So many individuals hide behind certain identities or utilize materialistic goods to enhance their well-being or measure their self-worth. With depression being increasingly treated and diagnosed in our society, it’s becoming the norm to seek out counseling and medication to treat this disorder. Although psychotherapists are decreasing the maladaptive symptoms of these clients, the progressively increasing prevalence of depression is not being remedied and the causes of the increase are not being sufficiently explored. As identified in my previous article, “Dating Me, Myself, and I,” what individuals are seeking out to fulfill themselves or believe to be what will make themselves “happy” oftentimes leaves one feeling a shallow, emptiness from engaging in meaningless extracurricular activity that provides minimal foundations of actual self-worth and are laced with vain intentions. How many of us know “that” person who always has a story to tell that is more outrageous than yours, or can’t wait for you to stop talking because they are so eager to share how they bought or did something bigger, better, or more expensive than you did? These are the people that are often most dissatisfied with life, because they are so insecure or uncertain of themselves that they feel as though they must prove their measure of self-worth by boasting of things of this world that do not matter. If one continues to chase what one does not have, they will continue to be disappointed with life, because there will always be someone that has a better house, a nicer car, or have had extravagant vacations than you have. I have had clients who have had everything one could possibly desire materialistically, but have been the most depressed human beings due to their inability to feed their insatiable appetite for pleasure. We live in a society that promotes self-centeredness and vanity, which causes people to develop distorted perceptions of reality and what it is that will make one “happy.” There is no room of people or group of individuals in this world that I would feel uncomfortable surrounding myself with, because I am confident in who I am, what stimulates me, and what makes defines my individuality outside of the type of car I drive or the house I live in. If individuals continue to assess their self-worth and happiness based on materialistic goods, we will continue to live in a depressed society of unfulfilled, confused individuals. We all need to re-evaluate constitutes a person of substance in our society today, because the typical image promoted by the media of someone who is happily fulfilled with life is a person of empty, shallowness lacking in depth in reality.
October 19, 2009