Depression is prevalent. 35% of the global workforce suffer from it and in most cases are medicated for it.
The answer, at least at a causal level, is mind control.
Endemic in our western culture is the idea of ambition. The most common words you hear from leaders and HR trainers around the world is "I WANT."
I want you to be happy. I want you to be satisfied. I want you to have less stress. I want.
The root cause of depression is wanting.
Hence, most curative process people offer to corporate individuals is actually intrinsically connected to the cause of it. They are, literally, pouring petrol into the flames in an attempt (with all good conscience) to put them out.
The real source of anti depression does not come from wanting to get rid of it. And, most certainly it does not come from motivating people to celebrate at conferences by waving their hands and clapping each other. That's all causal.
The root source of all depression, even that which ends up in a chemical biological imbalance is elation.
Uppers causes downers, and never more so than in the case of depressions.
Individuals who suicide, the saddest resolution to depression have, in 200% of the cases (means all) had an elation sometime in the twelve months leading up to the depression that triggered their commitment to leave. Elations like: falling in love, winning a competition, thinking they would never be hurt again, getting a promotion, excess praise and substance supported - but unsustainable - uppers.
Endemic is a big word. However, in some of the anti western rhetoric one hears from the "other side" of the political - pseudo religious - spectrum - the real gripe about western behaviour is not as it may seem. The real gripe is the self obsession that underpins western leaders, individuals, government and religion. Me, and what I want being the single driver of most western governance, right down to the birth of a child all the way through to corporate, religious and government leadership. The conventional western model is, "GIMMIE WHAT I WANT - AND NOW."
This, is elation born into culture and the consequence of it is a depression born into the same culture but cured with medications that patch the problem, don't or can't address the cause.
IS this elated society too ingrained to change? Yes is the short answer. No is the long one.
Culture change from within is like asking children not to want ice cream. It's just bloody hard work because the levels of advertising, cultural expectations, need to fit and chemical adhesions to ice cream might just override most naive - self seeking - minds. Culture change from within is, in 99% of cases, impossible.
Culture change from without is, however, inevitable. Nature's law dictates that all life - including the mass culture - evolves at the border of chaos and order, or in other language, elations and depressions. Hence, one can see the following events as depressions that bought the balance to elations in nature's loving hands:
The Tsunami of Asia
World Trade Centre bombings
War in Iraq and soon Iran
WW 1. WW 2
Africa and the Moslem - Christian Wars that rage throughout its third world countries
Tibet and the invasion by China
And the list goes on, and will continue to do so.
Elations is always balanced by depression. The cure, on a global level is the calming of elation, but, I suspect, to make the FA CUP less exciting, the Formula 1 GP less stimulating, to Stop selling Coke, Red Bull, Alcohol, cocaine, speed, pharmaceuticals, management motivational speakers, Rock concerts, Iphones, holidays, trophies, pride, and all the other billions of "elation" causing experiences in western life is really too much to ask.
But, less righteous religions, balanced leadership, loving parenthood, balanced emotional living generosity, kindness, compassion and thankfulness might, if given wings, start the ball rolling away from self absorption and narcissism toward a more balanced - more evolved humanity in a few generations, when we're all long gone and forgotten. Either way, culture change from within or from without, will happen, it's nature's plan, Nature's Universal Law - the law of Evolution.