Depression! Sacrosanct depression! The word is spreading, at a gallop, and rinforzando, the rumor is making its way, the devil, it’s spread all over, and for some days now it’s been haunting the Elysée Palace. From Lisbon, the journalist from Le Monde who covers him, Mr. Philippe Ridet, wrote "Another life is beginning for the chief of State. What president will he be now that he is alone? Depressive, weakened?" One of his counselors wants to reassure us: “The exercise of power”, he says, “will triumph over the depression.” But no, the harm has been done: whatever his entourage might say, the public eye will no longer let him be, it will scrutinize the shades of his pallor, the luster of his eyes, his complexion, the tilt of his head, his gait, the circles under his eyes… Woe to him at the first sign of fatigue! We are henceforth living in a world where good old tiredness no longer exists: it’s the blues, depression, darling, where are you? Quick, my anti-depressor!
Is it really reassuring to say that, after all, the Inpes is not the only one who suffers from the discursive pathology I have just described? A part of the international health bureaucracy has been overcome by the same fever. A whole little community throughout the world is in a frenzy over depression, puncturing State credits, receiving subsidies from laboratories and foundations, encouraging the creation of so-called non-profit associations; its members support each other from one end of the planet to the other, exchange information, teach each other the methods that work and the arguments that win, and, probably, put the trouble makers on the index. The extension of the phenomenon changes nothing as to its structure. It is normal that at the time of globalization, a phenomenon of social psychosis should take on by contagion dimensions up till now unheard of — we saw this for AIDS as well as for the avian flu. Depression is a pandemic, and it is as such, in fact, that the World Health Organization presents it, without quite being aware of it perhaps.
We can also consider the phenomenon of those speculative bubbles that occur periodically since Mr. Greenspan, the wizard of the Federal Reserve Bank, decided to conduct a monetary policy in accordance with the wishes of Wall Street. Their explosion never fails to shatter the international financial markets after having caused them to rocket. Today there is a surge on depression. The wave will probably be irresistible until a country manages to say no, and it would be an excellent thing if this country were France.