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Great Article on Depression & Intelligence

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by Faye, Mar 3, 2010.

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  1. Faye

    Faye ^_^
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    This is one of the best news articles that I've ever read, and I've read thousands. Based on my personal experience, I think that the hypothesis presented is correct. I've long guessed much of what scientific evidence is now being presented for on this subject.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/28/magazine/28depression-t.html?pagewanted=1&em

    It would also help explain why anyone who uses Ni primarily would be more prone to depressive states.

    What do you think?
     
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  2. muir

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    I think (and this is a socialist interpretation) that people are reacting to their environment

    I think we live in an oppressive environment (capitalism) and this is responsible for much of societies anxieties

    Anxiety leads to mania, which is to say that if people become anxious enough then their mental health suffers

    I think that people know instinctively that something is wrong, but often they lack the information to be able to intellectualise what is causing their distress

    Instead of going to the root cause of societies problems, which I believe is how we order our society (capitalism), we try instead to deal with the symptoms

    So for example: peoples physical and mental health is suffering, crime is on the rise, literacy levels are dropping, families are breaking up, people are getting into debt, people are having to work more hours, anxiety disorders are on the rise, peoples health is declining, drug and alcohol abuse is rising; I would trace all these and many more things back to capitalism

    Instead of changing the system (which is the sickness), the power elites try to deal with the symptoms (which are all the indicators that something is wrong eg mental health problems). So for example they have tried to deal with mental health problems by medicalising it

    They have created a system to categorise mental disorders: DSM, so that they can then apply drugs to 'treat' these disorders. Of course it is the power elites who own the drug companies so they make a lot of money out of this process. They are also able to dampen down the emotions of the people. The fear of the power elites are that the people will rise up and take their power away, either by force or by peaceful non compliance so they use drugs on the people as a way of diffusing their tension. They are soothing the herd, to stop it from stampedeing.

    They blame many different things for how people are feeling, but they do not blame capitalism. They own and run the media, so it is unlikely you will hear anyone blame capitalism in the media. They also permit widespread alcohol use despite the damage it causes because it is a form of self medication by the public

    So why do the power elites only tinker around the fringes of problems instead of solving the root cause? Because they are very happy with things the way they are....they are very wealthy and getting wealthier. They do not want the status quo to change. That is the reason things never seem to improve....its not because: 'that's just the way the world is' or because 'life's unfair' or because 'we should just accept things the way they are'.......there are very real reasons why things are the way they are.

    These situations have been created and they can also be undone.

    If people feel distressed it is probably a reaction to external factors.

    Concerning Darwin, I think that he was pioneering a new way of looking at the world, which meant peeling back the paternal protective nature of christianity which promises that there is someone looking down on you and caring about you at all times. When his daughter died he had no concept of heaven to provide him with mental succour so he only felt empty loss

    I don't know about heaven or an afterlife; I do know that an unhealthy system of living has developed which I do think could be changed to benefit everyone. I think the problems of the world could have a solution, but it requires enough people to break free from the defeatist mindset imposed on them through brainwashing by the power elites (who control the school and higher education curriculems and the media and therefore much of the flow of information into the brains of the people)
     
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    #2 muir, Mar 3, 2010
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  3. Moxie

    Moxie Absent-Minded Professor

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    I'm only 3 pages in, but it's really interesting so far!

    Edit: Finished reading it sometime yesterday, and have to say that it was a really interesting article. Depression runs strongly in my family, so I always like learning more about things like this. Good stuff.
     
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    #3 Moxie, Mar 3, 2010
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  4. Blase

    Blase Regular Poster

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    whoa, I'm gonna have to look into this
     
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  5. Norton

    Norton XXXX

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    This may be off topic but I need to respond. To me, socialism is oppressive, not capitalism. Socialist's take too much wealth from individuals in the form of taxes and allow bloated, inefficient bureaucracies to decide how to spend it. Socialist societies tend to be risk averse and make starting new enterprises difficult and expensive. They coddle people.

    I'm an inventor who started three companies. Over the last two decades or so, I took many risks that I would not have taken without the incentives and opportunities afforded under capitalism. One of the risks I took was to help develop a new drug, now available in Japan and soon to be available in the US and Europe. This drug was developed by just a handful of people, not the "power elite," of which I've never been a part. It promises to save tens of thousands of lives and ameliorate much suffering. This could not have been done in a socialist system.

    I started my last and current company here in the US in 1990 for $40. I tried to start a company with a colleague in Europe at the same time. We couldn't raise the $50,000 minimum capitalization required. This was money that would have stayed unproductive as a kind of collateral.

    Socialist countries benefit unfairly from the dynamism of capitalist countries at the same time that socialists decry the so-called "evils" of an economic system that promises innovation and efficiency. Sure, there are poor people in capitalist countries. There are also poor people in socialist countries. But, at least under capitalism there is a way to pull oneself up instead of being ground down by the oppressive, socialist heal of high taxes, inefficient bureaucracy, and laws that inhibit the development of new ideas.
     
  6. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    Please consider the very likely possibility that both concepts - depression and intelligence - are made up; don't really exist.

    The brain depends heavily on prediction. It constantly (re)builds and uses hardwired shortcuts, heuristics and predictive patterns. The better developed this is, the higher the scores on most scholar activities. Because it increases the processing speed. At the same time, it means such people may be more prone to analyze future trends, which may correlate with the so called state of depression, in a very insecure environment.


    @Norton
    That's like two people and an apple. One of them takes the apple, and then calls himself progressive and "providing" apples. It's the same with almost anything, including intellectual development, which requires time, security and environmental support.
     
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    #6 enfp can be shy, Mar 3, 2010
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  7. OP
    Faye

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    Everyone, this isn't a socialism-capitalism debate. I've done those before; they don't end and they will completely derail the thread (though you're free to make a new thread on the topic). I'd appreciate it if we focus on depression and it's relationship to intelligence.

    Good posts though! I'll get back to them fully later.
     
  8. myst

    myst Community Member

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    I haven't read the article yet. Has anyone read Prozac Nation? It's an autobiography of a successful (enough to have published an autobiography by her mid-twenties) Harvard student loudmouth who has major depression. It's about her struggle to deal with it, taking drugs, messing up relationships, acting demandingly self-pitying and attempting suicide for a while, until she gets therapy and Prozac. In the end she talks about whether depression is caused by society. She seems to think that it is caused by society on some level. Still, she also experiences that, on an individual level, depression is real and the medication and therapy are what allow her to be functional.
     
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  9. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    ^ Let's throw her on an island (with enough food and water there), and see if she remembers what is depression, in 6 months. Part of the popular cult is to make her believe it's up to her. Because that's the type of superstitious bias people train, by the positive reinforcement of (random!) success. So it gets very influential to assume so. That's what behavioral economists study in recent years, and has been the major field for Nobel prizes in economics. What if it's a perfectly healthy reaction within a very unhealthy setting?
     
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    #9 enfp can be shy, Mar 4, 2010
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  10. muir

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    Hi Norton congratulations on your invention

    I think the 'socialist' systems you are talking about are not what i would hypothetically like to see.

    There are many ways of ordering a society, for example anarcho-communism doesn't belive in taxes.....without going off on a tangent about hypothetical systems i will just quote Che Guevara who said:

    'For us there is no valid definition of socialism other than the abolition of the exploitation of one human being by another.'

    If you use this premise as the bedrock to build all other ideas on then it is possible to solve the problem.

    You mentioned on another thread that you have found life to be very stressful. I would argue that you could pursue your science far more freely and under less stress under an anarcho-communist system.

    I have more to say but i must go to work!
     
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  11. SpaceCowgirl

    SpaceCowgirl vanilla cat

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    Very interesting article Dragon. Its great to see some actual research being done on the subject.

    My dads always talking about theories of his(hes a psychiatrist) and he has a similar view on medication, but he still always makes it seem like the patient has a fundamental problem, that they always do, and I think sometimes its just a matter of dealing with a situation or change. Damn Freudian....I didn't want to see a psychiatrist when he wanted me to because of that mentality, that something was wrong with me when I was just dealing with some stuff and knew I would work it out, and needed to feel sadness to be able to. I could never explain to him properly that I would always be a bit of a depressed person and trying to change that about me would change to much. Possibly even cause me to make bad decisions.

    I agree with the hypothesis. of coursed sometimes a person will have a chemical unbalance and be chronically depressed over nothing, but for most other situations the depression is needed and part of a healthy mental balance. It made me think of the stupidest decisions of my life, and how blindly happy I was at the time, and how my depressed state afterward caused me to solve the mess I'd gotten myself in to. hmmm imagining where I would be right now otherwise....definitely failing at life

     
  12. IndigoSensor

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    This indeed was quite an amazing read. There are many things I would love to mention, but then this post would get SO long.

    One thing that really stood out for me, and made me quite glad, was that this is sparking the reduction in the use of antidepressents. I have been wildly against them since I was a kid. Something about them just didn't seem right, and they scared me (and I was unfortonately placed on one for a year which caused many problems). As I got older, the chemistry of it just didn't seem safe to me. Finally, I started to think that "you know, these antidepressents are just an escape for people, they aren't going to adress their problems, it is just a guilded surface". I felt terrible saying that though, because people would just say that I was being cold and heartless and wouldnt understand. Despite the fact that I fit the bill for a clinical diagnosis of depression. This articles confirmed this idea. In many cases, the use of an antidepressent doesn't fix anything. It just covers over the problem and prevents progress. Which is a terrible thing. In effect, they are the rose colored glasses in chemical form. Hopefully this will spark more advocates of other methods of therapy. The problem I have noticed with some people with depression, is they want an easy way out. They just want the feelings to go away. I am in the same boat, I would very much like for many of these feelings to go away, and to just vanish, they are a hinderence, and are useless. Here it the thing though. If you don't process these thoughts, feelings, and ideas, then you will never escape them. Sometimes you can't, but sometimes you can. It takes work to get over depressive spells, and so many people (not all, but a lot) do not want to do the work for it, for many different reasons.

    Another thing that came up with this article, was really the theme of it, that depression has a good use. This something I have indeed thought about, but have heavily supressed because I felt it was making me a bad person. Depressive spells in me have strongly corralated with doing well with things. For years I have not wanted to admit this, because It made me believe that I was in a way addicted to being depressed. That some how my mind was going to create this for me, so I can suceed. I didn't want to be this way either, because it meant that I was going to suffer for the rest of my life. However, the drive for success, and the drive for being happy are in equal balence, so I am constantly struggling between the two. This in effect makes it worse because I am pulled in both directions, and it makes me manic. It is a constant loop that can not be broken. That darn self awareness though, prevents me from being able to do much about it. I am afraid to throw anything out of balance, and lose my abillites. This isn't to say that I fear that if I become too happy, I will no longer be smart. I fear not being sucessful. This article has shown though that depression is indeed strongly corralated to sucess, creativity, and mental skill. I have been working on this from the back end in a way. Forcing so much mental strain in nearly every apsect I can think of, has lead to depression (as the article has stated, with corralation to mental tests). That then feedsback to it. It is a constant loop. An entirely differerent form or rumination beyond what I can grasp, thus preventing anything to be done.

    That being said, something CAN be done. I am not going to allow depression to run my life. Even if it is depression, it could be anexity, or both really. I wont know for some time. This shows me though that it is ok to acknowlage these things, and it is ok to be depressed, it has reason and purpose, and it shows people that something can be done about it.

    One amazing article indeed.
     
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  13. DoveAlexa

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    Alright, that's nice and all, but lets say someone has been suffering for decades, the depression came from nothing and there has never been any lasting break. Is that THEN a time where you can let the poor bastard have a break from the pain with some medication? Or is it all being weak of character because you're not "sucking it up" and "fixing yourself"?

    What if you're not getting anything done because your depressed, and instead you're just acutely aware of how little you're doing?

    Its unfair to say all drugs and all relief apart from somehow finding and fixing the source (if there ever was one) is bad and that a person trying to escape endless torment is weak and inferior of character. This is the major part of the Stigma of depression, that you got there because you just suck.

    When can you say a person has suffered enough to "earn" relief from chronic depression?
     
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  14. myst

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    I think that's a really good point. I have friends and acquaintances who take medication by their own choice and seem to feel it is necessary. One person I have in mind is very intelligent and very critical of social problems- definitely not too happy or shallow. I definitely don't think I know enough to say for everyone else what the best choice is as far as medication.

    On the other hand, I'm skeptical about psychiatry because my knowledge of it is that psychiatrists spend very little time getting to know their clients and just kind of prescribe medications by trial and error. Maybe there are psychiatrists that spend more time getting to know their clients, I don't know. That's a criticism of psychiatry, not of people who take medication.

    I'm still stuck with questions for people who are not sure whether they should take medication or not. People who are not sure if they've "suffered enough" or if they could learn to process the depression like Indigo was talking about or if they would benefit from letting themselves be depressed.
     
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  15. DoveAlexa

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    Well, I still say that if a person wants to stop being in pain, we shouldn't just tell them no. If they spend all day in bed crying, they aren't able to live. If a person has been depressed for 2 decades, let them have relief.

    You can do both

    Sure the article says you may need the depression to become aware of your problem and/or have the mental capacity to fix it, but if you've been sitting in your problem enough you should know what it is or figure it out with psychotherapy. The motivation to change may not be all dependent on your level of pain either. If you are good enough at handling the pain, or too afraid to change despite it, hurting full-on wont change anything. The article does say that they reduced the medication for one person, not stopped treating her alltogether. This also isn't a "treat or don't" situation, the psychotherapy is still treating them.

    I'm always repelled by blanket statement studies, I fear that people will jump either totally on board or completely reject the new proposals. Everything should be case by case. If your husband is a jerk and its making you depressed, and you cant leave without the pain, don't take medication, and get only psychotherapy. For those who know why they are depressed but are too sad to get out of it, jesus-christ, don't make them keep suffering!

    A word on psychiatry, its a medical field, so they are already programmed to seek out a fast diagnosis and medicate it away. Its just how doctors are, they focus on diagnosis and medication/surgery. Psychologist however, they are interested in the underlying reason for your dysfunction or pain, and look for ways for you to help yourself out of it, by retraining the way you think. These people genuinely care about people on top of that, and get to know a person. You have to do that in order to find the source of a mental problem that's more than a "short circuit" (tumors or schizophrenia).
     
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  16. Moxie

    Moxie Absent-Minded Professor

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    I know for a fact that depression is also a hereditary disease. It's not always something that has an outside cause. Sometimes different hormone levels are wacky in people. In my opinion, medication may be the only thing to treat these cases, and no one should feel ashamed to take it.
     
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  17. DoveAlexa

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    //highfive
     
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  18. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    You guys... don't you see that in another environment it won't happen on its own? Grow the same person on an island, or in a box, see if they develop the same problems.

    The argument "but let's help them" has been used for electric shock therapy, for lobotomy etc. In the end, the Freudian view of treating the self separately is being replaced by more modern and more complex views. The mechanical properties of our brains and bodies can be a problem, only if we don't rearrange the organization of society to accommodate them. Anyway, the issue is too long to develop here.

    Before all, it's none of these people's personal issue to "deal with". This aggressive personal attitude, which has been trained by the culture, even within humane and concerned people, leads to the only way out: medication. Why not just use their skin to cover some robot-puppets, then. I don't see this as a real solution.

    I think you can't see it anymore, because you've been living in environment full of such concepts, until you can't question them, and can't imagine different social reality. You would say it's a dream, if never tasted for yourself. It's nothing to blame, it's understandable, but that doesn't make it true.
     
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    #18 enfp can be shy, Mar 6, 2010
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  19. DoveAlexa

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    EXCUSE me but I was talking about a person's suffering and most importantly, Chronic depression. I did not say I didn't want to truly cure anyone, I was just saying taking away all forms of medication from the depressed is cruel. If a person is so depressed he cannot take care of himself, and perhaps tries to KILL himself, I think medication is warranted. Would you rather that this person be institutionalized so we can make sure he has no opportunity to kill himself? How is that unlike the past psychiatric mindset? Are we suppose to ignore him? What the F- do you want then?

    At what point is trying to end a person's suffering a separation of someone's part? Being mind and body? Where did I say that a person is of 2 parts, and one is bad and is the one to be fixed? Where? Where did I say that taking medication is about them dealing with it on their own? Doesn't getting treatment require other people? Isn't that making the issue about more than just yourself once you involve another person? Where did I exclude the notion of turning to friends and family for support? Is simple not mentioning it an exclusion?

    (Do you sense my outrage?)

    Also, I highly doubt a person with depression that wasn't caused by outside influences that is depressed cyclically or at all times for the rest of his life It often starts after it started would just not have become depressed if society was happy fluffy bunny magical great.

    Chronic depression can be as bad as a person stopping sleeping and eating, and can last till the day a person dies. Very often the depression starts WITHOUT an external trigger and rather just starts at a certain age. It does not get better because a person's life is good, and they have everyone around them giving all the love and attention they can, nor does therapy just make it go away. It could be caused by nutrition, there has been research there, with some but not complete success but so far it has been proven that they don't just get better because the world is reshaped so that they "should" be happy. Chronic depression defies logic, such that happy stimulus does not produce happiness within the depressed.
     
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  20. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    Chronic depression is some boo-hoo phrase. Strangely, it doesn't exist on primitive islands. Yes, I sensed your outrage, but you stopped too early, give me more. :) Sorry, my post was not addressed at you specially. I wonder how such situation develops, that's all. You can't convince me from what I've researched so far, that a brain is simply supposed to be depressed, in vacuum, and that there's no way to prevent it in non-mechanical ways. I believe neither in self-help, nor in smiley faces. If situation has come so far, that even concerned people like you can't see any other way, then it's a really very deeply inhumane environment. The problem cannot be solved by a circle of concerned friends, but that doesn't mean it's within the head. And people can't always formulate external reasons (or they don't feel comfortable doing it*), which doesn't mean there aren't such reasons.

    While environment is so inhumane, please, use it, as a final resort, for example if it's the only way to save someone. However, it should be a major red flag that something is very wrong, and it's not inside these people's heads.

    *Compare with "The Reader", sometimes people would prefer to suffer their whole life, but not really share what's the problem, if they intuitively see it as humiliating. The notions of humiliation, however, are entirely culture-dependent. They don't exist a priori. That's just one example.
     
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