What if it's not us who are sick, asks Rod Tweedy, but a system at odds with who we are as social beings?
Mental illness is now recognised as one of the biggest causes of individual distress and misery in our societies and cities, comparable to poverty and unemployment. One in four adults in the UK today has been diagnosed with a mental illness, and four million people take antidepressants every year. ‘What greater indictment of a system could there be,’ George Monbiot has asked, ‘than an epidemic of mental illness?’
A sick society
‘If, given all this rationalization, comfort, fun and choice, people are still wretched, unable to love, believe or feel some integrity to their lives, they might also begin to draw the conclusion that something was seriously wrong with their social order.’
We are a single vast superorganism, a neural network embedded in a far larger web of neural networks. Our brains are so fundamentally wired to interact that it’s not even clear where each of us begins and ends. Who you are has everything to do with who we are. There’s no avoiding the truth that’s etched into our neural circuitry: we need each other.