, 10 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
This #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth, I want to call attention to the fact that we need better tools to address the underlying causes, our emphasis on individualistic treatments has allowed systemic causes to be ignored.
At some point, we are going to have to come to terms with the fact that depression and anxiety don’t come from nowhere, and when you start pulling that thread, you begin to understand how screwed up it all is.
I find a lot of the therapy I engaged in (CBT) laid all the blame at my feet. I was *always* the problem. There was no possibility that there were any external factors.
In a cruel irony, by positing the patient as a being with unlimited agency, and whose mental health problems come from not reacting properly to whatever happens to them, we set them up for more unnecessary self-flagellation.
“Why can’t I get it right?” I would ask when the situations that happened would bother anyone.
I don’t believe our current methods are capable of addressing mental health on a grand scale, you have to look deeper. You also have to have the ability to say that there is something or someone in the environment that is toxic.
But our cultural norms posit that anyone who blames the external is just oblivious to their own failures. Anyone who doesn’t blame themselves wholesale for their circumstances is just whining.
Yet even maladaptive behaviors have an origin, and often are ways of surviving a bad situation. People get real quiet when you infer that it came from without.
Bootstrap ideology has poisoned this discourse entirely, and solutions to mental health mean taking a sober look and saying things like “this person’s home environment is toxic”, “this person needs economic stability”
Depression and anxiety are signals that something is wrong, and we have built structures around avoiding that signal.
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