‘Depressed Monkey is Depressed’ (only analysing, not actually depressed a.t.m.)

DepressedMonkeyDepression seems to be the subject of the hour, & I remembered something about the idea of it having evolved and retained by humanity in our march to world domination (and general up-fuckery) because it might originally have had a purpose.

Went looking; found this [“scientists suggest that depression is not a malfunction, but a mental adaptation that brings certain cognitive advantages”], frankly I think it’s bollocks.

Why? Because I think the nature of depression is linked into a very different survival process: the survival of the tribe. There is a horrid characteristic of nearly every social cluster of animals – at a certain point, an individual is driven out due to various dynamics within the whole group. The subsequent social isolation is a killer. The individual needs to get back in fast, or he or she is going to get eaten, or starve. Even more crippling would be the loss of social connection, surely? The loss of the daily soothings, the touch, contact, grooming, conversation, and having a sense of belonging.

Beginning to sound familiar? Social isolation; a shriveling soul, a broken heart, constant soul-searching (“what did I do wrong” .. “Why am I not loved?” .. “I suck” … “I want to die.”) … and finally, exactly that: the poor rejected monkey dies.

I’ve seen this in those nature programs. Really happens.

So evolution installs depression. Whether it is for the individual’s sake, or the tribes … but somehow it enhances survival. I’d put my money on the latter: survival of the larger group, at the expense of the individual.
(But the individual, driven by his or her pain and grief, might also be motivated to get back into the middle. A win either way.)

Now think of modern society. I think of my own life: almost no physical contact beyond a certain age. No hugs. No just sitting around together – especially for boys and especially as the years clocked on. If I had any contact it was usually between boys, and violent in nature (the jeering sort, and/or fighting).

[My personal irony was my big brother – he was incredibly violent towards me – but he was still my rock, the only one I could ‘hang with’ and feel safe and nurtured by.]

Sports: you either chose contact sports (violent) or non-contact ( = *still no contact!*).

Pretty much the message was (for me) the same as if I’d experienced total tribal rejection. At a body/emotional/needs level
So CUE depression. It locks in. The emotional set is the same. If severe enough, and untreated (in the monkey/ape world, that would = getting re-embraced by the tribe; in our world – loads of therapy, or drugs) then it leads to the same result … effectively a death by broken heart, isolation & feelings of worthlessness.

That’s my theory, anyway. To me, it’s glaringly obvious.

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2 thoughts on “‘Depressed Monkey is Depressed’ (only analysing, not actually depressed a.t.m.)

  1. Lindsay Gregory

    Are you saying that you are depressed …. or that the monkey is depressed …. I tend to always take things very literally and miss subtle clues.

    If you are doresssed are you asking the tribe to take you back or with therapy and drugs solve the problem?

    My theory is that depression is a very poor way to cope with rejection because it tends to make the rejected person angry at the tribe and therefore even less likely to be accepted back into “the club” …..??

    Your fellow monkey, Lindsay

    On Sun, 20 Aug 2017 at 12:59 AM, Ged Maybury :: Steamed Up wrote:

    > Ged Maybury posted: “Depression seems to be the subject of the hour, & I > remembered something about the idea of it having evolved and retained by > humanity in our march to world domination (and general up-fuckery) because > it might originally have had a purpose. Went looki” >

    1. Hmmm… Really, this is just speculation. Can’t say I can answer your questions. I was simply trying to seek an explanation of the existence of depression – as a recurrent corner of the human condition – that is in keeping with the theories of evolution. It’s still with us – therefore it furnishes some sort of survival advantage. What is that advantage?
      By the way, I don’t think monkeys have either drugs or therapy. Could be wrong.

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