Something is dreadfully wrong in the world when depression has become such a major cause of dis-ease. Even the most successful members of our society are plagued with this illness, and it has become so prevalent that it is now the number one cause of disease and disability in the world.
“According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is now the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide,1,2 affecting an estimated 322 million people worldwide, including more than 16 million Americans. Globally, rates of depression increased by 18 percent between 2005 and 2015.3
According to the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, 11 percent of Americans over the age of 12 are on antidepressant drugs. Among women in their 40 and 50s, 1 in 4 is on antidepressants.4
In addition to the human suffering, the financial impact of depression is also severe. WHO estimates the global economic loss by households, employers and governments is at least $1 trillion annually.
Depression is also strongly linked to an increased risk for substance abuse, diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, and suicide.” [Source]
These numbers only reflect cases of reported depression, suggesting that in actuality, the crisis may be much worse.
In the U.S., suicide rates are now at a 30 year high, coincidentally about 30 years after Prozac was pushed into the mainstream by Pfizer. This begs the question of whether or not the modern catch-all solution of antidepressants is helping this crisis or actually making it worse. Given that one of the known side-effects of antidepressants is an increase in risk for suicide, it would seem logical that taking psychotropic medications for emotional wellness is not the best solution.
People today are suffering from a serious lack of connection to themselves and to the natural world, and as pharmaceutical companies push the boundaries of chemical remedies, a host of natural spiritual medicines that have been clinically proven to swiftly counter depression and anxiety are outlawed by the drug war state. Entheogens like ayahuasca and iboga are not welcome in our society, while psilocybin mushrooms are also illegal, all of which are helping people to overcome mental illness without developing expensive, long-term addictions to pharmaceuticals.
When such an epidemic as this grows to affect so many, it’s time to reevaluate our lifestyle and our treatment for it, yet this is increasingly difficult with the presence of a medical establishment which limits our understanding of depression while so willingly recommending pills as a convenient solution.