“It’s a bit like the proverbial rope trick, keeping life upright…when the pleasure and optimism wilts, life becomes no laughing matter.
Depression is a frighteningly disabling condition affecting many more people than those diagnosed. Ever more worryingly are the many individuals untreated and increasingly isolated from family and friends. An understanding of the illness can make the difference – supporting ‘the Blues’ may turn the whole campaign multihued!!”
“If you know someone who's depressed please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation, depression just is, like the weather.
Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the otherside. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest and best things you will ever do. ”
“This year, my son Matthew will be 17. When I left hospital with my son after a long, hard labour I was blissfully happy. The happiness lasted one week.
My parents came to visit Tim and I in London where we were living. I went for a walk with my mother and my baby. It was the day of the Hillsborough disaster. But disaster struck me and postnatal depression descended. By the time Tim and my father came home from a game of golf I was in bed, my milk had gone and I was in my own private hell.
For the next two years I was in a serious state of ill-health but I got help from my doctor, my family (my mother was a nurse) and from antidepressants. Not everyone is so lucky. In those days many doctors did not understand postnatal illness, as it is now called, but times have changed. In time I used exercise and complimentary therapies which became available such as homeopathy. Now there are organisations like Depression Alliance which are here to offer information and support services those affected by all kinds of depression.
You do not have to be poor or a single mother to have depression. There are no class barriers. But you do need help and support, and those around you need to understand that as well. ”
“1 in 5 of us are likely to be directly affected by it during our lives, so the chances are pretty high that many of you reading this will either have experienced depression to some degree or know someone who has. As with anything to do with the mind, the minute you bring up the suggestion that things can go wrong, people scuttle off into the woodwork. It’s almost more ‘socially acceptable’ to be someone who ‘likes a drink’ – when really you’re someone who is drinking too much although nobody has the guts to point that out.
If you’re younger or part of a different scene, it’s cooler to get stoned regularly than admit that you’re frightened you won’t cope if you’re not ‘out of it’. For those of you tutting about my reference to so-called soft drugs (which make any mental illness ten times worse), how many of you suffer from ‘nerves’ or constant headaches and have come to rely on taking painkillers almost every day?
The thing about depression is that although it stems from the mind, it quickly has a physical impact. But we’d often rather focus on physical symptoms because there’s too much stigma associated with admitting we can’t understand or describe why we feel so lethargic after a good nights sleep; why the things that once made us happy now feel like a whole lot of nothingness. Some people slowly but surely start getting snappy or aggressive and blame stress; violent behaviour is often the way young men display depression.
Unfortunately, amongst more macho groups, being handy with your fists after a boozy night is a far better reputation to have than having your mates think you’re ‘a nutter.’ But the sad fact is that suicide is one of the biggest killers of young men, so the longer the drinking, dope-smoking or fighting goes on (in other words, the longer their depression goes untreated) the riskier the situation.
Depression in the rural Community is a hidden problem but raises its head whenever you read about the premature death of another farmer or landowner who seemingly had ‘everything to live for’.
Remember not everyone displays the same symptoms of depression. Twelve years ago, I turned into a wired, nervous workaholic existing on little sleep. Bosses applauded the very behaviour that should have been a warning sign. Non-stop activity is a way of blocking out those indescribably awful gut-churning feelings of darkness.
In response to hundreds of requests, National Depression week’s theme is self-help treatments and therapies that might be used to complement medication or used alone to cope with mild depression. These include walking away the blues, cognitive behavioural therapy (or learning to change negative thinking patterns) Nutrition, pet therapy and even Tai Chi.
So if you’re feeling low and struggling, you have started to make things better today by visiting this website.”