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Depression as the lastest trendy accessory

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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    No wonder people find it hard to get help for it with people having those kind of views.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think that maybe people who've never had any experience with depression might associate it with artists who produce their best work during their worst periods of mental illness and things like that. You never see the full reality of anything you haven't experienced.
    I think some doctors do find it easier to say patients are depressed and give them anti-depressants when other things would be more effective. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety when I was 15 and I know I wasn't depressed. I was put on the same medication as a girl at my school and, while she really was struggling because she was depressed, I was fine, except for the side effects of the medication. I ended up feeling really guilty though, because teachers were constantly saying that if I could smile and eat and talk to friends why couldn't she?
    I might be completely wrong, but I think depression caused by a chemical imbalance and depression caused by livestyle or a one off event can be very different. Some people seem to need the biological problem corrected while others just seem to need support. My oldest brother's depression improved suddenly when he stopped eating sugar. I think it's too complex to be called "trendy" or cured with pills.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    lea_uk wrote: »
    No wonder people find it hard to get help for it with people having those kind of views.

    Exactly.
    It also took 3 different doctors to take me seriously - and even then I was only diagnosed with anxiety. Other doctors just turned round and said I was too old and not serious enough for the childrens services and not old enough for the adult services. And that because I wasn't slashing my wrists and threatening to kill myself that I should just go home and 'chill out'.

    This is ridiculous. No matter how bad your depression is, you surely need some form of help.

    I'm lucky my doctor hasn't been as bad - he took me seriously. He did offer me medication; but explained that it's not normally given to those with mild depression and I said that due to issues with side effects, (I always get them and end up feeling worse than before I took them) I'd rather not take them.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Melian wrote: »
    This is ridiculous. No matter how bad your depression is, you surely need some form of help.

    It's probably more a reflection of chronic under investment in mental health services than of the level of need.

    Whilst no Govt will ever openly says so, health services are rationed due to cost. Mental Health suffers more than most services, in part because of the stigma issues highlighted by this thread.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Randomgirl wrote: »
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1278510/Depression-Its-just-new-trendy-illness.html

    There's been quite a bit in the media about this so I thought I'd start a thread on here. Basically Janet Street Porter has written in her column that Depression is trendy.

    The reason why she has come across so many middle class and 'comfortable' women with depression is that working class people are often out of sight, especially regarding most of the media.

    It'd be interesting to see how many shelf stackers from Croydon are also writing articles for newspapers or having their personal lives under the limelight...

    Maybe... Just maybe... There are more middle class writers, rather than more middle class people with depression. :rolleyes:

    Note: Not to say middle class people don't get depression and in all fairness, at least some writers are giving it visibility.
  • SkiveSkive Posts: 15,283 Skive's The Limit
    it's a chemical imbalance

    You shouldn't be stating theory as fact. There are many ideas about why people develop depression and a chemcial imbalance is just one of them.
    Pretty much the only thing that's agreed upon across the board is the likelihood of at least some genetic predisposition to depression, as well as psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia.


    The article is a load of shit, there is no doubt that sufferers of depression are genuinely ill, and that it can be debilitating and, in some cases, deadly. To suggest otherwise is insulting to those that suffer from it.

    However I do think to some people find the 'idea 'of being depressed attractive, maybe as some way of gaining attention or because young people often want to copy their peers. I have winessed and have known people to brag about being depressed and treat AD's and their different brands as fashion items. Obviously these people need help but I doubt all of them are genuinely suffering from depression.
    Weekender Offender 
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Skive wrote: »
    However I do think to some people find the 'idea 'of being depressed attractive, maybe as some way of gaining attention or because young people often want to copy their peers. I have winessed and have known people to brag about being depressed and treat AD's and their different brands as fashion items. Obviously these people need help but I doubt all of them are genuinely suffering from depression.

    I think this is an interesting and valid point, and I do also believe that depression is currently overdiagnosed, which can lead to its own problems. I know of someone, for example, who lost his mother, was diagnosed with depression and put straight onto medication. But actually he was suffering from grief, and after a long haul, grief counselling was the only thing that helped, and would undoubtedly have been most beneficial from the outset rather than even contemplating drugs or a diagnosis.

    That said, it's difficult to discuss these kinds of issues properly without upsetting people who are genuinely struggling, as illustrated perfectly by that article. How far do you go to address people who may be using their issues as a badge or honour, or even worse, exaggerating or inventing them, knowing that genuine sufferers will be taking a hit too?

    My stance is that mental illness should be more supported, more open and less stigmatised in society because people who are going through it deserve as much. If other people want to use that acceptance for their own more sordid reasons, that's on them.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    This article is misinformed and insensitive, no doubt. I found this passage especially offensive:
    "If you're a black South African woman growing up in a township, or a mum in a slum favela in Rio, or a supermarket shelf-stacker in Croydon, or one of the band of low-paid female workers who go to work at 3am to clean the offices of the wealthiest and most powerful people in Britain in the City of London, you probably aren't afflicted by depression. What you're more likely to be suffering from is poverty, exhaustion and a deficient diet. You will have bills you can't pay and a struggle to feed and clothe your kids."

    What she's saying is poor people don't have depression. It's a terrible, terrible thing. Has she not considered that the women living in Rio favelas quite often do not have access to the most basic medical care, and most certainly don't have access to doctors and psychiatrist who are well-trained in diagnosing and treating mental health issues? It's frankly belittling to say that people who live in less economically developed countries and areas don't suffer from depression, just like saying that people with less money have less worries and problems. I find it awful that mental health issues among the poor in developing countries are largely ignored or not even taken into consideration. What about those living in areas where conflict is endemic, would increases in levels of depression and stress there make them "trendy"?

    Ugh. This is horrible.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Skive wrote: »
    You shouldn't be stating theory as fact. There are many ideas about why people develop depression and a chemcial imbalance is just one of them.
    Pretty much the only thing that's agreed upon across the board is the likelihood of at least some genetic predisposition to depression, as well as psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia.

    I'm sorry, that's just how it was explained to me by my doctor. I think the point I was trying to make about it not always needing a trigger stands though. A genetic predisposition would certainly make sense in my situation but I guess it's such a complex area of medicine, we may never fully understand it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm sorry, that's just how it was explained to me by my doctor. I think the point I was trying to make about it not always needing a trigger stands though. A genetic predisposition would certainly make sense in my situation but I guess it's such a complex area of medicine, we may never fully understand it.

    Hi I suffer bad from Depression/stress and today's bout has been bad but you can feel it coming on day or two before and you cannot stop it.I got my hair done ,bought a new dress and bag (retail therapy) and asked a friend round.He came round,I wanted him to go,he went and I went to bed in tears. It's a tidal wave.It's only trendy as JSP says as people are finally speaking out and that's good.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    geneve wrote: »
    Well helping myself helped me better than any doctor could help so maybe that could be a good thing.
    To be fair, self-help can be very effective and the label 'depression' can be very unhelpful. I think the way you expressed yourself in your first point in the thread was a bit abrupt but the point itself is not unreasonable.

    From my own experience, I have spent over ten years fighting depression and just in the last 18 months it has:
    * cost me a relationship,
    * destroyed my social life,
    * landed me in hospital,
    * led to outpatient care that meant I was required to contact mental health professionals on a daily basis...

    Admittedly, many people cope with their depression and it is not always so severe, but the point is that it is a real illness that is crippling even in so-called mild cases and can be so hard to treat that patients are left unsure of how to proceed and suffering from dreadful emotional and physical side effects.

    And, yes, 1 in 4 will suffer from depression at some point in their lives. But so what? That's fewer than the 1 in 3 who will suffer from cancer - is that trendy now, too?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Apparently Janet Street Porter and Allison Pearson are related
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    geneve wrote: »
    Please note, I'm not referring to clinical or severe depression but the mild to moderate depression that 1 in 4 of us will suffer from (according to piccolo).
    Equally, for the sake of clarity, the statistic is rhat 1 in 4 will suffer from mental health problems. Don't have time to find a source now, but it was used a lot by Mind in literature a few years ago.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    geneve wrote: »
    We rightly disapprove of those who don't tackle their physical health by eating too much and exercise too little, so why is the same approach not applied to mental health?

    It's not that simple though. I have depression and have done for the past 5-6 months (and on & off for the past 8 years) and don't have the motivation to exercise. I'm sure it's the same for many other people too.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Melian wrote: »
    It's not that simple though. I have depression and have done for the past 5-6 months (and on & off for the past 8 years) and don't have the motivation to exercise. I'm sure it's the same for many other people too.
    One thing I learned recently (yesterday, in fact) is that sometimes, even when you're feeling low and unmotivated, you just have to get your butt out of bed and force yourself to do something. I was feeling really down yesterday and the boy was getting all frustrated because we were supposed to be going out to Camden. I didn't even want to get out of bed but I forced myself to get up and go and I actually had a really good day.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    My view is that term depression is like the term 'ill'. It is commonly used to describe a myriad of problems, all of which are different, across a huge number of people, all of whom are different. One person's drama is another's crisis. The diagnosis only really matters if serious medical intervention is required. A lot of people seek diagnosis, or apply the term 'depression', merely to validate how they are feeling. It needs a name, you can't just say "I'm feeling down" because that likely nowhere near covers the feelings and you'll just get handed a load of hollow though well meaning advice.

    Some people like attention and use depression to get that, others will never tell anyone what they are thinking or feeling and will suffer in total silence. This area is so hybrid that there is no definitive argument that can support or deny the articles posted. Some people 'use' depression, some 'carry' depression, and some 'need' depression. Some of us may be where we are because somewhere inside we choose to be. That is one of the hardest concepts to ever get hold of, and before anyone may jump down my throat this only applies to a certain type of person.

    I have my own experiences, I won't go through them because I grew tired of talking about it a long time ago. All I will say is that this is just a debate that can only ever be debated and never truly answered.

    Oops, time for my medication :crazyeyes
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    It's probably more a reflection of chronic under investment in mental health services than of the level of need.

    Definitely the case, a friend of mine who has been battling with depression and other mental health problems for years was told by his GP that he could offer absolutely no talking therapies regardless of need.

    The stupid thing is that mental health treatments are one of those government spending areas which save us money. Getting someone well will mean they can work and will be more productive.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    geneve wrote: »
    Popping a pill is jolly easy, but it doesn't make us stronger in the long run, but absolves us of responsibility.

    I disagree with this. Taking pills isn't a quick fix... and it isn't easy.

    Medication isn't the whole solution - I accept that. But I really do believe that for a lot of people it is a significant part of treatment. Quite often its the push that is needed to get through talking therapy or it provides just enough "mental energy" to be able to function and get on with daily life. I think people who take ADs know this. They know they can't just sit back and wait to get better.... embarking on the medication route is in no way an easy option.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    geneve wrote: »
    It is that simple though, as Franki says you have to force yourself. You might lack the motivation and desire to do anything, but you're not physically incapable of doing something. It's mind over matter, and we all need to develop the mental strength to do what's best for us, even if it's bloody hard work sometimes. Popping a pill is jolly easy, but it doesn't make us stronger in the long run, but absolves us of responsibility.

    It's a cycle, the longer you feel utterly shit and unable to face the world or anything beyond the duvet, the easier it is to feel like that's all you're capable of.

    :banghead: :banghead: It's NOT that simple. How hard is that to understand?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    geneve wrote: »
    It is that simple though, as Franki says you have to force yourself. You might lack the motivation and desire to do anything, but you're not physically incapable of doing something. It's mind over matter, and we all need to develop the mental strength to do what's best for us, even if it's bloody hard work sometimes. Popping a pill is jolly easy, but it doesn't make us stronger in the long run, but absolves us of responsibility.

    It's a cycle, the longer you feel utterly shit and unable to face the world or anything beyond the duvet, the easier it is to feel like that's all you're capable of.

    You were right what you said earlier about light depression / stress, but you cant apply everything you say to the people who are in a deep dark depression.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    geneve wrote: »
    Mr G, I apologise, I didn't emphatically highlight the continuation of my point applying to mild to moderate depression. However, a lack of motivation in my reasonably well educated mind is a classic symptom of mild depression and not deep dark depression.

    Melian, I don't understand. What physically forces you to do nothing? As far as I am aware, it is nothing but your own mind, which is not a barrier. Instruct someone to steal your duvet and throw cold water over you or throw a cockroach into your bed if needs be, then I should imagine you will realise nothing is stopping you but yourself. Be a robot if you have to, feel absolutely nothing for a while, at least a robot does things, even if it's not feeling or aware of what it's doing.

    Way to go, to make someone feel like shit, by doing those things.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MrG wrote: »
    Way to go, to make someone feel like shit, by doing those things.

    Exactly! The closest I got to going out a few months ago (apart from uni) was running away.

    I did force myself to go out today. The result? I spend most of it in stupid amounts of pain due to the sun. (I'm very sensitive to it)

    Geneve - you have NO idea of some of the things I've had to go through - first of all, I accused of lying about my disabilities, I then found out I had another rare, painful and incurable condition, (I had the shit task of telling my mum that I inherited it from her :() I then got told my grandfather has 2 types of cancer and to top it all off, my depression has come back. This has totally fucked up my friendship with someone and being constantly accused by the people I live with of having an eating disorder. (I don't)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    geneve wrote: »
    Mr G, I apologise, I didn't emphatically highlight the continuation of my point applying to mild to moderate depression. However, a lack of motivation in my reasonably well educated mind is a classic symptom of mild depression and not deep dark depression.

    Melian, I don't understand. What physically forces you to do nothing? As far as I am aware, it is nothing but your own mind, which is not a barrier. Instruct someone to steal your duvet and throw cold water over you or throw a cockroach into your bed if needs be, then I should imagine you will realise nothing is stopping you but yourself. Be a robot if you have to, feel absolutely nothing for a while, at least a robot does things, even if it's not feeling or aware of what it's doing.

    Geneve, since you've made it clear in recent posts that you don't have depression, it may be worth using this thread as an opportunity to try and understand those that do.

    If you don't understand something, such as how a mental health problem could be a barrier, then it may be worth trying to broaden your understanding.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    geneve wrote: »
    I just wanted to know what stopped you from doing exercise.

    Something which is obviously difficult for you to understand.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Please read your own posts before you belittle people with your lack of knowledge. I guarantee you are making some people that use this site feel like shit with your attitude. You just brush it off, is it possible that you could be in the wrong if you keep on passing comment on your own experiences which ARE different from others, and you dismiss the views of others because you have to be totally right?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It is quite likely, geneve, that depression itself is stopping people who are depressed from being able to get up and exercise.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Geneve, my point was that your way of asking for more information isn't something that comes across as polite or helpful. It's one thing to say that you don't understand something and that you'd like to know more, it's another to imply the mind can't be a barrier to action or make judgments about what is or isn't a symptom of different forms of depression.

    You can clearly see the reaction your comments have had on other users here, which isn't the reaction that simply asking someone to clarify an opinion would have.

    So perhaps take a little more time to consider your posts and how they may feel for other people.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    geneve wrote: »
    Popping a pill is jolly easy, but it doesn't make us stronger in the long run, but absolves us of responsibility
    The good news is depression is a manageable condition and you can get better. Unfortunately, there is no known treatment for being an unfeeling bitch so [she] has no hope of recovery.

    *hug*
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    geneve wrote: »
    Melian, I don't understand. What physically forces you to do nothing? As far as I am aware, it is nothing but your own mind, which is not a barrier. Instruct someone to steal your duvet and throw cold water over you or throw a cockroach into your bed if needs be, then I should imagine you will realise nothing is stopping you but yourself. Be a robot if you have to, feel absolutely nothing for a while, at least a robot does things, even if it's not feeling or aware of what it's doing.
    Imagine that you have a really bad migraine. No matter what you do, it won't go away. The strength of it comes and goes but even on the mild days it hurts more when you get up. You know that one way to make it better is to force yourself up but the physical pain involved in getting to that point is too much to bear most days.

    That's what it feels like for me when my depression is that bad. I get physical symptoms (particularly a weird feeling that my airways are being crushed, and tension-related headaches) and I have to allow two hours to get out of bed. I have managed to keep going to work because being alone in the flat is worse than dealing with work, but it's all an uphill struggle. Some days, 6 hours at work drains me so much that I don't end up doing anything in the evening, no even cooking dinner, and I live off cereal and sandwiches. Rationally, I know that's not the solution, but the thought of leaving the house when I don't need to makes me so panicky that it's not worth it.

    What I'm trying to say is that knowing the solution isn't always a direct route to things being solved; and that because 'depression' is a label that covers a multitude of things (my diagnosis is Borderline Personality Disorder, which is still considered by many to be a form of severe depression) there isn't a one-size-fits-all model. And not everything works all the time. I've had days like Franki's when getting my arse into Camden or wherever has done me the world of good (but even that doesn't stop the symptoms coming back when I'm on my own at home again), and I've also had days when I've forced myself to go out only for things not to work out and everything to start feeling worse. Generalising and trying to solve everyone's problems with a 'quick fix' or trite advice won't help.

    This isn't a direct response to anyone, incidentally, although I quoted Geneve, I'm trying to make a point that I think is not widely understood (frankly, in my experience, not even by some doctors).
  • SkiveSkive Posts: 15,283 Skive's The Limit
    Medication isn't the whole solution - I accept that. But I really do believe that for a lot of people it is a significant part of treatment.

    And a significant part of SSRI 'treatment' is simply the placebo effect.

    geneve is right in that one of the best ways to battle depression is to get out and about, off your arse and do some exercise. Unfortunatley motivation is something very hard to find if you're stuck in a cycle of depression and feeling pretty hopeless, so telling people that they need to stop moping around isn't exacltly helpful. What they need is encouragement not an earbashing.

    What isnt helpful either is to tell people they've got depression because of a chemical inbalance. People read from that that they've got a disease that can't do anything about themselves - it can only be cured by drugs. The reliance on unprooven, mind altering, addictive drugs is wrong. It seems doctors dont really have the resources to do anything but hand out AD's, where therapy would be much more useful. That's wrong.
    Weekender Offender 
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