3 thoughts on “The Virtue of Self-Loathing

  1. Has TIME nothing better to write about? Of course Darwin would espouse the Law of the Jungle—-and it’s nice to know he farted at nite, too.

  2. NYT Magazine.
    And truth be told, I think both the article and the people discussing “depression” might be conflating depression with sadness, or frustration, or any number of general, spectrum-y sort of “I’m not in my happy place, Eddy” sorts of things, which in turn reflects confusion as to what are legitimate things to feel.
    (My daughter is coaching me on the HTML thing. If it don’t work, blame her.)

  3. It’s hard to know what to make of statements like this:

    “…it’s clear that the problems of everyday life play a huge role in causing mental illness.”

    It is very clear that the problems of everyday life play a role in how we feel about our lives, ourselves, and others. But even if we are very, very sad; devastatingly sad, we are not necessarily depressed. As M. Scott Peck famously pointed out many years ago, “Life is hard,” or as the bumper sticker of the same time humorously pointed out, “Life’s a bitch, and then you die.”

    Evolutionary psych (EP) is a fascinating field. But it is does not compel us to throw out everything we have learned and are learning about physiological and bio-chemical psych and genetic vulnerabilities (and perhaps opportunities).

    A major depressive episode is almost totally debilitating, both physically and emotionally. Thinking tends to be circular and non-productive. In what circumstances would those behaviors and characteristics be adaptive or create an evolutionary advantage?

    Further, we don’t need EP to tell us that some psychotropic meds (among others) are being overprescribed and overused. That doesn’t mean they can’t be enormously helpful when used properly.

    I don’t agree with everything Peter Kramer writes. Using Prozac to treat introversion seems a reach to me. Whatever works? But I have to agree with his take in the article when he “describes the paper as “a ladder with a series of weak rungs.” “

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