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Major Depression In A Crazy-Paced Job World


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Perhaps this is my Depression talking, but I am becoming convinced with the passage of time that human brains (as amazing as they are), are just not able to keep up with the exponentially rising expectations and pace of modern society. We are burning the candle at both ends at work. Then you've got social media, which has billions of humans completely hypnotized and unable to stop posting/texting. Trying to be all things to all people. More things to keep track of in the same amount of time.

Things are looking more ominous in modern workplaces with each passing year. The continuous increase in computing power and speed has made employers and corporations demand TRIPLE the amount of results for every DOUBLING of computer power. So as impressive as the technology is, the psychological and physical demands at most workplaces are rising so much faster than the technology is. And there are still only 24 hours in a day, just like there were before computers, before Google, and before "the Cloud". So human beings in modern societies are forced to cram more and more "stuff" into the same amount of time and space. It is really like a cruel joke. Our corporate bosses urge us to be "more productive" and they come up with all sorts of ploys (i.e. tortures) to squeeze more of this "productivity" out of each employee.

Even compared to 20 years ago, we continue to slide further into the funnel of this tornado of "progress". Under-slept. Over-programmed. Too many obligations to keep up with.

Has the human brain evolved rapidly enough to KEEP PACE with the demands that modern society places on it? I cannot speak for everyone. I do know that my current depression is in large part the outcome of this unyielding pace. Raising kids, working full-time, trying to keep up with social obligations, finances, and information overload everywhere.

Not all of it is negative pressure of course. Being with the kids is fun, doing stuff with them, watching them, seeing them grow. But there just seems to be less free time to devote to basic needs people took for granted a couple of generations ago. Family. Leisure time. Not having to decide between holding in your pee or missing an important videoconference. Not worrying about having to check 2000 e-mails when you get back from a family vacation. And then getting reamed out because you happened to miss 1 important e-mail in that ever-growing Inbox.

Depression is multi-dimensional and can be looked at in many narratives. But one of those narratives has to be our human brain saying "OK, I am so DONE. Time to disconnect. Too many things going on at once. Overheating. Overload alert! Repeat, overload alert!"

I wonder if we will see more and more of these "brain shutdowns" as our information pace gets even crazier, and we try to be everywhere at once, and connected 24/7. Seems to me that what is sometimes labelled "human progress", in the guise of technology and bandwidth, should really be labelled "brain assault". Will depression become the new norm? I know some brains are more resilient than others, but they must all have a threshold. And it seems the big corporations will not be satisfied until they have maxed every employee brain to its own personal threshold of "Brain shutdown". I would imagine we are not far from a time when at least half of the population in industrialized societies reaches this threshold and slips into clinical depression. We can only try to suppress and cheat our neurobiology for so long, before it short-circuits.

Edited by StanF23
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You make a great point. I too have often felt really over stretched and "assaulted" by the fast pace of things in the modern world. On the whole, I think technology is great. But it has transformed the way we live and sometimes it seems like humans haven't quite figured out how to make it more compatible with our biological needs.

I've definitely experienced the "brain shutdown" you're talking about. I think my mind becomes overly exhausted and in those times I find it easiest to remove myself from the outside world (physically or through technology), I just retreat to my bedroom or sometimes go outside in nature, where there are no machines, screens, etc to deal with.

Edited by lovenote
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