Roland Dürre
Wednesday November 25th, 2009

Depressions and What Causes Them

Now the hype about Robert Enke, deutscher Fußballnationaltorwart in Wikipedia” Robert Enke’s suicide is over. With the new “betting scandal” in European soccer, we forgot everything else. After the spectacular reports, what remains will again be silence. Yet the number of people suffering from a depression grows all the time, and the number of suicides along with it. Several years ago, the number of suicides had already surpassed the number of traffic fatalities, and it continues to increase, regardless of anti-depressive medication.

I, too, know a number of people suffering from depressions. A short time ago, a good friend of mine decided that the only way out for him was suicide, which surprised us all. Unfortunately, his tragedy, like that of many others, never came to be known publicly.

In retrospect, I find it a pity that the great interest in this sad suicide of a top soccer player displayed in the media did not have more of an effect. To be sure, the fans were chastised by the DFB that super stars, too, are only human and that over-ambitious parents should not expect too much of their children.

The real reasons for all those numerous depressions in our society, however, were not discussed. In my – admittedly unprofessional – experience, the real problem lies in the following aspects:

  • People permanently experience loss of meaning instigated by a climate of consumption and growing distance from nature.
  • Reliable and stable relationships get more and more scarce.
  • Social life is reduced.
  • Emotions are lived second-hand.
  • Egotism has become our number one survival principle.
  • Infants and toddlers are taken away from their central personal relationship with the parent too early in life.
  • At a socially relevant extent, the psychic and social development of children is turning into a failure.

Even in our “enlightened times”, many people identify with anachronistic concepts of life. For them, bliss is sin; they fear a monitoring and punishing God, see themselves as bad people and yearn for forgiveness of their sins while sticking religiously to some superstitious beliefs. All this can also make you go mad or fall into a depression.

And were we not educated to think in terms of crime and punishment? Were we not sent on our way equipped with a suspicious attitude towards happiness and fear of failure? Many of us have had this kind of input from early childhood through their parents and at school. How often were we “made small” when we were children by well-meaning adults, no matter if they meant to harm us or not? The human spirit and soul are not all that robust and self-preserving – I often wonder why not many more people suffer from depressions.

That is why I would have wished for a taboo-free discussion on “depressions”. Such a discussion might have resulted in a return of ancient values such as love, security, trust and understanding. Or else someone might have discovered that an intense and intact mother/child relationship is a better protection against depressions than sending infants into the childcare centre.

There are probably more kinds of depressions, also some that originate with physical anomalies, such as a metabolic disorder or other maladies. Yet, if we were to become more humane again, that might help already. Less spasmodic behaviour and phobia, less fascistic sternness, instead more desire and happiness about life and love might be a good recipy towards reducing the number of depressions, too. On the whole: more bliss with less of a bad conscience.

But unfortunately, even the death of a national hero cannot break our self-imposed taboos and initiate a radical change towards lust for life. All that both the media and society hand out is meaningless statements and analyses like the strain we suffer under.

Yet we do not learn from the mistakes that were made in our own childhood. Instead, we produce more and more psychologically sick people. At the same time, we repress the fact that prophylaxis would be a lot better (and cheaper) than the often impossible healing. And then we are paralyzed by the horror of violence, depression and schizophrenia in our society.

The next suicide of a famous person will again make us demonstrate our sadness in the media and collectively for one week.

(Translated by EG)

When I was young, we read Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” and were worried that this might well be what our future would come to be. Here we are.

3 Kommentare zu “Depressions and What Causes Them”

  1. Enno (Thursday November 26th, 2009)

    Ja, ich glaube an einen wachsamen und strafenden Gott und sehne mich nach der Vergebung der Sünden. Nur: Was hat das mit Depressionen zu tun?

  2. rd (Thursday November 26th, 2009)

    Diese Frage würde ich lieber von kompetenteren Menschen aus der Psychologie/Psychopathie beantworten lassen. Nach meinem Wissen gibt es hier sehr stark differenzierende Fachmeinungen.
    Persönlich vermute ich ganz intuitiv, dass der Glaube an einen liebenden und verzeihenden Gott eher vor Depression schützt als der an einen kontrollierenden und strafenden. Und habe auch den Eindruck, dass die Erziehung hin zu Schuld- und Sühnemodellen der geistigen Gesundheit schadet. Wenn ich mich wegen Glückseligkeit auf Erden schuldig fühlen muss, weil diese erst im Jenseits sein darf, dann gruselt es mir. Aber wie gesagt, das ist ein schwieriges Terrain, auf dem auch die Experten gerne straucheln. Ich habe auf jeden Fall Angst vor den Folgen einer Erziehung, die Lebensfreude und Lust negiert.

  3. Robert (Wednesday May 26th, 2010)


    Kompliment zu deinem Blog, ich habe auch einen Blog zum Thema Depressionen gegründet und würde mich freuen, wenn auch andere meinen Blog lesen und kommentieren würden.

    Ich denke es ist eine Hilfe für alle sich auszutauschen, zu diskuttieren und sich tipps zu geben .

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