The sociology of depression: how are nature, materialism and mindfulness connected

Sociologists focus on the implications of depression in today’s generation since more and more cases are present. The experts mostly speak about a correlation between how Generation Z perceives things – their connection to nature, materialism, and mindfulness. Since mental illnesses are now more common, especially in people of young age, the concern of sociologists is understandable. Nature is part of this discussion because both biological and psychological factors in people’s lifestyle contribute to the apparition or combating of depression. The culture of depression is truly worrying, as it grows from one year to another at a very fast pace. Sociologists acme to the conclusion that multiple aspects generate depression and the context in which a person lives influences this mental disorder.

Depressive disorders are more common in certain parts of the world because of natural factors (such as the Nordic countries, where the suicide rates are the highest in Europe because of the constant bad weather). The occurrence of depressive disorders was recorded for statistical purposes, and specialists found out that particular cultures are more prone to slipping into depression at a certain point in their lives. Moreover, specialists found out that practices such as holistic ones, mindfulness, and similar activities drastically reduce this occurrence. This article will present several aspects of the sociology and culture of depression, to encourage people to get informed about this topic and understand why certain things are happening and how can they be tackled.

New-to-nature chemicals

Sociologists and psychologists struggled to study what they call new-to-nature chemicals. These chemicals, also known as hormone interrupters seem to influence the apparition and treatment of certain mental illnesses. NIH made these discoveries based on the changes that happen in nature. The maximized industry is the one that can alter both the physical and mental health of people. Using too much plastic to store aliments and liquids that people consume, eating vacuous food that has been overly processed, and breathing polluted air are all contributing to the rapid altering of people’s health. The way people live nowadays and the culture they build through their new habits are changing the rhythms of nature, which directly affects their health and state of being.

Specialists called this situation an experiential void, as the changes often lead to developing mental illnesses. Even though the physical effects might not be as evident, the mental ones surely impact the current culture. Teens are normalizing mental illnesses and they treat them as a normal part of growing up. The stages of life in Generation Z are definitely changed and society seems to be extremely disoriented from certain points of view. As it lost its balance, the current culture must be recontoured to battle the rising occurrence of depression and other similar illnesses.

The behavior of individuals has been modified tremendously, and culture plays the most important role in it. Centers like The Holistic Sanctuary started to promote other ways to cope with depression or other mental health disorders that also change people’s perception of life. Changing the cultural beliefs that cause depression and lack of emotional satisfaction at the moment can be done through mindfulness practices, which can be blamed by some societies.

Cultural background and biological makeup

The biological explanation of the increase of depression cases is not the only one that can be discussed. Another aspect is represented by the cultural background that is directly influenced by an individual’s biological makeup. The connection between the two is undeniable. Some cultural backgrounds are so rigid that increase the risk of slipping into depression at a very young age. The expectations are high, the rules are unbearable and gender roles are clearly defined. This is why people find it so hard to go past the previously set barriers and do what makes them truly happy, and this is the moment when frustrations appear and mental illnesses start to develop.

The collective community is often the cause behind the drastic rise in mental illness patients, as it promotes a behavior that’s impossible to achieve by some persons. The same goes with certain industries that set rules for the people who want to reach success in that domain. That makes people feel powerless or useless, which represents the beginning of a mental state degradation. A good example would be the fashion industry, where models feel constant pressure to look a certain way. Depression, drug addiction and eating disorders are common for models, and the stigma around getting professional help keeps them from getting better. Drug addiction in the fashion industry led to many deaths at young ages.

In some cultures, depressions became mainstream

The symptoms of depression are considered normal in certain parts of the world, where so many people suffer from them that the diseases became mainstream. This is why a mindful approach should be promoted in order to change the perception of people towards this topic. As mentioned before, the stigmatization of mental health represents a huge limitation for people who need to battle these symptoms every single day on their own, which can lead to suicide in extreme cases.

The fear or shame of being identified as crazy, psychotic or other stigmatic labels keeps people from getting their needed treatment. The active resistance against getting help is common in some cultures, and people who suffer from mental health illnesses often reject medication. It seems like people prefer holistic approaches instead, which proved to be useful as long as the patient changes his or her perception towards life. Using herbs, getting acupuncture sessions, exercising more often, learning how to meditate, going to yoga classes and other alternative treatment approaches seem to be the favorite methods of coping with depressive disorders in some cultures. The prevalence rates of such disorders might be reduced as long as awareness is raised on this topic. The direct relationship between culture and mental health can be observed in numbers too. Cultural context should be studied in depth in the future.