Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Depression (Repost)

A report came out yesterday about mental health and employer’s attitude towards it. It was in 2 parts. The first part was a look at historical figures that had mental health problems such as the hottie from history Florence Nightingale and Winston Churchill, the famous alcoholic, German beater and black dog owner and it discusses whether or not these people would have succeeded today. The second part is that most worrying part. The researchers carried out a survey of attitudes toward mental health and found that 60% of employers wouldn’t employ someone with a problem. In this day and age this is shocking and unnecessary but it does give me the opportunity to republish on old blog I wrote about depression, I know it’s a little lazy but you don’t have to read it if you don’t won’t too.


I think we need a new word for depression, whether the feeling a bit sad version or the actual mental illness. A large number of people simply do not understand the difference between the two as they share a name. People go to their GP's claiming to be depressed and expecting treatment because they are feeling a bit sad. Feeling a bit sad is not the same as depression, it's just feeling a bit sad and it is not a mental health problem so let's give it a new name to make it easier to understand. Say, ummm............. feeling a bit sad, yes that should cover it. What? I'm not Shakespeare, I'm not going to start inventing words, try thinking of your own, the mental workout may cheer you up a bit. If you are depressed you may suffer from some of the following symptoms, you may feel miserable and sad. You feel exhausted a lot of the time with no energy. You feel as if even the smallest tasks are sometimes impossible. You seldom enjoy things you used to enjoy. You may be off sex or food or may "comfort eat" to excess. You feel very anxious sometimes. You don't want to see people or are scared to be left alone. Social activity may feel hard or impossible. You find it difficult to think clearly. You feel like a failure and/or feel guilty a lot of the time. You feel like a burden to others. You sometimes feel that life isn't worth living. You can see no future. There is a loss of hope. You feel all you've ever done is make mistakes and that's all you will ever do. You feel irritable or angry more than usual. You feel you have no confidence. You spend a lot of time thinking about what has gone wrong, what will go wrong or what is wrong with you as a person. You may also feel guilty sometimes about being critical of others (or even thinking critically about them). You feel life is unfair. You have difficulty sleeping or wake up early in the morning and can't sleep again. You seem to dream all night long and sometimes have disturbing dreams. You feel like life has/is "passing you by". You may have aches and pains which appear to have no physical cause, such as back pain, I could go on but you get the point, not feeling a bit sad.
The problem with one word describing both things is that when people are diagnosed with depression they will be greeted with the same reaction from many members of their friends and family, "What have they got to be depressed about?" IT'S NOT THE SAME THING. The same word issue serves to undervalue the suffering of those who are clinically depressed and therefore goes on to add to their suffering and that doesn't strike me as fair, simply because the language is one word short.
If you do suffer from more than one of the symptoms, please do go to your GP and get yourself checked out. Also thank you to the various websites I got the list of symptoms from

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