Why do we care?

The social cost of having many depressed people seems enormous.

It’s probably difficult to compare this with other causes (at least directly, using e.g. money), but depression seems similar to other causes like education reform in that it prevents people from becoming more effective. In this sense organizations like CFAR are working on similar problems too.

Some places to begin looking





Seems more tractable than curing aging, but more or less tractable than curing cancer?

On how well current treatments work:

Not sure if the problem looks something like “productive people are being weighed down by depression, so we just need to remove the depression” or “not very productive, unlucky people get depressed or are more likely to be labeled as depressed, so the problem is making them more effective” (or something completely different). To the extent that the second case is true, then the problem seems to be part of the general problem of “getting people to have more energy / larger drive or be more effective”. Then helping depressed people may not be the optimal solution (in terms of getting more productive workers, maybe it would be better purely for alleviating inequality). “Some forms of depression may be equivalent to an inability to discover, create and/or access new possibilities in life. So if one gets stuck in a rut of apathy, ennui and/or sadness, one cannot feel motivated to try out or seek alternative behaviors, thoughts, and goals.”

^then make it EASIER for people to discover/access new possibilities in life.

“Attachment to one’s identity is the biggest epidemic our society faces today.” - Ishaan Chugh

^Maybe THIS is what makes people fear discovering/accessing new possibilities?

“What is the thing that impedes our life the most? It’s fear. We are afraid to lose the boring job that makes us stupid. We are afraid to end relationships that make us miserable. We are afraid to lose money that makes us slaves of the circumstances. We are afraid that people will think poorly about us, people who are not capable of thinking in the first place. We are afraid we will make a mistake, whereas that’s the only way you can learn something. When we are constantly looking at the opinion of other people, we lose ourselves and start living someone else’s life.” - Maria Konovalenko



Is the problem that we have treatments but not enough people take them or mostly that our treatments aren’t good enough?