Fatso nailed it.
Colour’s to the mast here - I suffer from a mental illness - depression for me.
Pretty much anyone from here that has met me in real life knows this (pap included) because a) I am very open about it and b) I also have a tattoo on my wrist that challenges anyone to ask me what it symbolises and I am then ‘forced’ to explain my own mental challenges.
This was a conscious decision I took to try to educate and reduce the stigma associated with depression - especially among middle-aged males.
I volunteer with an NHS-run support group for people with anxiety and depression and I work with young adults and children that have their own mental health challenges.
Those are my credentials, but I can only offer opinions based on personal experience. I don’t know what causes depression.
I find it insulting to be asked to answer the question in the thread title. It doesn’t ‘advance the argument by getting people talking’ it sets the debate back to where we were 5 years ago.
It’s absolutely fine by me to leave it there, but it makes you look a bit of a twat, @pap .
Depression is not a con (for me and many people I know).
Depression is real (for me).
I’ve watched the video and I’m still unclear on the point of it. Is the interviewee’s point that he believes that depression is not about a chemical imbalance but instead starts with a specific cause and that if we can address the specific cause we won’t need tablets?
If so, talk about stating the bleeding obvious. Does anyone actually believe that there is ever NOT a specific cause?
But if the answer is creating a society where we all care more about others, where we all do more for others, where we each value non-tangible emotional stuff more than cash, where we can access the sort of community-lead treatments discussed in the video then we’re fucked.
We can’t even get this country’s fucking population to vote for a tax rise let alone asking them to jump off the conveyor and let their neighbours get ahead of them.
The issue I have with this embarrassingly simplified idea of giving an amputee a cow because he’s crying is that if that amputee were truly depressed, giving him a cow will change nothing. It’s yet another insulting and ignorant suggestion.
When in the grip of depression, you could offer the amputee £1m and all the things the ‘well’ him craved, and he’d still prefer to be in bed away from the world. You are likely so mentally unwell that basic thought processes no longer work as they used to.
And this is where medication comes in.
For many, it is LITERALLY a life-saver.
On its own, chucking some chemicals in your blood in the hope that it will correct a life-long imbalance in mood is wishful thinking.
BUT they can break a cycle of behaviour for long enough to let the world in, and this is where more holistic treatments and community help can then start to help.
Chuck the amputee some pills, cross your fingers they are the right ones for him, and after a couple of months give him the cow and someone to talk to about how he misses his leg. Job done.
Is medication too readily prescribed - yes, 100%, absolutely and it’s disgusting.
Is this down to some sort of conspiracy?
I doubt it. For me, it falls between cock-up and the underfunding of the NHS.
Therapy is fucking expensive and tablets aren’t.
GPs know that there is a massive waiting list for one-on-one or group therapies and so when someone presents with a mental health issue, they have two choices - give them some tablets or send them away.
If the same person can get themselves so unwell that they are sectioned then they will get some treatment, but outside of that to get one-to-one therapy (remember group therapy for some of these people is a terrifying prospect) will take them months of referral and re-referral. And bear in mind that for many, they do not have the basic mental function to follow a complex process like that through to conclusion without breaking down.
If I were a GP operating without the backup of a well funded mental health crisis team, I’d prescribe tablets like smarties. It’s not right, but it’s understandable.