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The courageous candour of broadcaster Olivia O’Leary in illuminating her past struggles with depression is an inspirational boost for all, and not only those who are actually struggling with significant life- distress. (Irish Examiner, May 7).
For such a supremely accomplished and affably astute lady of integrity and grit, hers is an impressive disclosure by any standards. One hopes it can authentically enhance the ongoing awareness and acceptance of such issues. One fervently hopes also that the contextual realities of such challenging life-distress impasses, can be fully explored and recalibrated from the personal, familial, communal and societal as well as trans- generational perspectives.
Extreme, debilitating distress, is not borne from chemical imbalance in the brain, but has deep roots in copious corners of psyche and body-soma. Such somatic absorptive memory of many traumatic variants, big, small, protracted, genetic and experiential can coalesce to unsettle the equilibrium to greater or smaller extents. Life is, for all, a ‘vicissitudinal’ proposition which can easily overwhelm, especially in the fray of uber-pressure to ‘succeed’. Current levels of hyper-competitive entrepreneurialisms and disempowering corporate neo-liberalisms, allied to techno-tsunamis which pervade and occlude natural human communication dynamics don’t augur well for any settled or sustainable homeostasis in this regard.
Next up will be an app for wellbeing — forget about empathic neighbourliness, contentedness and the spirit of the meitheal.
It’s a dog-eat-dog world, and it’s swiftly becoming unfit for humanistic purpose. Profit-programming designed for developing and acquiring more needless ‘stuff’ seems to be the order of the day.
The attendant pressures to perform and ‘succeed’ grow forever apace, spawning so many casualties in the wellbeing department. The rush to ‘pillify’ the situation ala pharmacological responses is the worst possible option. Sad ... oh so sad.
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