Is depression a big con?

Is depression a big con?


Mate, I’ve got people close in my life that have suffered, including one diagnosed with bipolar disorder, others that have been through post-natal depression, and a mate who was prescribed amitriptylene from his late teens and fucked it off in his mid-twenties, a period which coincided with him getting most areas of his life sorted out.

I’m not saying clinical depression is not a thing.

I’m not saying depression is not a thing.

But I do think that the vast amount of people suffering depression, diagnosed or not, are suffering for situational reasons which won’t be fixed by addressing a chemical imbalance they do not have.


Surroundings may well play a part for some but for all? No way, not a chance.

If you’re saying drug companies profit from depression and selling said drugs and doctors simply giving them out then of course you’re correct, look at the US? Advertising pain killers during the Super Bowl half time but some people are way beyond drugs reaches, its just a matter of time.


Which is something mentioned in the OP and at other points in the thread. You’re contesting a position I avoided from the start.

The thread title is provocative, as often, but it’s a question, not a statement.


"Depression is measured on the Hamilton scale. There are 51 points on the scale. At the happiest point, you’re in ecstasy. At your lowest, you’re acutely suicidal. According to Johann Hari, just getting a good nights sleep moves you six points toward ecstasy. Getting a shit night’s sleep takes you six points down the scale.

Anti-depressants, on average, make people 1.8 points happier. While that’s going to be incredibly useful for people at the acutely suicidal end of the scale, it does beg the question as to whether these things are being massively over prescribed.

The story about the introduction of chemical anti-depressants in Cambodia is excellent"


Then links to a video by Joe Rogan who is an expert

Joseph James Rogan is an American stand-up comedian, martial arts color commentator and podcast host. A fan of comedy since his youth, Rogan began a career in stand-up in August 1988 in the Boston area, developing a blue comedy act.


Would is “depression medication a con?” be a better title?

I think there is probably over use of medication in some areas. There is some evidence that some GP surgeries have a bit of a relationship with pharmacy companies.


In work and outside work I meet or know people with depression. They have difficulties for numerous reasons. These are then exacerbated by what else is happening in their lives. Dante-esque systems that make life harder. For some a little bit of medication helps, for others a lot of medication helps stablise them when in serious crisis, sometimes it doesn’t work as they may need something else.


No disrespect, @saintbristol . but what commentary are you providing there that I did not already provide?

Is the intended audience supposed to sneer at the idea of a comedian having an opinion or a platform? My understanding is that they’ve often had both, and that often intersects with political issues.

I’m just not seeing the controversy or the context, dude.


A lot of my work recently has been arranging training for staff to notice when someone is starting to fall down and signpost to support in a non-judgmental way.

There’s so much stigma in the workplace, mainly through ignorance and fear, it’s heartbreaking - Even my own company acknowledges the length of the journey they still have to go…


I quite like Joe Rogan. Surely podcasts like this encourage discussion (as does this thread) around mental health and that has to be a good thing?

As for the ‘suggestion’ that having form as a blue comedian means you couldn’t possibly comment on mental health in any seriousness or with any value, well quite frankly that’s horseshit.


I think a lot of people are agreeing on this thread but the issue, as pap has recognised, is that the thread title is provocative and misleading. Depression is clearly not a con. The treatment of it maybe money driven. I’m not sure why a subject as sensitive as mental health needs to have a provocative thread title to stimulate discussion. At best, it’s ill advised.


The most sensible post. Depression is a catch all term for any mental malaise.


That’s not the issue, and as I said, the thread is a question, not a statement. The answer is up to you, and we’ll deal the topic less service if we fret over the thread title instead of discussing the substance.

This is not Twitter. A scan read ain’t going to do it. My personal opinion is that @saintbristol has jumped the gun a bit, something I have personally done loads myself.


I overreacted sorry. It’s a sensitive subject.


I’m tired sorry and my ribs hurt :slight_frown:


Fair play, @saintbristol . It’s honestly not my intent to upset you. I’m not shopping for beef. I’ve seen depression up close and personal, and I could see the terrible toll it took on people in those moments.

I guess my main point is that if there are pragmatic solutions to depression that aren’t about rebalancing chemicals, we should always favour them, especially if they cure the problem instead of mitigating it.


Please see post No 3


Hey no worries Pap. It’s just the Subject title bothered me. I’m also guilty of starting subjects and posting in wrong threads! I just a got a bit triggered as the kids say.


Can we just get back to normal and start calling me a bellend?


Shut it Baz :laughing:



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.