• Perry Floyd

America is a sad nation...

One small method to help depression

If I may, a simple suggestion for a complex issue. According to a recent study by the World Health Organization and Harvard Medical School, America may very well be the saddest nation in the world. Researchers found that 9.6 percent of Americans suffer from depression or bipolar disorder—the highest among 14 major nations polled. Those nations that scored better than the U.S. suffer from ongoing wars and rumors of war (Lebanon), vast unemployment (Mexico), and profound poverty (Nigeria).

In his Wall Street Journal article, "The Great Depression," Bret Stephens argues that perhaps America scores poorly as a nation because its population is generally comfortable and wealthy. Such luxuries allow that much more time for critically picking apart life situations and personal circumstances. Those who live in countries torn apart by varying social and economic issues have less time to fret over personal gain and ambition. They are simply too busy trying to survive.

So what could turn our sad nation around? The research shows that the citizens of the world's happier nations find a steady source of joy in their families, their religion, and their traditions. ** My simple suggestion is to practice Psalm 92:1-4 "It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night, to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre. For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy."

Though I understand clinical depression, and am pro-meds when prescribed properly, I know that often my feelings/moods can be directed by aggressive gratitude, by declaring what I know to be true (regardless of how I feel) and good old singing. Especially about and to God.

** Bret Stephens, "The Great Depression," The Wall Street Journal (3-9-07)

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