More quotes from Surviving America’s Depression Epidemic, by Bruce Levine.
“It saddens me when unhappy people who have become so despondent that they consider suicide view themselves as weak or sick. If death feels more attractive than life, it means nothing more than the fact that one’s present pain feels unbearable.” intro p.x
“ … I believe one important cause [of depression] is a culture that demands happiness… The unhappiness taboo has dominated the United States since it became a nation primarily of consumers rather than citizens. … The belief that people should be either happy or trying to be happier is a fundamental principle of modern consumerism — the never-ending search for products and services to bring happiness and prevent unhappiness.” p36
“With morale, people can attempt almost everything. Without morale, they lack the energy to regain morale. This is why the demoralized can feel stuck in a box.
“It’s futile and often counterproductive to tell the immobilized to “work a program” for which they lack the energy… For extremely depressed and immobilized people, discovering that which requires almost no energy but which provides more energy often means starting extremely small.” p39
I found his words about “morale” extremely comforting and validating. Also the idea that when you are depressed and immobilized, being able to do something about it is nearly impossible. I usually get angry at myself for not being able to do something to help myself, which only makes things worse. It used to surprise me when praise from someone else, or their understanding how hard I am struggling, gives me a hit of energy. I used to think that meant I wasn’t so badly depressed, but now I see it’s just what he’s talking about – something that doesn’t take any of my energy to boost my morale.