A Pandemic of Anxiety/Depression:What Does It Mean for Each Individual in the US?

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  1. When subjective expectations are upset by objective events it is a human trait to experience anxiety and perhaps depression. Anxiety then motivates us to seek homeostasis. Various means exist for this purpose. Some will placate the symptoms (feelings of anxiety) but not address, or address less well, the illness. The “illness” exists as resistance to objective truths that need to be acknowledged. Those who train their minds to “be realistic” (the scientific method acknowledges uncertainty and constantly seeks testing) are less likely to be unduly upset by the objective play of events. Conversely, those who have become emotionally dependent on feelings linked to certitude will be less prepared for healthy adjustment.

    Generally the methods of “faith” are the means by which we attribute more certitude (and feelings of security) to a belief than all the evidence would justify. Faith often serves beliefs that are not normally recognized as “religious”. Non-traditional forms of faith (such as the “moral righteousness” of various political persuasions) are attractive to those anxiously striving to create/expand emotional comradery with like-believers and a place of meaning. There has been an explosion of conflicting political “faiths”. Dominant in our country are leftists, progressives and conservatives. Daedal2207 has brought to our attention the fact that various media are now serving as a substitute for what used to be church attendance.

    A “pandemic” of anxiety verifies that we live in a time of great flux where multiple established beliefs are actively competing against other equally established and often incompatible beliefs – and ALL beliefs are being impacted by the objective realities of natural physics.

    Daedal2207 is correct in observing that “leadership” can ease anxiety. The important question has to do with the wisdom of that which we choose to call leadership. Does it consist mostly of an attractive (but dangerous) style that provides temporary relief and feels good, or is it a leadership that chooses to guide processes that will objectively benefit mankind? The current U.S. “leadership” is stylistically disturbing, but its actions lead us along a reasonable path to a life-saving growth of resources.

    1. To each his own delusion. The upheaval … anxiety, depression … is the result of an order (moral and structural) corrupted. Of course, what is contributing to the chaos is the tupsy-turvy acceptance of the values … family and community values … with which we were raised. When lies … proven lies … equal truth, our senses are jolted. Those who are rejoicing in the tupsy-turvy world … enjoy the orgy. The future will tell us where we were.

      P. S. Does it ever occur to those who speak with accusatory definitions that such apply both ways … or all ways for dogmas? The mystery is in the actual truth.

      1. When SB states: “The mystery is in the actual truth.” She is exactly right. “Truth” is always a mystery to the degree that we lack complete information, and what is “actual” truth may exist within the realm of the unknown. But for pragmatic reasons we can possess and use to our benefit a concept of “truth” that is understood as our-best-guess. This “working truth” exists as degrees-of-probability subject to constant testing and adjustment. To avoid the pitfalls of subjectivity, this requires the skilled use of tools that remain constant no matter the diverse minds that use them. Tools such as math, logic, and measurable evidence reveal that which is objective, thereby reducing the impact of subjective bias – often called “delusion”.

      2. Thanks SB for a deep recognition that we are brothers and sisters under the skin and that the same rain,sun and pollution descends on all of us.

    2. Stylistic disturbance is one thing.Moral turpitude is another.I,for one,am unwilling to say that I don’t know the difference.It is certainly true that fact falsification and questionable sources of information make the task more difficult but paradoxically more urgent than ever.As one becomes more certain,ones relative powerlessness is exposed.DS’ idea of realism unlinking us from faith based certitude tied to untrustworthy feelings is an interesting idea but if true would require trustworthy facts to be available.We’re this requirement met,I suspect that the ability to distinguish right from left,self from other etc. would not depend on it.

      1. It is our actions based on particular judgments of “moral turpitude” that make what we claim to be “knowledge” of its meaning important to others. It is possible that the “judging” parts of our mind have been given false information. For instance President Trump is accused of saying that in Charlottesville there were “very fine people” marching for Nazi causes when in fact his statements to the press about “fine people” were referring only to those marching for or against the preservation of statues. Believe those who are lying and judgments of moral turpitude against Trump seem justified. Know the accusation to be a lie and the judgment of moral turpitude applies more accurately to those who intentionally spread the lie. Because of the “Access Hollywood” tape President Trump has been accused of “admitting” to having engaged in “sexual harassment”. Listen to the tape and he says: “If one is a star, they will let you do it”. Sexual play among willing adults is not (and should not be called) harassment. Bawdy it is, but it is a leap beyond the evidence to claim that it provides a certainty of proof that Trump admits to engaging in criminal behavior.
        Daedal2207 astutely points out that “trustworthy facts” need to be available – in order to correct untrustworthy feelings. Science can give us some trustworthy, high probability truths. With the tools of math and logic we have accurately predicted the movements of celestial objects. I am stating that as a matter of general principle it is those who would spread false information and unjustified certitudes who are doing trust and “morality” a disservice and thereby are engaging in immoral actions.
        On another level of realism it is possible (indeed probable) that any one person or leader will possess a combination of immoral and moral traits. It then behooves us to be wise enough to make judgments of impact that weigh degrees of good against degrees of bad.

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