The ants are in great pain, and so are we

The unavoidable

Sadness, or melancholy, has been a constant part of “humanity” since our slimy forebears first crawled out of the volcanic waters and onto the lush land. It has fascinated artists, inspiring masterwork after masterwork. Poet Anne Sexton, for example, wrote extensively on the subject. “The Fury Of Rainstorms” is a poem that deals with the monotony of sadness. It goes as follows:

Fire AntsThe rain drums down like red ants,
each bouncing off my window.
The ants are in great pain
and they cry out as they hit
as if their little legs were only
stitched on and their heads pasted.
And oh they bring to mind the grave,
so humble, so willing to be beat upon
with its awful lettering and
the body lying underneath
without an umbrella.
Depression is boring, I think
and I would do better to make
some soup and light up the cave.

The poem’s opening image is a two-part comparison. Sexton suggests the each raindrop is an ant crashing into the window. They are powerless and cannot stop the destruction of their bodies. Resistance is futile. Their plight, however, is reminiscent of death, of the grave. We are insignificant in the face of death the same way a headstone is helpless against the rain. The corpse too is helpless. There is no umbrella for the dead. Soon, rain and weather will wear down names and epitaphs until the headstone is nameless. Death will soon lead to utter nonexistence. The futility is bothersome, but unavoidable. This fact depresses the lot of us. However, since we cannot avoid such a fate, the futility is boring. Depression therefore is boring. There are better things to do. Although unavoidable, we can rise above depression, not merely on a personal level, but on a national and global level as well. Depression is quickly turning into an epidemic.

The epidemic

According to 2012 depression statistics, courtesy of, depression diagnoses are exponentially growing, much like the U.S. GDP per capita. This, frankly, is frightening. It is understandable that many people are unhappy. 2012 was a rough year for a myriad of reasons, be it the job market, economic slowdown or a polarizing and bizarre election season.

Nevertheless, are THAT many people unfulfilled with their lives? Depression is a condition that “reportedly” affects 1 in 10 Americans. Again, that is a frightening percentage. Life is difficult no matter where you live. It, however, seems that America is no longer a land of electrifying dreams. The number of patients diagnosed with depression increases by approximately 20% per year! If this continues, the entire nation will be afflicted with depression in ten years. How can we maintain relationships with the ones we love if a teardrop the size of the universe weighs us down? The answer is simple: we cannot. One cannot conquer depression on his or her own; it takes a back and forth between yourself and a qualified counselor, like myself. Talking with your friends, family or significant other is also necessary. Conversation is crucial in combating any malady.

Ocean and cloudsNot only is depression an American epidemic, it also affects the world. An estimated 121 million people around the world currently suffer from some form of depression! About 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is water. Is it fair to say then that most of it is teardrops? Many nations have taken preventative measures in terms of global warming. Perhaps they should do the same for global depression. What do you think?

If you are bored with depression, my counseling services are available both over the phone and in person in Lapeer and Charlevoix MI.  Call 231-881-7335 for a free phone consultation.  We can also Skype, if you prefer.  We do not need to be ants in great pain!


*Ants image courtesy of

*Ocean image courtesy of Tiago Fioreze

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