Friday, January 10, 2020

Depressed in Hong Kong

Do not consider this information to be definitive proof. I offer it here because I was posting yesterday about the epidemic levels of depression and suicide in today’s America.

While Dr. Friedman did not offer any hypotheses about what was causing the outbreak, I presented some of my own ideas.

In brief, I recommended that we consider the psychological fallout of certain political, social and cultural phenomena. Knowing how to treat the problem is one thing. Knowing what is producing it is quite another.

So, now we have some new information from Hong Kong. I will not offer any new commentary on the protest demonstrations that have been ongoing for months. Everyone is cheering on the young protesters, including a bipartisan Congressional coalition.

For my part I have suggested that the protesters are fighting a losing cause and that they are damaging their city, perhaps irreparably.

With this in mind, we can examine a study about the mental health of Hong Kongers. As it happens, the protest movement has produced a significant spike in rates of depression and other mental illnesses. You would expect as much from people living in a city that is self-destructing, and where people do not know how to reverse the decline:

The Daily Mail reports:

Rates of depression are thought to have risen five-fold in Hong Kong because of violent political protests.

A study has claimed that one in 10 people in the Chinese territory have 'probable depression', up from one in 50 in 2014.

And a staggering one in three people have symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to research.

Scientists at the University of Hong Kong believe some 300,000 out of an estimated total 590,000 depression cases could be directly caused by the unrest.

Social and political unrest produce distress which produces despair. As I said, it is worth considering, especially when people exclaim that they have no idea why Americans are so depressed.

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