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Collective depression : its nature, causation and alleviation


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Bostock, WW 2007 , 'Collective depression : its nature, causation and alleviation', in B Warren (ed.), Suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune: International perspectives on stress, laughter and depression , At the Interface (Volume) , Rodolpi, Amsterdam, New York, pp. 1-12.

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Collective depression is an undesirable but very widespread condition, easily recognisable by its effects, even if its precise philosophical status may never be determined. Mostly it is treated with self-administered symptom-relieving practices and strategies which may help in short-term survival but which do not provide a long-term solution. Lasting resolution requires removal of the causes collective depression. As with individual depression, collective depression can have a positive functional side, and can be treated with the therapeutic effect of small positive practical steps leading to the lifting of the sense of hopelessness. The incremental modification of collective depression will inevitably lead to the gradual lifting of individual depressions by the mechanism of 'reverse contagion'. Major collective depression requires changes to the situational causality, such as the ending of war, famine or institutionalised discrimination. A key factor in reversing collective depression is leadership, such as that shown by Gandhi, de Klerk, Mandela and Tutu. Along with its related mental states of awareness of injustice, insecurity and resource depletion, it is a major challenge of the twenty first century.

Item Type: Book Section
Authors/Creators:Bostock, WW
Keywords: collective depression, collective mental state, contagion, reverse contagion, leadership
Publisher: Rodolpi
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