We have been told that depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain. The bad news is that there’s something wrong with your head. The good news is that we can fix you. Just take this $15-billion pill.
It’s not just the pharmaceutical industry that profits from this myth. The fact is that an epidemic of depression has coincided with an epidemic of unemployment, of government lying and suppressed information, with a paucity of ways that people can contribute meaningfully to their community and widespread doubt whether our traditional institutions are worthy of our participation. Treating depression as an individual disease is part of a climate of denial that allows the ongoing rape of democracy by capital. If we weren’t taking Prozac, we’d be marching in the streets.
Depression is a mismatch between people’s legitimate expectation that modes of fulfilling participation and cooperation be the mainstay of their lives, and the collapse of society’s ability to provide opportunities for fulfilling participation.
(The above is my opinion in my language (JJM). Here is an article by Olivia Goldhill writing in Quartz last week.)