The United States shows all the symptoms of a depression.
Human depression slows a person's thoughts down. As a result, a depressed person cannot concentrate on their problems and possible solutions as well as others. The constant aggravation of failing to cope and the accumulation of new issues then contribute to their perceived lack of interest in society.
In contemporary U.S. culture, our government and most of society act as though they cannot concentrate on the real problems before them. Our President and Congress agree quickly that they want to help the people with concerns such as health care, but cannot form a plan to increase the number of people insured. The public then gets the message that the government as a whole does not care about them.
The two parties aggravate one another. Republicans say that President Obama won't listen to them and Democrats say that Republicans do not want to vote for anything. This lack of trust becomes a new issue that bogs the government's thoughts down, inhibits its ability to identify leading issues to address and frustrates the public further because the arguments do not suit them.
The cycle of negativity develops even further when many people have trouble finding jobs and paying their bills. Those with jobs listen to others complain and their thoughts are affected.
The one good thing about depression is that it is not the same as hopelessness.
Depression does not cause anyone to harm themselves or others. Depressed people cannot concentrate long enough to form those types of thoughts. But hopeless people can.
Hopeless people think and they think frequently. They think about whether they matter to others and whether the world would be better off without them. When hope is gone, one's ability to reason good answers to these types of questions leaves soon after.
President Obama speaks about hope but he and our depressed nation must take this idea one step further. False hope serves no purpose; we need to visualize the things in front of us that we look forward to.
We need to make the wheels of our nation's brains turn faster. We can do that by reminding ourselves that our nation has overcome bigger problems than the ones we face. Most of all, we need to regard our ability to see ourselves in a positive way as our right and the best path to all types of prosperity.