Depression and Climate Change: Same Cause, Same Cure
Depression has the same cause as environmental destruction, and it isn’t carbon emissions. It is a society which puts economic profit ahead of nature and living things. If we are to save our minds and our home, we have to question the very roots of our way of living.
Cult of Practicality
The problem with today's world isn’t coffee machines with throw away pods. It is a world where coffee machines with throw away pods are necessary.
It is a world where practicality has become a supreme value, because our time has been taken away from us. We work long hours at alienating and tiring jobs, which give us less time for loved ones, less time to enjoy the outside, and sap our energy to such an extent that in our free time — those few, sacred hours — we don’t want to waste a second, and so everything extra has to be practical. We feel robbed of our time, and so we panic. We buy a coffee maker that can shave a few seconds off our routine, and packaged foods from vending machines so we don’t have to pack any snacks. We go to the gym instead of on long hikes, and take the plane rather than the train to cross the country.
Convenience is bad for the environment because it pushes us to consume more and to chose less ecological options.
Convenience is bad for mental health, too. Instead of everything being instant, grab and go, packaged for convenience, we need to return to doing things like eating, drinking, travelling and exercising in a slow, conscious way. It helps our brains achieve mindfulness. It prevents us from sleep-walking through life.
We need moments of slowness to protect ourselves from the accidents of life that we go through, to give us time to process. The causes of each person’s depression may be linked to their own personal trajectories and life events, but they are also to be found in a social and cultural way of living which doesn’t give us space or time to recover from such events.