Sunday, April 15, 2007

Clinical Depression

There seems to be this stigma - in Australia at least - surrounding depression that's becoming more and more aggressive.

It does seem a bit like the 'It' illness of the moment but that relates much more to a partially open door for discourse on the issue.

Every other week there are reports in the media of this or that prominent person being diagnosed as depressed - clinically or otherwise - and that is given as a basis for this or that problem or 'performance issue'.

There is an undercurrent of 'likely excuse' or 'get over it' especially in relation to male 'stars'.

I find this really sad - excuse the pun - and think that it could alienate people even more in the long run.

I read a very interesting essay that was talking about the balance between evidence-based and narrative-based medicine in relation to mental illness.

Amongst other issues it made mention of a clinician who could provide an interesting insight (from a professional point of view) as he himself had been diagnosed as clinically depressed.

He described the sensation and state of mind as being WORSE than watching his wife die very painfully from cancer.

I think that provides an interesting insight for laypersons who typically associate depression with 'being a bit sad'.

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