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Would Being Rich Make Depression Better Or Worse?


ArthurP

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Today I was reading about the Olympic skater who sank into depression and she was talking about how she'd just spend weeks alone in her apartment doing nothing. And while I know the pain she was feeling all too well part me wished I could afford do just that, but I have to get up and go to work with my pain. At its worst, count the minutes until I can just go home turn off all the lights and crawl into bed. It made me wonder is it better or worse to have the time and means to "indulge"---for lack of a better word---depression or have to struggle to survive with it?  I actually believe it's worse when you have money because then you've got nothing to blame for your pain and have to face it constantly.

I was never one to be surprised when someone successful like Anthony Bourdain killed himself, because I knew that though he had seemingly everything he could ever want, to him that meant the pain would always be there no matter what. It wasn't because he was poor, or alone or unloved or failed or in poor physical shape. He was the opposite of all those things, so in one dark moment it probably seemed like there'd never be a solution for him.  But when you have nothing and have to work every day or are lonely or have an ailment you can tell yourself, "This is why I'm sad. And if I keep going and change it, then the pain will go away." Also, for better or worse you have to deal with others and like most of us we're secretive about our illness and put up a front. Believe or not, this is actually beneficial because it forces us to push the pain back to function in society. And as the saying goes, "We are what we pretend to be so we must be careful." Pretend to be someone surviving and fighting depression and you actually may become that someone.

Hmmm. This started kinda dark but ended on a high note. 

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1 hour ago, ArthurP said:

"This is why I'm sad. And if I keep going and change it, then the pain will go away."

We may tell ourselves this but that doesn't make it true.

Mental illness doesn't discriminate by any ways in which you might wish to group people.

If we learn anything from the examples of people you mentioned, it's that recovery isnt coming as soon as I have: material items, a loving partner, a gold medal or the job I want. It's coming when I find an effective treatment that relieves my symptoms and/or effective means with which to cope and live with my condition. I think believing otherwise in hopes of motivating oneself is setting oneself up for perpetual failures. 

In response to whether it may be better or may be worse to have to/not have to work, the question seems to presume that everyone's symptoms are equal which just isn't so.

If we have mental illness but are functional enough to work, we mustn't assume that someone else must be like us, even if their diagnosis and ours is the same. I know this because I lived with unbearable symptoms when I had almost no functionality. If I ran out of money, had no support network and was tossed out in the street during this time, I'd be in the ward, not at work. No way would any work place find me acceptable in that shape. 

 

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Important and interesting topic.

I believe we all have the dark abyss within.

It's just a universal given like aging and gravity.

When we find ourselves lost and trapped in the metaphorical depression cave then there is some major self rescue work to strategize.

If there is a way in them there must be a way out.

The ENTRANCE/EXIT is the place to position oneself with the back turned away from the abyss.

Yeah, I know sounds easy but it is doable with a powerful imagination.

We need to give each other the support to escape the depression trap and be more or less FUNctional.

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I wish I could keep up with bills. I'd be happy to live at my current state but without having to spend every waking moment worrying about how I'm going to make rent or pay for a car repair.

I have two busted teeth in my mouth that I can't afford to have fixed. One has an exposed root so it hurts like heck.

I also have a flashing idiot light in the car's instrument panel. It doesn't tell me squat about what's wrong. The only thing it indicates is that I have some kind of expensive repair coming up soon. Haha, of course I don't have the money to make said repair.

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All of you make very good and valuable points.

I suspect there is a genetic component to depression, a component involving brain pathology and an environmental component.  

There is some evidence that excess exposure to stress hormones can damage parts of the brain involved in mood in those with a genetic predisposition to depression.  Stress hormones which are essential in emergency situations are believed to be toxic to the brain in excess and especially toxic to a part of the brain called the limbic system which involves mood, appetite, motivation and other processes.  It seems that this toxicity of the stress hormones affects those with a certain genetic predisposition.

Stress, it is hypothesized, can come from many sources.  One source, it is believed is a mental attitude that is called 'perfectionism.'  Perfectionism sees goodness as perfection.  Anything less than perfection is a sign of badness.  To be imperfect is to never be good enough and never having the possibility of being good enough.  The perfectionist, it is believed by some, is caught in a mental attitude of "could be better, but isn't better" or the stronger version of it:  "should be better, but isn't better."

For the perfectionist, one is never brave enough, never careful enough, never, wise enough, never attractive enough, never successful enough, never morally good enough but should be.  This state of mind is extremely stressful.  This state of mind, it is theorized causes the brain to be over exposed to stress hormones which damage it in certain people.

Many psychiatrists and psychologists from various schools of thought link anxiety and depression to low self-esteem.  Depression is linked to the idea that one has not been good enough in the past in some way and is a moral failure as a result.  Anxiety is linked to the idea that one will be subjected in the future to some test of moral character and will fail it.  Both depression and anxiety have been linked to the idea that self-worth is vulnerable.  

Another way of thinking is that "things could be worse, but are not worse" and that self-worth is inalienable and cannot be lost by misfortunes and falls.  This way of looking at things seems to reduce stress.  Perfectionists, however, is is thought are locked into the "could be better, but isn't" frame of mind.

It is thought that medication can correct brain pathology in depression and anxiety and that therapy can reduce stress and offer an alternative to perfectionism.

There appears to be as many kinds of depression as there are people who suffer it.  Individuals can differ in the intensity and degree of depression and in the symptoms and in the duration of suffering.

What was said about the rich could be related to the fact that in some cases it is perfectionism that lead to wealth.  Perfectionism also can lead to fame.  The idea that one is never good enough . . . that one must prove oneself daily . . . that one mistake can undo a lifetime of non-mistakes . . . that one should never relax but be driven by joyless striving . . . that the finish line of the race is always moving:  these are all stressful ideas.

Studies of generally happy people have found that they tend to have a sense of their own intrinsic dignity and worth and that they look at themselves, others and the world with the attitude that things could be worse but are not worse, which leads to feelings of being lucky . . . to feelings of contentment and peace.

Perhaps I am about some of this or all of this.  Just speculating here.  

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25 minutes ago, Epictetus said:

Many psychiatrists and psychologists from various schools of thought link anxiety and depression to low self-esteem.  Depression is linked to the idea that one has not been good enough in the past in some way and is a moral failure as a result.  Anxiety is linked to the idea that one will be subjected in the future to some test of moral character and will fail it.  Both depression and anxiety have been linked to the idea that self-worth is vulnerable.   

Yes. Precisely. I have horrible self-esteem. I dislike everything about myself--my appearance, my slow thinking, my tendency to back down in discussions at work...I dread any situations where I have to assert myself because I think I'll come off looking like a cretin. It's a constant source of anxiety.

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56 minutes ago, Epictetus said:

Another way of thinking is that "things could be worse, but are not worse" and that self-worth is inalienable and cannot be lost by misfortunes and falls. 

this is a very interesting point. the thing i constantly struggle with in my depression is the contradiction between knowing this to be undeniably true (i have a pretty good life, all things considered) and STILL feeling depressed. on the other hand, there are certainly brief periods where i know this to be true and the positivity of that statement is allowed to sink in. for those brief moments - i feel genuinely happy.

i see this as the paradox of knowing vs. believing. "i know that i am successful, but i don't believe that i am successful"

it seems to me, THE "cure" for my depression would be a total and inalienable belief in this statement.

is there a pill for that? 🤔

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Just now, Epictetus said:

Depression is linked to the idea that one has not been good enough in the past in some way and is a moral failure as a result.  Anxiety is linked to the idea that one will be subjected in the future to some test of moral character and will fail it. 

Excellent description of a major difference in depression and anxiety, one being here and now, and one anticipated, kind of gets you coming and going. 

Just now, Epictetus said:

which leads to feelings of being lucky

I do love that, after all the quite possibly salient points,  "feeling of being lucky".  How to arrive at those primal states of awareness, i.e. "things could be worse, so I am lucky," seem to beg the question, but, without equivocation, are doubtless true.  Personally, where I have been and what I've seen, do tend on better days to make me feel lucky.  Also, things I've done that I'm ashamed of, leave me feeling If things were balanced, I may well have had my butt kicked a lot harder than I have.  I'm not sure if that's lucky or just blind cosmic slippage, but at my age, I'll take it.  

Dirty Harry, with his hand canon pointed at some slimy malefactor within reach of a weapon.

"Well, I have to admit that in all the confusion, I can't really remember if I fired five shots, or six.  So, the question you have to ask yourself is do you feel LUCKY.  Well, do ya' Punk."

good talk, Bulga

Edited by Bulgakov
editing never ends
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If I was a rich celebrity things wouldn't change.  I would probably be Kurt Cobain.  Money wouldn't help anything.  It would lead to me dying sooner because I'm an idiot and I would make choices that an average 13 year old would make during important situations.  I would be in over my head all the time like I am anyway.

Edited by sober4life
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There are things to consider here, one being that poverty stricken people are more likely to suffer from depression than others. Money and success offer security,a feeling of accomplishment,and acknowledgment. Depending on your feild,but there are a lot of variables to consider here.

If someone has a mental illness then they will suffer it no matter what,the same as a cancer patient would whether they are rich, successful or poor. Poor people have alot to root depression into naturally,constant stress on the mind can physically alter it's literal function. Specifically the cerbral cortex and the hypothalamus. 

 

Anyone can have a reason to suffer depression because it's the state of the minds perspective on all exterior things. I personally believe some people,whom suffer depression to a suicidal end have a perspective on situations that other "healthier" minds can't accept. 

 

Whether you're rich or poor they're three things one should have to help them psychologically progress...

Something to do

Someone to love

Something to look forward to

These things can help to "narrow the scope" of ones existence... focusing on whats right there instead of everything else. I myself am a manic depressive and suffer PTSD and even Dissociative Identity Disorder. I spend long periods of time alone,and focus on the depth of the universe itself,when I have no "scope" my human mind which is a wonderful, magnificently dark thing opens up to its maximum "scope" and it makes me not only feel small...but realize my small, insignificance in this great wonderous universe...where is my sense of purpose? My sense of being? ...we are only human,but we are not but "only" we "are" human. We conceive, contemplate,create and destroy..  the power of our minds has created the most beautiful things in existence and some of the most painful and disturbing. We are great,all of us...one must choose to harness that greatness in a way in which the weilder can survive it's power...if someone is rich,or poor...their scope may still be broken,and let the realities of this universe over take their sense of self. We must accept that though we are nothing...we are everything. In the "grand scope" when the mind opens all the way up to see and feel everything...we see that we are that of dust compared to the raging brilliance of a septillion stars infathomable distances apart in a place larger than the imagination itself...but when the scope is focused,when it's aimed...narrowed to a chosen point,we have purpose,we have a sense of being. We have something to give our minds to, something to use those mental energies on, and realize that though we are small and insignificant,we are still a part of the great machine, that's my personal belief at least...I hope it helped at least share a  unique perspective.

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I think being poor with depression probably is worse than being rich with depression because if you have money you can at least try to get the help you need with your money.  However, if you are poor you might not be able to get the help you need or be able to buy the best medication to treat your depression and anxiety.  I’m just saying it does make a difference.

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But how about depression where financial inadequacy is the root cause?

Financial inadequacy means needing a job, which leads to job-related depression 

Also, do most sons/daughters of wealthy families, those who'll never have to work a day in their lives, have everything handed to them on a silver platter…run the risk of depression?

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45 minutes ago, iWantRope said:

But how about depression where financial inadequacy is the root cause?

Yes, seems to me that financial independence removes the worries and stresses of having to work a job. You don't need to run in the rat race, worry about getting laid off, suffer annoying or backstabbing coworkers, and generally deal with a whole mess of things that certainly don't help with depression. You're free to devote all your energy and focus to the fight.

It may not be true for everyone, but I feel I could make much more headway if I had such means... though I'd take lack of wealth without depression over wealth with depression any day.

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In my opinion, being rich would noteffect depression. Being poor would, because it adds financial stress to the situation. Ive spoken to people who say that the financial stress does help them motivate themselves to get a job but I dont think money can help you get out of depression, although you could afford the best rehab centres and regular therapy etc.

i wonder how depression is in poorer ciuntries where i feel there is more community spirit, and less stress on getting a better car or nicer room, with more emphasis on eating and staying healthy.  👫 

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Robin Williams

Anthony Bourdain

Karen Spade

Chris Cornell

Kurt Cobain

Chester Bennington

Lucy Gordon

Ernest  Hemingway

Hunter S Thompson

Sylvia Plath

Virginia Woolf

Misty Upham

Dave Foster Wallace

Michael Hutchence

To name  a few...

Money doesn't cure depression...

 

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I think money would fix a lot of my problems. If i could pay off all of my bills and mortgage, i wouldnt have that constant anxiety. I could afford to go to doctors, therapists, etc. I could afford to help others that need it and that would feel good. Im a tinkerer so id always be building something. 

But ill probably never know how any of that feels.

You have to be a lying, cheating, scumbag that preys on other people to be rich, and im not like that. So at least i have that going for me.

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On 2/1/2019 at 9:21 AM, LonelyHiker said:

Robin Williams

Anthony Bourdain

Karen Spade

Chris Cornell

Kurt Cobain

Chester Bennington

Lucy Gordon

Ernest  Hemingway

Hunter S Thompson

Sylvia Plath

Virginia Woolf

Misty Upham

Dave Foster Wallace

Michael Hutchence

To name  a few...

Money doesn't cure depression...

 

It doesn’t cure it but it does give you more people to help treat your condition 

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Don't know about better or worse but it would make things a lot easier. Wouldn't have to worry about dead end jobs with low pay or what the ff I will do with the pittance one gets once one has retired. Also treatment or more to the point paying for adequate help wouldn't be a problem either.

 

 

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Money can fix some problems and make somethings easier.

By itself it cannot make you happy.  It makes people want to use you for your income, see divorced men.

I had the most profitable year of my life last year.  I was also extremely depressed during most of it.  I was ready to **** myself at work and still am.  I refrain from doing so as to not upset my coworkers or the other guys and gals on site.

I have usually been pretty good at staying ontop of my finances.  But I need more in my life.

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