One in four middle-aged American women are taking anti-depressants. One might ask: Is there something wrong with our society, when a quarter of our women have to be pumped full of drugs, just to make it through the day without slitting their wrists in a bathtub?
Unlike illnesses caused by viruses and bacteria, depression is something the human body does to itself. The clinically depressed brain chooses to skimp on dopamine and serotonin production, because it believes – based on the previous reproductive payoffs of thousands of generations of evolution – that doing so is adaptive. There are several possible evolutionary explanations for depression, such as the psychic pain hypothesis:
According to the psychic pain hypothesis, depression is analogous to physical pain in that it informs the sufferer that current circumstances, such as the loss of a friend, are imposing a threat to biological fitness, it motivates the sufferer to cease activities that led to the costly situation, if possible, and it causes him or her to learn to avoid similar circumstances in the future. Proponents of this view tend to focus on low mood, and regard clinical depression as a dysfunctional extreme of low mood.
The Analytical Rumination Hypothesis:
This hypothesis suggests that depression is an adaptation that causes the affected individual to concentrate his or her attention and focus on a complex problem in order to analyze and solve it.
One way depression increases the individual’s focus on a problem is by inducing rumination. Depression activates the left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, which increases attention control and maintains problem-related information in an “active, accessible state” referred to as “working memory,” or WM. As a result, depressed individuals have been shown to ruminate, reflecting on the reasons for their current problems. Feelings of regret associated with depression also cause individuals to reflect and analyze past events in order to determine why they happened and how they could have been prevented.
Another way depression increases an individual’s ability to concentrate on a problem is by reducing distraction from the problem. For example, anhedonia, which is often associated with depression, decreases an individual’s desire to participate in activities that provide short-term rewards, and instead, allows the individual to concentrate on long-term goals. In addition, “psychomotory changes,” such as solitariness, decreased appetite, and insomnia also reduce distractions. For instance, insomnia enables conscious analysis of the problem to be maintained by preventing sleep from disrupting such processes. Likewise, solitariness, lack of physical activity, and lack of appetite all eliminate sources of distraction, such as social interactions, navigation through the environment, and “oral activity,” which disrupt stimuli from being processed.
And the Social Navigation/Niche Change hypothesis:
The social navigation or niche change hypothesiscombines the analytical rumination and bargaining hypotheses and suggests that depression, operationally defined as a combination of prolonged anhedonia and psychomotor retardation or agitation, provides a focused sober perspective on socially imposed constraints hindering a person’s pursuit of major fitness enhancing projects. Simultaneously, publicly displayed symptoms, which reduce the depressive’s ability to conduct basic life activities, serve as a social signal of need; the signal’s costliness for the depressive certifies its honesty. Finally, for social partners who find it uneconomical to respond helpfully to an honest signal of need, the same depressive symptoms also have the potential to extort relevant concessions and compromises. Depression’s extortionary power comes from the fact that it retards the flow of just those goods and services such partners have come to expect from the depressive under status quo socioeconomic arrangements.
(Here’s a TED talk that appears to cover most of the above.)
What’s obvious to any student of social dynamics, is that the complex of behaviours associated with clinical depression – hunched shoulders, weak eye contact, avoidance of social interactions – are all low-status ‘tells’. The obvious conclusion is that what we call depression is the human body’s subconscious way of saying: You Suck.
More specifically, depression is a means by which the body signals to itself that something is wrong with its current approach to life. Remember, your body is your best friend. When it hurts you, it’s trying to create a catalyst for behavioural changes.
Of course there are some people whose malfunctioning neurochemistry renders them naturally prone to depression. Similarly, there is also a small percentage of people with glandular disorders that predispose them to obesity. But when such a huge fraction of a population develops a problem in such a short period of time – as we see in both the obesity and depression epidemics – the most obvious explanation is that it’s environmental.
So, of the 30 million or so Americans currently on anti-depressant drugs, the vast majority are healthy and functional human beings, whose brains have subconsciously concluded that their current behaviour is self-destructive. Rather than acknowledge this wake-up call and make positive changes, mentally ill Americans are treating the symptoms of their unnatural and unhappy lives.
So, the question shifts: Why are so many women acting in a way their brains perceive as counterproductive? The attentive reader will recall the title of this post:
Feminism Is Causing The Depression Epidemic
Now, study this picture well. We will return to it.
On a biological level, Humans are survival and replication machines. Our brain rewards us with positive emotions when it perceives our actions as adaptive; otherwise, it punishes us with pain.
The modern American woman is placed in a double-bind that guarantees she will be susceptible to depression in her middle age. She can either follow the feminist ‘Empowerment’ script, and spend her childbearing years focused on her career and a series of casual relationships, or she can pursue motherhood.
The subconscious core of the barren thirty-five year old empowered woman does not care that she just made Senior HR Adviser and upgraded her condo with a new sofa set and designer cat-scratch post. In the eyes of the gods of biomechanics, she is as great a failure as has ever lived.
The career-climbing women who manage to squeeze out a child or two in between pilates class and their second Venti medium roasts are not much better off. In our ancestral environment, before the invention of subsidized daycare and baby formula, a woman who saw her child for only an hour or two a day was doing something seriously wrong.
And what of the women who actually recognize that motherhood is a more rewarding vocation than the meaningless paper-shuffling that 90% of them would be doing in a ‘real’ career? They’re vulnerable as well. Humans are social creatures, and the fairer sex is especially sensitive to their approval or rejection by the tribe. We are all wired to pay close attention to the values of the high-status men and women in our world, and conform our behaviour to their expectations. Our modern tribal leaders are the media celebrities, academics, journalists, and other arbiters of public opinion. Unless one makes a strong and conscious decision to disassociate with mainstream American culture, he or she will subconsciously measure themself by their approval.
For the married stay-at-home American mother of 2013, the message sent by America’s high-status elite is clear: Fuck You, traditional mothers.
Getting married, having children, loving them, and prioritizing their happiness and success over your own self-actualization is a rejection of Feminism at the most basic level. Walking this path will spare the modern woman the psychic torment of reproductive failure. But unless she unplugs herself from mainstream media, and social circles influenced thereby, she will suffer the sting of social rejection, right in the paleomammalian complex.
The key prediction of the Feminism -> Depression hypothesis is that women who prioritize family, and do so in an environment that supports their choice, will be happier. Well wouldn’t ya know it? Dutch women are among the happiest in Europe:
“In 2001, nearly 60 per cent of working Dutch women were employed part-time, compared to just 20 per cent of Canadian women. Today, the number is even higher, hovering around 75 per cent. Some, like Van Haeren, view this as progress, evidence of personal freedom and a commitment to a balanced lifestyle.
…Dutch women appear deaf to the siren call of the workplace. Asked whether they’d like to increase their hours, just four per cent said yes, compared to 25 per cent of French women. And while across the Channel, British media are heralding the resurgence of feminism—last weekend, some 500 women crowded into a feminist training camp, UK Feminista, to be trained in direct action and activism—in Holland, women like Van Haeren baldly proclaim no further need for the movement. “Feminism wasn’t necessary anymore by the time I grew up,” she says. “In my eyes, it was a thing of the past.”
The relationship between personal lifestyle choices and the socio-economic standing of women has been under the microscope in Holland ever since the publication of Dutch Women Don’t Get Depressed in 2008. Ellen de Bruin, who patterned her book after Mireille Guiliano’s bestseller French Women Don’t Get Fat, began by defining the stereotypical Dutch woman: naturally beautiful with a no-fuss sense of style, she rides her bike to fetch the groceries, has ample time with her kids and husband, takes art classes in the middle of the week, and spends leisurely afternoons drinking coffee with her friends. She loves to work part-time and does not earn as much as her husband, but she’s fine with that—he takes care of the bills. The book went on to note that Dutch women rank consistently low, compared to those in other Western countries, in terms of representation in top positions in business and government—and rank consistently near the top in terms of happiness and well-being. In fact, just about everyone in Holland seems pleased with the status quo; in 2009, the Netherlands ranked highest of all OECD countries in terms of overall well-being.”
In stark contrast, the handsome lads over at r/TheRedPill had a good laugh over this thread at rival Social Justice Warrior sub-forum r/TheBlue Bill, in which an endless parade of feminists, manginas, and assorted members of the volunteer thought police revealed their long histories with a never-ending schedule of anti-depressants:
Didn’t find out until after my suicide attempt that the antidepressant I was on..
I took Buspar for several weeks before I realised it was the reason…
Zoloft is making me see things out of the corner of my eye that aren’t there…
Have you ever tried any tricyclics? I’ve had experiences with SSRIs that were similar to what’s already been described in this discussion, but had a fairly good experience with the one tricyclic I tried…
I’m on Pristiq, I believe that’s related to Effexor?
And on it goes. If only there was some sort of internet community devoted to truth, self-improvement and healthy relationships, that they could turn to, with a minimum of ego suppression.
Now, I have a real treat for you. Here’s another excerpt from the article above:
“Others, however, view it as an alarming signal that women are no longer seeking equality in the workplace. Writer and economist Heleen Mees, for example, argues that the stereotypical Dutch woman has become complacent. “Even at the University of Amsterdam—the most progressive university we have—I had a 22-year-old student say, ‘Why is it your business if my wife wants to bake cookies?’ and the female students agreed with him! I was like, what’s happening here?”
Mees runs an organization called Women on Top that strives to push more Dutch women into ambitious career paths. Its slogan is “Out with the part-time feminism!” and it points to part-time work as a major factor in a lingering pay gap. Then there’s the matter of principle. “I think highly educated women have a moral obligation to take top positions, to set an example by their choices,” says Mees. “When women just stay at home or work part-time, they don’t reach the top, and they set bad examples for their daughters and daughters’ daughters.”
Understandably, the notion that there’s a correlation between women’s relative powerlessness and their happiness rubs people like Heleen Mees the wrong way. Yet others frame the correlation differently, arguing that Dutch women have smashed the vicious circle of guilt that traps other Western women, to embrace a progressive form of work-life balance.”
Note that this article was written in 2011. Does the name Helen Mees ring any bells? Ah yes. That would be the same Helen Mees recently charged with stalking Citigroup’s chief economist:
“The Dutch economist was arrested July 1 after allegedly sending more than 1,000 e-mails to Buiter over a two-year time period…
He’s had a past history of disconnecting Ms. Mees and then reconnecting with her…
“What can I do to make it right? Shall I lick your b–s?” she said in one X-rated epistle…
In another, she told him: “Hope your plane falls out of the sky.”
Her angry rants allegedly included Buiter’s wife and children.
Prosecutors say she targeted his family even after she was told to stop…
Buiter received a snapshot of Mees pleasuring herself and another creepily depicting dead birds, according to court papers…Mees is looking for new jobs after she was shunned from NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service because of this case.”
One is left awestruck at the gall of such a sad, broken, shell of a woman, dedicating her life to haranguing happy Dutch mothers and wives into mimicking her own poor life choices. Recall the picture above – the set jaw; skin cracking in defiance of who knows how many thousands of dollars spent on over-promising lotions; the dead eyes. I wonder what sort of all-you-can-eat buffet of SSRI chemical cocktails we might find in the bathroom cabinet of Ms. Mees?
But for all her years and related flaws, Helen Mees is not a bad looking 45-year old. Surrounded by a happy, healthy family, she would have been a fine demonstration of Solomon’s Proverb 28: A woman can age beautifully:
“A good woman ages beautifully. When I look at my wife, I see the most gorgeous woman in the universe. Her wrinkled hands got that way by keeping up with my two boys and working hard for them while I was on the road. The lines under her eyes are from years of shedding tears for me when I was at war, and those wrinkles on her brow are from decades of worry for me and my two sons. It was her legs they held on to when they were learning to walk, her lap was where they learned to read, and her breasts were their first nourishment. The first kiss those boys ever received was from her lips, and God willing, my last kiss will be from her lips.”
But Helen Mees knows that no strong man will ever say anything like that about her. And this is the fire that fuels her perverted desire to lead other women into her own unenviable situation. Truly, this is the psychic fuel that powers so much of the feminist movement: Angry lesbians and childless rejects, desperately trying to convince young women to share in their unhappiness. As Susan Walsh put it:
The women who write about sex for Jezebel are cynical, damaged, repellent. And they want you to be the same way.
Susan was writing about sex positive feminists attempting to destigmatize STDs, but the same logic applies to feminists discouraging fat-shaming, slut-shaming, lookism, and so on. Feminists are broken. They either cannot or will not fix themselves. Thus, their goal is to convince whole women to voluntarily destroy themselves.
Solving the depression epidemic will be simple, if not easy: When Feminists are mocked and jeered in the street; when wives and mothers are celebrated for their service to their families and to posterity; when this country is filled with happy, healthy women who look upon the shrieking social justice warrior set with pity and contempt; when all of this comes to pass, American women will find themselves free of the need to find their happiness at the bottom of a jar of pills.