On walking the black dog…

To all those who have, like me, #walkedtheblackdog,

I wonder how much of our problems are something called “depression” and how much we have actually real problems which make us sad. Problems (loneliness, insecurity, boredom) that should be dealt with by making real life changes, rather than by therapy or medication. My personal aversion to anti-depressants is actually connected with my broader view of society.

Its not that I’m against severe interventions at the level of the individual, harsh unnatural things like prisons for criminals or medications for the mentally ill, its that we fall back on these things too easily, as solutions that let us keep on living life much as before, without asking what was making the person in question so miserable and desperate.

This is tied to the idea that of course, the order of things, the way things work, is impossible to really change, so it is up to the individual to conform to the family, to society. To allow it to impress upon them, rather than allowing them to impress themselves upon it, to leave an imprint. To struggle with the problem, rather than to simply medicate (in the sense of applying foucault’s idea of bio-power – the medicalisation of power over life) its consequences.

What i’m saying is, maybe the black-dog is barking for a reason sometimes. If our society is becoming more and more depressed, maybe we should be looking at why that is, not just how to deal with it.


About Austin G. Mackell

I am a freelance journalist who has worked for a variety of corporate and community outlets from my hometown of Sydney and from the Middle East, including from Lebanon during Israels 2006 invasion and from Iran during the tumultuous presidential elections there in 2009. I have recently moved to Cairo to watch the revolutions in Arab world unfold.
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One Response to On walking the black dog…

  1. Yes. This kind of commentary needs to keep being said until it is heard and we change how we think, how we live, how we treat each other.

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