What we call anxiety and depression have existed for many generations. Though we’ve used different words and applied different forms of treatment, one thing has remained constant: we have primarily diagnosed and treated the individual.
Two hundred years ago, depression was called melancholia and hysteria and was handled in many experimental ways. A hundred years ago, the Freudian revolution was in motion, and talk therapy began. Fifty years ago, prescription medication began to be widely used as a tool to help manage anxiety and depression.
Today, tens of millions of Americans struggle with anxiety and depression. We continue to focus on healing the individual, which is essential and life-saving work. But when anxiety and depression have become common parts to all our families and communities, we must step back and examine the system, the culture.
The Urbanmonks Thinktank proposes that we, in the face of widespread anxiety and depression, must shift our approach from solely diagnosing and treating the individual to concurrently diagnosing and treating the culture.
But what does that mean? How do we begin to diagnose the culture? How do we understand the relationship between culture and our minds?
These questions are the focus of the Urbanmonks Thinktank.