Depression is a product of industrial civilization. And I mean “product” in a very literal sense. Depression is processed, manufactured, and distributed much like any other product.
OK, so I’m guilty of a bit of reification here. But consider for a moment what depression is, what its functional role is in the survival of the species, and then how that function has been co-opted and redirected by the corporate industrial complex.
Depression, or the collection of psychological states that we associate with that term, is something that happens as a result of goal frustration. It is a very expensive use of energy for an organism to continue to pursue a goal in the face of insurmountable obstacles. The depressive state is a means of getting the organism to stop, to disengage from all goals temporarily until it is able to realign its goal pursuit. The shallow and unnatural goals generated by industrial civilization establish the preconditions for chronic goal frustration.
Enter corporate marketing.