Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Textbook Answers to Understanding Depression

On my Road to Understanding Depression I have also been Inside the Mind of Depression. Today I am going to use the same questions from Inside the Mind of Depression BUT I am going to give you "The textbook answers" from the Experts over at SANE.

What causes Depression?

There are a number of possible causes of depression.
• Depression can be a reaction to a distressing situation like loss or stress (reactive depression). Some women experience depression following the birth of a child (post-natal depression).
• Depression can be part of an illness like bipolar disorder in which the person experiences extreme moods without any reason –very high and very-excited or very low and depressed.
• Depression can be unrelated to any outside cause, but associated with a chemical imbalance in the brain (endogenous depression). Sometimes the person may be affected so much that he or she experiences the symptoms of psychosis and is unable to distinguish what is real.
• Children and teenagers can also become depressed. This can show itself in different ways to depression in adults, and they are best helped by a doctor who is a specialist in this area.

Click here for the full report.

Why can’t you snap out of it?

Illness? Depression is an illness? Some may ask. Yes, depression is an illness. People do not choose depression. Depression causes a chemical imbalance in the brain, and thus people can't "snap out of it."
People with depression need treatment, just like people with other illnesses need treatment. But many people who have depression do not receive treatment because of the societal stigma that is associated with depression.
Many people think individuals with depression are weak. And that they are choosing to be depressed, or they are just acting. And thus should be able to "snap out of it."
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
Not only is depression an illness that people cannot "snap out of," but untreated depression is also the number one cause for suicide.
Depression is a very serious mental illness that always needs to be treated
And it is highly treatable.

Click here for the full report.

How can stigma be reduced?

Respondents were optimistic that stigma could be reduced, with suggestions spread across a whole range of initiatives in the community. Tackling stigma in the media was seen as the most urgent priority (17%), reflecting the enormous influence of the media on community attitudes as a whole. The SANE StigmaWatch initiative was recognised by almost half of respondents as active in this area. Education about mental illness in schools and in the workplace, as well as in the general community, was also highlighted as an important ongoing measure to reduce stigma. An important barrier to stigma reduction is the fact that vilification of people with a disability including those who have a psychiatric disability because of mental illness – is not unlawful in Australia (except under Tasmanian legislation). While people cannot be publicly ridiculed because of their religion or sexual preference, journalists, advertising agencies and anyone else is free to mock and invite contempt for people
with a mental illness or any form of disability.

To move forward we must educate.

Click here for the full report.

Intimacy and mental illness how does it affect relationships?

* 51% of people with a mental Illness are in a relationship
* 49% are single
* 65% had some sexual contact in the last 12 months
* 35% Had no sexual contact.

Many people with a mental illness lead isolated, lonely lives, often having no partner or even friends to share their lives.
For many people with a mental illness, loneliness is compounded by a lack of physical intimacy – signs of affection such as hugs and kisses. This is a particularly harsh aspect of social exclusion.
People with a mental illness are far less likely to have sexual relationships than the general population, reflecting a more general difficulty in social relations.
People with a mental illness report poor support regarding sexual health, with a high number not receiving regular health checks such as pap smears, breast screening or prostate checks.

Click here for the full report.

No comments:

Post a Comment