She explains that while most of us recognize that this system is messed up, we're constantly 'gas-lit by politicians, by the media and by economists.'
A therapist with over a decade of experience working in mental health has taken to TikTok to explain how capitalism as a system plays a huge role in the deteriorating mental health of many among us. Associate Clinical Social Worker L.S. Pearce—who goes by pearcetherapy on the video-sharing platform—recently went viral after posting part 2 of her "Capitalism is Bad for Mental Health" series, in which she points out how the vast majority of people wouldn't be struggling with mental health issues if they didn’t have to spend all their time and energy simply trying to make ends meet.
"Oh, hello. What percent of your anxiety would dissolve overnight if you knew that no matter what you would always have housing, food and healthcare?" Pearce asks in the video. "Fifty percent? Ninety percent? How much of your depression would evaporate if starting tomorrow, you had plenty of time to spend with your loved ones, do the things you find pleasurable, and cultivate your own interests and passions?" She then goes on to point out a very obvious fact that many have forgotten or never grasped: None of us chose this. This system is thrust onto us pretty much right from the moment we're born.
"None of us asks to be born or chooses or 'earns' the station in life that we're born into, so we're all equal heirs to our stewardship of the Earth," Pearce says. "Yet 99 percent of us are robbed daily of our stewardship and forced to squander our most precious resource, the hours of our lives, trying to survive, so that the most powerful can enjoy unimaginable wealth and leisure, while they burn the planet down around us. Nobody made the Earth. No businessman or corporation made the soil we stand on, or its fruits or the trees that give us shelter and shade."
"But a handful of people seized all the resources of the Earth, put a fence and guns around them to keep us from having them, and forced us to work for them if we want to have the things we need to survive here," she continues. "Furthermore, to survive in this society, we’re all forced to passively participate in the exploitation of others who are also caught in this net. Want some produce? The person who picked it was probably exploited. Jeans? Sweatshops. Coffee? Child labor. Diamonds? Murder, probably."
Pearce then points out that "everything from the land we live on to the cellphones in our pockets" is part of a "long chain of theft, brutality, environmental destruction and exploitation." She explains that while most of us recognize on some level that this system is messed up, we're constantly "gas-lit by politicians, by the media, by economists, who tell us capitalism is the best way, is the ONLY way, and anyone who struggles to make it within this system is weak, is lazy, is stupid, is a loser."
"So it's really no surprise that mental health issues are exploding in this country especially. Together as a society, we could have built any world — a beautiful world full of love and creativity, and instead, we ended up here. And it’s okay to be mad about that. Or sad! However you feel about that is normal, healthy and valid. And accepting that your emotional response to a messed up situation is natural, normal and healthy is the first step to healing," Pearce concludes. The video struck a chord with many on social media—racking up over 108k views on TikTok alone—and eventually made its way to the r/antiwork Reddit community. Here are some hard-hitting responses to Pearce's video: