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(LifeSiteNews) — Why is there an epidemic of mental illness in the West? Record levels of drug abuse and widespread dependency on antidepressants and anxiety medication have become the norm. It seems that every child in school is diagnosed with some condition or other. Addiction is everywhere – to our phones, to the pornography they deliver, and even to food. Eating has become disorderly. Anorexia and obesity are commonplace. Something is seriously wrong when one of the strongest common denominators is sickness.

It seems to be overlooked that most of the population of the West was forcibly detained in their own homes over two years of hysterical fearmongering. The damage done lurks like an iceberg in the water. Mainly submerged, with only the tip suggesting its presence, it is a taboo of sorts to mention its hidden magnitude. Why is this the case?

Widespread mental anguish was not caused by lockdowns, but it was certainly multiplied. The severity and prevalence of individual misery has been intensified by a process so simple to understand when simply named: isolation.

There is a reason that solitary confinement is viewed as torture and that is because it destroys people. To be deprived of the balm of company is to wither. Instead of schoolrooms, workplaces, and walks in the park, we had screens to stare at. It is hard to remain happy and sane when staring at a screen all day.

Screen-based interaction is worse than nothing. It replaces real people with moving pictures, their voices modulated and often stuttering, as the wifi signal fails and you are reminded that you are participating in a cheap and shoddy simulation of life which has become your life.

This fact is depressing in itself. We were compelled to send our kids to ‘zoom school’, which meant to sit them in front of a screen and learn their lessons. They learned to be less human. They learned that people who were there were also not really there. They learned that about themselves, which is why so many of them are so poorly adjusted. This was done in the service of public health.

It is hard to conclude that this was meant to be good for anyone. What kind of person would not see that this would be disastrous? You would have to be an “expert” to be so blind to the obvious.

The destruction of human social bonds which came with lockdown destroyed many of the community groups and sports and social clubs that made life so rewarding. It offered something in its place that was presented as attractive, convenient, and a thoroughly modern solution. The remote life, the backlit solitude of substitute living where we watched Netflix and imagined other people doing things – this was the product we were sold. It was poison.

READ: Pfizer to raise COVID vaccine prices by as much as 400% as demand for booster shots collapses

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The Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) failed spectacularly at resisting the initial COVID lockdowns and vaccine mandates that were imposed by the government on freedom-loving Canadians.

Most CPC MPs subserviently complied with Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party in creating a police-state where our Charter Rights were regularly violated, but now Pierre Poilievre would have us believe they have turned a corner and nothing like it will ever happen again. 

How can they rebuild our trust? Well, they can start by owning up to their terrible mistakes. 

SIGN: The CPC must apologize for abandoning Canadians to Trudeau's COVID regime.

You will remember how freedom-loving Canadians were abandoned by the CPC, with Erin O'Toole calling for vaccine passports and most CPC MPs pearl-clutching about "vaccine hesitancy".

That was until the party realized how popular the Truckers' Convoy had become and got behind the movement. 

It's quite possible the CPC would still be mute on vaccine mandates and lockdowns were it not for the heroic Freedom Convoy that converged on Ottawa. 

Let's not forget the businesses, churches, schools and universities that were shuttered for months on end because of the COVID hysteria generated by politicians in Ottawa, and the CPC did nothing.

They did nothing when people started losing their livelihoods (with some Canadians even losing their lives to suicide) because of the government's deranged policy of locking people down.

The CPC must show they have learned a lesson from the COVID tyranny Canadians needlessly suffered and that they contributed to.

SIGN: Demand the CPC apologize for abandoning Canadians to Trudeau's COVID tyranny.

In yet another reminder of how disconnected from reality the CPC were, MPs like Leslyn Lewis, Marilyn Gladu and Rosemarie Falk were omitted from their "Shadow Cabinet" in November 2021 because they dared to question the COVID shots.

Canadians must still contend with vaccine mandates in some settings and the intrusive ArriveCAN system in order to re-enter the country, while we are among the last three countries in the world to continue discriminating against unvaccinated visitors who remain barred from entering. 

As Pierre Poilievre takes the reigns of the CPC, conservative voters must demand an apology from the party that abandoned them during the COVID-hysteria of the past two years. 

SIGN: The CPC can rebuild trust by apologizing for capitulating to Trudeau's COVID tyranny.

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It is an old trick. Much of what we are sold as food is poison. The same can be said for the messages we receive in the media. At base, consumer culture is an attempt to wean people off the rewards of real-life relationships and to offer them some cheaply available, convenient substitute. Fake reality instead of life, and a series of consolation prizes to buy while you watch it.

The consumer culture of the West is a vast mental illness factory. It seeks to isolate the consumer in their desires. It cannot sell you second prizes if you still possess the first. People with strong social bonds, with happy relationships in their lives, people who have God and their extended family – the nation, people who cherish their children instead of aborting them: these people rely far less on buying things to feel less bad because they do not feel bad in the first place.

There is no mystery as to what makes people contented or causes them to despair. Breaking all their ties to the world outside their mind makes them unquiet, anxious, morbidly self-obsessed. This means they will buy drugs, pay therapists to replace their absent family and friends, and seek to reinvent themselves with new clothes and experiences to escape the prison of the self.

People who have not lost at life do not require these consolation prizes. And the prizes are not simply products, but also labels. Having a label for your sad behaviour can often be empowering. It can be an excuse to misbehave in school, or to have no self-control as an adult. Mental illness is being marketed in this way as a good move. It is an imaginary friend with benefits.

This is the nature of our consumer culture. It has developed from a means of delivering cheap food and clothes and toys to fostering dependence on itself – at the exclusion of everything else.  The common thread that binds the epidemic of mental illness, lockdowns, and the insatiable desires kindled in the consumer is dependence. This system profits most when we are all broken.

What can be done? How to escape when the message is everywhere? It is important to remember that you must be in the world, but you may decide whether or not to be of it. I am in the soup, of course, but I refuse to be a mere carrot.

This is a system which sells sickness as medicine. The more you take it, the more you need. If your spending habits resemble a repeat prescription, then break them – before they break you. Real life, with real people and real connections to reality, will nourish you through failure and compromise, spontaneous laughter, and the company of fellow human foibles. The worst aspect of social isolation is to make a prison of your mind and to lock you in it. We become our own worst enemies in these cages without bars, and the result is to make us fear to be alone with ourselves. A fearsome horror show lurks behind the eyelids, dominating that once gentle darkness which used to bring sleep.

Accept no substitutes for life. Beware of accepting labels whose purpose is to make you feel permanently helpless. Yes, our culture wishes to make you dependent, but addiction like this is a habit – something to which we are used to saying yes, without knowing. Say no. Help others to do so. This is how we win.