Han Marie Stiekema Sermes
Q. As I have learned, the depression rate in
Europe has gone up dramatically in the last decades. Especially women are suffering from
it. Could you elaborate?
A. It is a big problem indeed.
Because many people are "solving" it with taking anti-depressants, nobody
actually seems to bother about it very much.
Q. Why have you chosen this topic in the first
A. If people knew more about
the underlying causes, they probably would be more motivated to actually doing something
Q. So, what are the main causes?
A. Depression is a sign of the
fact, that your vital energy, creativity and perspectives are being blocked. People feel,
that they are in a fix.
Q. "People having nowhere to go"
sounds very strange against the background of a society, in which all options are open.
A. The reality is, that life
has become too complicated. Too many factors have to be taken in consideration: costs of
living, income, mortgage, house repair, children, children's education, job, unemployment,
the "rat race", debts, taxes, problems with the relationship, illness,
furthermore continuous change, isolation, meaninglessness, frustration, anxiety, stress,
fatigue, unsolved inner problems, electro-stress etc. etc. There is simply no "elbow
room" left anymore.
Q. Why women in particular are affected?
A. While men live, work and
entertain in a world largely created by them, women on the other hand, often feel
estranged by it. Take the TV as an example. Apart from advertisements it is all about
eating and drinking, sports, politics, technology, violence and "entertainment".
Women don't feel connection with the outside world, hence, their personal isolation being
Q. This "being thrown upon oneself",
could it lead to all kinds of disorders?
A. The most prominent ones are
those, which are connected to suppression of aggression. Aggression is a taboo in our
society. It is connected to violence. However, in case of suppressed aggression, tension
is building up, leading to all kinds of psycho-somatic disorders or beyond. Suppressed
aggression is a well-known factor to the cause of cancer for instance. Because you don't
know, how to express yourself properly, you start "eating yourself"*.
* See for a very effective self-help
program: Emotional self-integration. Furthermore see our health
program: "Personal Health Plan"
Q. The suppression of women
being much more severe, than is commonly known.
A. The main factor is the loss
of identity of men, though....Now that their era (patriarchy) is coming to an end, they
feel increasingly threatened. It manifests itself in exploiting women as cheap laborers,
oppression e.g. sexual harassment in the family, child prostitution and rape. The latter
used as a terrorist weapon in many areas of the world. Combine this with the millennia of
suppression, including centuries of brutal persecution (witch hunt), it should not be
difficult to understand, that in the women's psyche anger is accumulating. If it cannot be
expressed, depression will be the consequence.
Q. What could possibly a way
A. Both women and men
have a (great) responsibility here. First of all, I think women should develop solidarity
among each other. Together, they should reclaim their central position in the community,
bringing all basic activities under their control: child raising, education, health care,
socio-political organization, the environment, agriculture etc. On the other hand, the
position of men should be taken into account as well. Although it is true, that most of
the violence is caused by male oppression*, loss of male identity is a potential threat to
the whole of society. The consequence would be widespread violence. Hence, solutions
should be sought, which satisfies both sexes.
* Quite some males have been
emotionally abused by their mothers. As overcompensation they start oppressing women. The
mothers in their turn, were forced to raise their sons all by themselves, because of
absence of the father. The father "had to go out" of the house, because of the
need to cope with an increasing demand for material goods, not in the last place, because
the wife pushed him to do so. The wife on the other hand, took refuge in material wealth,
because she felt frustrated by her role as housewife etc, etc. This story being an example
of how all factors are interwoven. Simply accusing the other gender for having caused
"all the misery", is a sign of narrow-mindedness.
Q. How to handle (suppressed) aggression?
A. Obviously, using other
people to release accumulated stress, is not the way. Apart from the suggestions given
above, (women-centered) self-help psycho-therapy could make a difference. Primal therapy
is one of the possibilities. As so often, the Chinese prove to be very creative in
this regard. Every morning groups of people come together in the park, where they scream,
shout and yell. It is considered to be "very good for health".
Q. In the magazines the suggestion is
made, that women are more successful than men, nowadays.
A. Which magazines do you
read (laughter)? Honestly, I consider this as propaganda. It is always the same success
stories. The reality is, that most women don't feel comfortable with the
hyper-rationalized world of men. They prefer part-time jobs, rather than joining the
Q. What would you suggest them to do?
A. First of all, most women are
so conditioned by the world around them, that they are ignorant about the difference
between "society" and "community". They think, that the only way to
pursuing a career, is getting a job in the job-market. Very few realize, that their
strength lies in committing themselves to the community.
Q. "Community" is usually associated
with the soft sector: charity, helping the ones in need, visiting the elderly etc. Most
women don't feel attracted to these "traditional" women roles.
A. Exactly. That's why to them
"community" is considered not to be an option. Until very recently, at least.
If, on the other hand "Community" would be the socio-political-economical
foundation of society, then the picture would change dramatically.
Q. Like you have elaborated in some previous
A. That's right. If women begin
to understand, that a career in favor of community-building would include challenge,
cooperation, perspective and skills - spiritual, cultural, political, economical, medical,
ecological - then, I am sure, they would be very interested. Our model of the future
Community has it all. Hence, I invite every woman (and man) to seriously consider
participation in our Transformation Work.
Q. No depression anymore?
A. Look at our program. Who
would not fall in love with it?
The Mother loves you all.
Start serving Her.
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