The whole world dwells in the dark when it comes to understanding human nature. Even the largest organization in the world specializing in mental illness, the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH), has a huge blind spot.
This agency of the U.S. government is giving us misleading information about the nature of clinical depression. In its information booklet on depression, the NIMH says, “It [clinical depression] is a real illness. It is not a sign of a person’s weakness or a character flaw.” Clinical depression, however, is a sign of a person’s weakness. In claiming otherwise in this booklet and on its website, the NIMH has rejected 100 years of painstakingly acquired intelligence and knowledge concerning the dynamics of the unconscious mind.
In doing so, the NIMH is also overlooking modern research. Brain imaging has found evidence that depression results from unresolved negative emotions associated with guilt and self-blame.* It’s not our fault that we have these negative emotions. We’re dealing here with what is still primitive and undeveloped in human nature. Nonetheless, these negative emotions do constitute a weakness within us.
Depression is a psychological weakness, a symptom of inner conflict in the unconscious mind or psyche. Just about everyone has some degree of inner conflict, and people with clinical depression are likely to be more conflicted than the average person. Inner conflict produces negative emotions, including self-blame and guilt, that in turn produce depression. Again, this is not anybody’s fault: still, it is a weakness.
When we can’t see where we’re weak or ignorant, we’re unlikely to become smarter or wiser. By assimilating self-knowledge, we’re able to offset these concealed, self-defeating dynamics, just as bugs in a software program can be neutralized. [Read more…]