McEvoy says depression logical reaction to chaos
“If you are not depressed and anxious in the modern world we have created, then you really are crazy,” Mary McEvoy told the MacGill Summer School.
The actor was speaking at a session addressing the challenges posed by modern society to mental wellbeing. “Depression is a very logical reaction to the chaos we experience in the belief that we are superior to the rest of nature,” she said. “We have allowed technology to override our humanity. Society is still largely patriarchal. The demise of religion has led to a loss of moral compass. Hubris is still worshipped and intellectuals just talk the talk. We love information because it is fast and don’t have the patience for wisdom because it is slow.”
In a deeply personal reflection she said: “People who suffer with mental health issues have a really important lesson to teach. If only the movers and shakers would listen.”
She added that to be fully human we had to embrace our vulnerability, and she extended this thinking to the wider political and economic field.
Before we fix the economy can we not fix the minds that had the ideas that led to the crisis in the first place, she asked.
Modernity could have a harmful effect on mental health. “Everybody has an opinion about everything and it’s usually the badly thought-out negative nonsense,” she said.
“Nobody sees the soul of a person . . . media pump out vicious and harmful stories about people. Mediocrity is rewarded . . . it seems as though society is . . . cannibalising itself.”
She advised: “Be kinder, drop the judgment, love the planet and if you cannot love your neighbour then leave them alone. Be prepared to fail. Every time we fail we start again. Accept your fragility.”