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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Edit me!!! Andrew Weil

Andrew Weil's Spontaneous Happiness: Our Nature-Deficit Disorder - The Daily Beast:

Andrew Weil's Spontaneous Happiness: Our Nature-Deficit Disorder

Oct 30, 2011

You aren’t depressed; our brains just aren’t equipped for 21st-century life.

In my experience, the more people have, the less likely they are to be contented. Indeed, there is abundant evidence that depression is a “disease of affluence,” a disorder of modern life in the industrialized world. People who live in poorer countries have a lower risk of depression than those in industrialized nations. In general, countries with lifestyles that are furthest removed from modern standards have the lowest rates of depression.

"Within the U.S., the rate of depression of members of the Old Order Amish—a religious sect that shuns modernity in favor of lifestyles roughly emulating those of rural Americans a century ago—is as low as one 10th that of other Americans.

Psychologist Martin Seligman, originator of the field of positive psychology and director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, has studied the Old Order Amish, along with other premodern cultures. He concludes: “Putting this together, there seems to be something about modern life that creates fertile soil for depression.”

Another prominent researcher whose work I respect, Stephen Ilardi, professor of psychology at the University of Kansas and author of The Depression Cure, observes, “The more ‘modern’ a society’s way of life, the higher its rate of depression. It may seem baffling, but the explanation is simple: the human body was never designed for the modern postindustrial environment."

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