approximately 3% of the population in the west suffer from chronic depression. 16% will suffer from depression at some point in their lives. Twenty years ago, these figures were 1.5% and 5%, respectively.

In the Unites States alone, there are approximately 20 million chronic depressives. About 10% of these are children, which is an extremely alarming statistic. It is alarming because depressed children always grow up to depressed adults -- and in turn, depressed adults often (although fortunately not always) produce depressed children.

Bi-polar disorder, a condition closely related to depression, affects less people (depression is roughly ten times as common as bi-polar disorder) but it is much more dangerous. It causes extreme mood swings and unpredictable, often self-destructive behaviour.

No-one dies directly from depression or manic depression. However, indirectly bipolar illness is the second most common cause of death for young women in the developed world, the third most common for men.

Depression and its complications are the number one cause for disability in the US. World wide (including the "developing" nations), depression takes away more years from people's lives than wars, AIDS and cancer combined (as calculated by age at which a person dies / becomes disabled due to depression vs. the expectancy of healthy life-years).

Depression and substance abuse are closely linked, so we also must take into account the deaths caused by alcoholism or other substance abuse; also, deaths caused by heart disease and several types of cancers may also be indirectly linked to depression, and the self-destructiveness and unwillingness to take care of oneself it produces.

All things considered, depression may be indirectly the number one cause of death in the world.

Women are twice as likely to suffer from depression as men (whether the reasons are biological, social or a combination of the two, I cannot say), while men are more likely to abuse alcohol and/or other substances or commit suicide.

An astonishing 15% of all depressed people (men and women) will attempt suicide at some point in their lives. For people who suffer from mild depression, this figure is about 4%.

Sources:
The Noonday Demon: an Atlas of Depression by Andrew Solomon
several websites that deal with depression and other mental health issues

Rehnski÷ld
Thursday, May 12th, 2005, 12:48 PM
It's a tragedy really. I hate to think of all the nordish young men and women who perish by self-slaughter. As you say, suicide is a very common cause of death nowadays. As an example of how common it is, apparently, statistics say that all swedish traindrivers (=lokf÷rare?) will kill something like 1,65 (I don't have the exact number) persons during their career,where the bulc concists of suicidal people standing on the rail to commit suicide. From what observations I've made, I've come to think that the present structure of the society is the big cause of this. Cultural roothlessness, lack of unity within the people and self-denial and similuar things that derives from our present misery ought to be reasons for this as well.

Depression being the number one cause of death in western world seems likely.

Rolf Eder
Thursday, May 12th, 2005, 06:48 PM
Depression is a symptom of modernity.

RoyBatty
Thursday, May 12th, 2005, 07:45 PM
As an example of how common it is, apparently, statistics say that all swedish traindrivers (=lokf÷rare?) will kill something like 1,65 (I don't have the exact number) persons during their career,where the bulc concists of suicidal people standing on the rail to commit suicide.

A year or 2 ago I saw a man nearly meet his maker standing on a railway line at a station in London. The traindriver spotted him and managed to stop the train in time, but it was a pretty close affair.

I wonder how these depression statistics compare to 3D World countries? Is, as Rolf mentions, the rise in depression a sign of modern times and a fast paced cutt-throat environment? Were people happier in bygone times? Did life have more meaning then than it does now?

Today material wealth and consumerism appear to be the gods everyone are rushing to worship. Could it be that these things leave people spiritually unfulfilled?

Rehnski÷ld
Thursday, May 12th, 2005, 07:50 PM
A year or 2 ago I saw a man nearly meet his maker standing on a railway line at a station in London. The traindriver spotted him and managed to stop the train in time, but it was a pretty close affair.

I wonder how these depression statistics compare to 3D World countries? Is, as Rolf mentions, the rise in depression a sign of modern times and a fast paced cutt-throat environment? Were people happier in bygone times? Did life have more meaning then than it does now?

Today material wealth and consumerism appear to be the gods everyone is rushing to worship. Could it be that these things leave people spiritually unfulfilled?

You ask very valid questions and I think we are thinking the same thing here. The depression statistics in third world countries ought to be far,far from ours.

Erlingr Hßrbar­arson
Thursday, May 12th, 2005, 07:52 PM
Depression is a symptom of modernity.

And so our forefathers never were depressed? Could you please elabourate on this.

Rehnski÷ld
Thursday, May 12th, 2005, 08:09 PM
And so our forefathers never were depressed? Could you please elabourate on this.

I wouldn't say never but I think that they in far less extent than present day mankind were depressed since they had a much healthier spiritual life it seems. At least that's what I think.

Tanngnjˇstur
Thursday, May 12th, 2005, 09:15 PM
How often was the cause of death: "fat" 200 years ago?
How many people required medicine to make their lives worth living?
Curiosity: have there been studies showing a link between high or low IQ/education and depression? I'm having a hard time finding any..let alone race/depression frequency. Stats seem mainly concerned with nationality, gender and age.

Erlingr Hßrbar­arson
Thursday, May 12th, 2005, 10:03 PM
I wouldn't say never but I think that they in far less extent than present day mankind were depressed since they had a much healthier spiritual life it seems. At least that's what I think.

I agree with you and Tanngnjˇstr; however, he [Rolf] said that depression is a symptom of modernity, whereby I concluded that then natural that before modernity, there was no depression...which I believe is wrong. I understand on what Rolf means though and I was just being a jerk. :P Great points though, from you, Rehnski÷ld, and Tanngnjˇstr...and Herr Eder.

OddstrÝ­ir
Thursday, May 12th, 2005, 11:25 PM
I think christendom has a large part in this. It ripped away the old customs and then as science tears christendom apart there is nothing left of a spiritual sort, just a void and/or a silly world-view which takes the weakest elements (of this bastard of judaism) and then calls it science or the obvious wisdom of how things should be without need for explanation! I am speaking of liberalism!

In this something has gone extremely wrong in the world and a disorder of truths has become the reality.

GoldenFraulein
Friday, May 13th, 2005, 12:38 AM
I wouldn't say never but I think that they in far less extent than present day mankind were depressed since they had a much healthier spiritual life it seems. At least that's what I think.



They just didn't live long enough, A Large percentage of today's depressed society, are Senior Citizens.(Elderly)
With all The Medical "greed" We keep the unfit & Unhealthy alive. Back in the days, We lived by the Law of Nature...
When social security was established, The average persons Live span was mid 60's. Today Its???
Just a thought.

RoyBatty
Friday, May 13th, 2005, 02:55 AM
Senior citizens? I disagree. A substantial proportion of the depressed are from the upwardly mobile set. Many of them are on Prozac and similar feelgood "cures" which create the illusion of contentment and happiness but doesn't address the underlying problems they are wrestling with.

I agree that the medical profession are involved in immoral activities aimed at prolonging life beyond reasonable limits in order to cash in, but this is a seperate issue.

Rehnski÷ld
Friday, May 13th, 2005, 09:22 AM
[QUOTE]Curiosity: have there been studies showing a link between high or low IQ/education and depression? I'm having a hard time finding any..QUOTE]

There was a thread where this was discussed here I think. Did it dissapear after som tecnical error or?

GoldenFraulein
Friday, May 13th, 2005, 11:41 PM
Senior citizens? I disagree. A substantial proportion of the depressed are from the upwardly mobile set. Many of them are on Prozac and similar feelgood "cures" which create the illusion of contentment and happiness but doesn't address the underlying problems they are wrestling with.

I agree that the medical profession are involved in immoral activities aimed at prolonging life beyond reasonable limits in order to cash in, but this is a seperate issue.


Oh, Well I just mention this as I have a friend who works in a Nursing Home and delivers The antidepressants out 3X daily with Meals and Other Medications.

From About. Com..

Most Americans are unaware of the high rate of suicide among senior citizens, and researchers at the University of Iowa College of Medicine have issued a wake-up call for the elderly, their families, caregivers, and physicians. Although older Americans make up about 13 percent of the population, they account for nearly 20 percent of all suicides. An estimated five million of the 32 million people 65 and older suffer from depression. They are a more determined group to act and they use more lethal methods.
{"High National Rate of Senior Suicide Gaining Notice," Health World Online - http://healthy.net - July 2002} Author's comment: Alcohol causes depression and/or makes depression worse, and makes it more likely that a person would commit suicide.

Death and the Sun
Saturday, May 14th, 2005, 08:07 AM
Depression has been around for as long as the human race has been around. Most of the studies and statistics available to us suggest that depression is becoming more and more common now, but still it has always existed.

In fact, the ancient Greeks regarded depression in almost exactly the same terms as we do: as an illness in a person brain's that could be cured with oral medicines.

Later, people's attitudes towards depression have varied greatly: in the Dark Ages it was seen as a sign of Satanic possession, while during the Romantic period depression (or "melancholy" as it called then) was glamourised as evidence of a particular sensitive soul.

We, the people of the North, have our very own type depression: the Winter Bleak -- many people in the Nordic countries still suffer from it regularly every year. Still, the Winter Bleak is easy to deal with for people who otherwise have no tendencies towards depression, as long as one acknowledges it, by simply winding down one's level of activity and stress during the winter months.

Regarding elderly depressed people, they are perhaps the most undertreated group of depressed people -- even more than children. I suppose this is due to several things: the fact that we see old age as depressing, cannot tell the difference between normal decline in mental activity in old age and old-age depression, and finally because we as a society have made the terrible mistake of considering old people as stupid and worthless.

Mild dementia and senility are almost always accompanies by depression, but often relatives and even medical professionals cannot see the difference between the two conditions.

Erlingr Hßrbar­arson
Saturday, May 14th, 2005, 10:38 AM
Great posting, Eldritch...

Arcturus
Saturday, May 14th, 2005, 10:49 AM
I was under the impression the ancient greeks saw the brain as a cooling device for the body, while mind and soul resided in the heart... ? Or am I confusing this with some other ancient culture...

SiegUmJedenPreis
Saturday, May 14th, 2005, 10:58 AM
As someone suffering from Depression myself, I can say it is one of the toughest battles one can fight.

What I've realised though is the only real weapon you have against it is sheer guts and the courage not to give in into despair...etc..

Erlingr Hßrbar­arson
Saturday, May 14th, 2005, 11:20 AM
Just incase, so you know its there... (http://www.forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=7387)

Death and the Sun
Saturday, May 14th, 2005, 07:19 PM
I was under the impression the ancient greeks saw the brain as a cooling device for the body, while mind and soul resided in the heart... ? Or am I confusing this with some other ancient culture...

I am certainly no expert on this, but apparently the ancient Greeks had a very good understanding of human anatomy, and how the body works. I may be wrong, but I believe that the idea that the soul is located in the heart developed later, in the early Middle Ages.

Can anyone confirm or correct this ?!?

Thobjorn
Saturday, May 14th, 2005, 07:24 PM
im almost positive aristotle believed the brain just cooled down your blood, but i dont know about the rest.

Loki
Saturday, May 14th, 2005, 07:49 PM
As someone suffering from Depression myself, I can say it is one of the toughest battles one can fight.

I suffered from depression a few years ago when I was confronted with a personal circumstantial problem. Thus, it was induced by a specific circumstance which I had no control over - hence I became somewhat depressed about the situation. The condition reversed when the circumstances improved.

Nowadays, I get the "depressed" feeling mostly when I am very bored. :rolleyes: As I am now. :frown:

RoyBatty
Saturday, May 14th, 2005, 08:44 PM
Oh, Well I just mention this as I have a friend who works in a Nursing Home and delivers The antidepressants out 3X daily with Meals and Other Medications.


Terrible to hear that this is the state of things today :(

Such a life isn't worth living. One has to wonder why Senior Citizens who are still capable of doing so aren't involved in programs to assist with education, mentoring, community service and so forth to keep them occupied. Staying busy is a surefire way to avoid falling in the depression trap.

RoyBatty
Saturday, May 14th, 2005, 08:50 PM
As someone suffering from Depression myself, I can say it is one of the toughest battles one can fight.

What I've realised though is the only real weapon you have against it is sheer guts and the courage not to give in into despair...etc..

I agree. It can be a trap if one allows it to develop too far. Once in it becomes increasingly difficult to get out and takes a lot of willpower. A balanced lifestyle helps such as getting enough exercise, staying in touch with friends, getting mental stimulation, experiencing some variety to the daily routine.

The worst thing is probably when one finds oneself in a situation where one has too much free time on ones hands and start thinking, and thinking and..........

Rolf Eder
Sunday, May 15th, 2005, 12:34 AM
I suffered from depression a few years ago when I was confronted with a personal circumstantial problem. Thus, it was induced by a specific circumstance which I had no control over - hence I became somewhat depressed about the situation. The condition reversed when the circumstances improved.

Nowadays, I get the "depressed" feeling mostly when I am very bored. :rolleyes: As I am now. :frown:
I think the boredom which you say makes you depressed makes for an important point. In the old days, man did not get bored; he worked hard all day, and time off in the evenings was gladly accepted. Boredom was unknown, as man was either working or resting. Furthermore, life must consist of a balance between many things: work and rest, light and dark, peace and war, and so on. When one does not have a proper balance, it is no wonder one feels ill at ease. Living a traditional lifestyle of self-sufficiency and hard work will not only bring one contentment, but also strength of mind, character and body. It is no wonder men are not what they used to be, when it is considered normal to rot on a sofa for hours a day. There is much that we have lost as the wave of modernity topples down upon us, but through a traditional lifestyle, we can bring back what is essential.

Moreover, to those of you who have feelings of ennui or depression, find something you value, set goals, and work toward those goals. A man is defined by his work, and a man that has none is not a man, but a ghost wandering aimlessly through the world of men.

Death and the Sun
Sunday, May 15th, 2005, 12:21 PM
I think the boredom which you say makes you depressed makes for an important point. In the old days, man did not get bored; he worked hard all day, and time off in the evenings was gladly accepted. Boredom was unknown, as man was either working or resting. Furthermore, life must consist of a balance between many things: work and rest, light and dark, peace and war, and so on. When one does not have a proper balance, it is no wonder one feels ill at ease. Living a traditional lifestyle of self-sufficiency and hard work will not only bring one contentment, but also strength of mind, character and body. It is no wonder men are not what they used to be, when it is considered normal to rot on a sofa for hours a day. There is much that we have lost as the wave of modernity topples down upon us, but through a traditional lifestyle, we can bring back what is essential.

Moreover, to those of you who have feelings of ennui or depression, find something you value, set goals, and work toward those goals. A man is defined by his work, and a man that has none is not a man, but a ghost wandering aimlessly through the world of men.

You make many good points, but still let's fall into the trap of thinking that everything was better way back when. No-one would want to go back to the days when people's waking hours were used in backbreaking physical toil. We should preserve (and where necessary, resurrect) our traditions, but an attempt to wind back the clock would be pointless. Besides, it would almost certainly fail.

Vanir
Monday, May 16th, 2005, 06:09 PM
Suicide is also a problem here in Australia. Rural youths commit suicide at a very high rate, I remember a friend telling me that of the males that were in his Highschool class in the country town of Colac, something like 5 out of the 18 or 19 killed themselves over time.

My friend's brother killed himself. We came home from fishing, and there was the ambulance, and craig was dead. My friend Eric killed himself. He had a big heart, and was a good man, but now he's gone. My bestfriend Thane tried to kill himself, but was taken to Hospital quick to save his life. There are many more such tales of the fallen.

People can endure hardship, and toil, if there is hope, if the pain falls within at least some kind of framework that could make it understandable, but with the fall of the old European way, there is just nothing. No family, no tangible future, no sense of Nation, no feeling of being "part" of anything, just a hopeless despair that seems to stretch forever....a futility that saturates everything.

It is interesting the statistic that I read, stating male suicide had jumped 50% in Australia since 1970 (Post WWII basically)

Even I myself have battled a personal depression that indeed led me to the precipice of death when I was alot younger, so I understand the complete vacuum of hope and utter despair that can overwhelm one's mind and spirit. It is indeed a hard fight to regain perspective, and resolve.

Death and the Sun
Monday, May 16th, 2005, 06:43 PM
Suicide is also a problem here in Australia. Rural youths commit suicide at a very high rate, I remember a friend telling me that of the males that were in his Highschool class in the country town of Colac, something like 5 out of the 18 or 19 killed themselves over time.

My friend's brother killed himself. We came home from fishing, and there was the ambulance, and craig was dead. My friend Eric killed himself. He had a big heart, and was a good man, but now he's gone. My bestfriend Thane tried to kill himself, but was taken to Hospital quick to save his life. There are many more such tales of the fallen.

People can endure hardship, and toil, if there is hope, if the pain falls within at least some kind of framework that could make it understandable, but with the fall of the old European way, there is just nothing. No family, no tangible future, no sense of Nation, no feeling of being "part" of anything, just a hopeless despair that seems to stretch forever....a futility that saturates everything.

It is interesting the statistic that I read, stating male suicide had jumped 50% in Australia since 1970 (Post WWII basically)

Even I myself have battled a personal depression that indeed led me to the precipice of death when I was alot younger, so I understand the complete vacuum of hope and utter despair that can overwhelm one's mind and spirit. It is indeed a hard fight to regain perspective, and resolve.

Thank you for your excellent and very personal post, SURT.

For what it is worth, allow me to express my deepest condolences for the friends you have lost. Every time we lose one of our brothers or sisters to self-murder is a true tragedy.

One of my closest friends' elder brother also took his own life. That is the closest I have come to experiencing this scourge.

You are absolutely correct in saying that we can endure hardship, toil, obstacles... as long as there is a reason for it, as long it is not all in vain.

We must regain our pride and dignity as a race; and take better care of ourselves and each other.

Tanngnjˇstur
Monday, May 16th, 2005, 10:59 PM
An uncle of a very close friend of mine killed himself, as did my uncle though that was more than a decade ago. Depression is indeed a major affliction today and I'm sure many members of tNP have similar stories of relatives and of themselves fighting depression. It is a fight best fought in the company of hearty people.

47.
Ungur var eg for­um,
fˇr eg einn saman,
■ß var­ eg villur vega;
au­igur ■ˇttumk,
er eg annan fann,
ma­ur er manns gaman.
47.
Young was I once, I walked alone,
and bewildered seemed in the way;
then I found me another and rich I thought me,
for man is the joy of man.
47.
Young and alone on a long road,
Once I lost my way:
Rich I felt when I found another;
Man rejoices in man.

Some might say that this is hackneyed, and just plain common sense. Still,we need a direction and kinship can thus provide. Depression derives from the insular nature instilled in our hearts through modernity.
Enginn er eyland -> No man is an island.

Lissu
Monday, May 16th, 2005, 11:42 PM
The reasons for depression can also be physical, like some chemical unbalance in brains or malfunction of thyroid gland.

Thyroid gland produces hormone that is necessary for wellbeing - too little of that hormone, the person has serious physical and mental problems, and is likely to commit suicide if doesn't get help soon enough. Also overproduction severe problems, but symptoms are different.

The mother of my ex boyfriend had this total lack of the hormone produced my thyroid gland, and her condition was untreated for quite some time before she finally got diagnozed and received a proper medication. Before that she tried to commit suicide several times, and once she nearly succeeded to do that :mad: It was so horrible - she called us and told she has already killed herself. When we arrived she already had injected insuline, an amount that would have killed a horse. Fortunately help arrived soon enough, few minutes later she would have fallen into a coma and never woke up. What also saved her, was that she had taken a lot of very sweet wine for countenance and thus the insuline didn't kick in immediately. Later it was found out that her thyroid gland was totally dead, didn't secrete hormone at all. She got medication and after that, she was totally normal and she had no suicidal behaviour anymore.

But in her family the malfunctions of thyroid gland were hereditary. Before her, many of her family members of previous generations had committed suicide. Modern medical science is able to help, fortunately. All it needs is to find the problem soon enough.

Tanngnjˇstur
Tuesday, May 17th, 2005, 12:12 AM
I don't think the majority of the depressed population suffer from glandular anomalies..society is at fault here. Otherwise we'd be quite doomed, relying on medicin and stimulants to function :food-smil

Lissu
Tuesday, May 17th, 2005, 12:35 AM
I don't think the majority of the depressed population suffer from glandular anomalies..society is at fault here. Otherwise we'd be quite doomed, relying on medicin and stimulants to function :food-smilWell, it depends on how one defines depression. Melancholy which is caused by certain situation of life and which disappears when the situation of life changes, those are propably caused by external factors. Then medication is unnecessary - changing the situation on life should help.

But possible physical factors are NEVER to be underestimated :annoysigr Depression, when we are talking about serious forms of it, is physical (neurologic) illness as well, not only mental. Depression can be visible in magnetic resonance imaging if it's serious enough - it literally leaves its mark on brains. Serious depression is something that is impossible to be cured totally, a person suffering from it simply has to learn to live with it.

My opinion is that the society is not the only thing to blame in the cases of depression. There is always both external and internal factors that have an effect on health.

Tanngnjˇstur
Tuesday, May 17th, 2005, 01:12 AM
I did not claim that depression had no physical factor. The point is that society does little to directly adress the problem, today one only has to go the the nearest brain-tickler who is more than glad to supply you with an extravagant selection of happiness in capsule form. So does tv for that matter, beaming friends and laughter into the otherwise drab living room, for a price of course.
Depression itself can be seen as a resource; unhappy souls spending small fortunes for some soul-content and peace of mind, in capsules, booze, weekend-romances, soaps and sitcoms, cars and whatnot. Why eliminate the market? Consumerism knows no bounds. There is little joy in work nowadays, the jobs revolve around making money which in turn is spent on acquiring happiness.