Tag: Depression

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[NB: these are intended as random observations, not thinly-veiled indictments of anyone’s decision making.] The justification pretzel twisting [and untwisting] is more in earnest now than ever. It seems we’re collectively and individually staking out projected Ends that will either justify or require certain Means with respect to how we vote or abstain [excuse the […]

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My maternal grandmother recently died at 93, leaving behind hard working progeny, a dozen grandchildren, and a handful of great-grandchildren. She was humble and funny, a one-time aspiring fashion designer who ended up marrying young instead. Six children came along, and then she began a nearly thirty-year stint at a typewriter factory once the youngest […]

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Genius and Suffering

 

Why are human beings never content? No matter how much civilization advances, no matter how affluent and secure we become, no matter how much knowledge and opportunity we amass, it’s never enough. Why? Because we know there’s more to be had. We know it can be better. The very thing that enables us to conquer the natural world — imagination — also robs us of an animal’s simple focus.

Why are persons with extraordinary minds so often miserable when alone, even if they are genuinely joyful and amiable among others? Because they are forever taunted by their own vivid dreams and nightmares, by bold hopes, and by a thousand “What if…?” scenarios for every lost opportunity. Simply put, their appreciation of what is flounders beneath a relentless shadow of what could be.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Did Churchill’s Depression Help Win World War II? — A.D.P. Efferson

 

 In Nassir Ghaemi’s book, A First-Rate Madness, he argues that Winston Churchill’s well-documented depression (or “black dog,” as Churchill called it) may well have been the reason Churchill was able to see Hitler for who he was; whereas Neville Chamberlain, being of sound mind, could not.

Ghaemi credits Churchill’s clarity of thought to a phenomenon known as “depressive realism.” Depressive realism was discovered quite by accident, by two graduate students who were trying to test Martin Seligman’s “learned helplessness” theory of depression. Seligman believed the insidious negativity internalized by people suffering from depression as a result of early trauma precluded them from functioning as normal adults. They would learn to be helpless.