Although organisations such as The Black Dog Institute and Beyond Blue conduct extensive advertising programs, there is still so much ignorance out there in relation to depression and anxiety.
(I have grouped anxiety with depression because many of those who suffer depression also suffer from anxiety).
Having suffered depression for a number of years, and talking openly about it with others, it still baffles me the ignorance of people in society at large about these illnesses. Because they are illnesses. They are not a figment of our imaginations or ‘works of the devil’. There are many causes for both.
Not everything has a rational explanation (although there are many in society who would like to have something to blame).
Depression and anxiety are real to those who suffer them.
Following are some real life quotes taken from actual conversations that I have had with others and from the comments sections within newspaper articles on social media. The comments come from a cross section of those who suffer from anxiety and depression and those who have no idea what it is like.
“I can’t talk about it much because people just don’t get it”
“We used to roll our eyes when (a colleague) took time off work for stress and anxiety but now I know what it feels like I’m sorry I ever did that”
“The government needs to be more supportive and treat this illness like any other. They subsidise 10 counsellor sessions per year! Then what do we do for the next 10 months???”
“You say it is harder for men to speak up ! I say it’s hard for men and women to speak up and admit they need help !! It’s not easy for anyone ever!!”
“You never really ‘get over’ depression”
“Why do people think we can just ‘get over it’? Would they say that to someone with cancer”?
“I have always been a strong person but within the last 7 years something happened to change that and now I have anxiety and depression and deal with it on a daily basis..Since been diagnosed some people treat you like you have the plague or something. I think they are scared to talk to me just in case they set me off. People with depression need you to treat them as you did before as that can make them worse. I am almost the same person as before just sometimes a little quieter. Be there and listen to them you just don’t know that by you listening helps get them through another day…”
“But you can change your life style and therefore get rid of anxiety and therefore it’s treatable! It is treatable!”
“They tell you to exercise and they are right. I feel great when I exercise. But what happens when my brain is telling me that I will be safer just laying on the lounge”?
“I’ve got anxiety and it’s hard to keep it under control because I’m living in a society with people who are either psychopaths or sociopaths – and they are both two tough crowds to talk to with zero empathy.”
“There needs to be a massive education campaign on both anxiety and stress. Their attributes, the seriousness of each and their relationship to depression. As a former sufferer I know from experience how important this is.”
” I had a doctor (ex boyfriend) mock me when I spoke about anxiety. He thought it was a crock. What hope do the rest of us have when a doctor does not believe in it???”
“it’s a creation of your circumstances adherent to the system, no such thing exists. They just want big pharma to sell more pills”
” The cure is worse than the disease.The disease is growing because of our Laws and Politicians. Our way of life is full of fear, if you can’t see it take your blinders off.”
“Dont agree with any pschology its a creation of the left. If people treated each other with more consideration and love world might be a better place”
“Its a mental illness now? Cool, psychologists and psychiatrists everywhere are planning their next overseas holiday. No doubt Big Pharma will release a mind altering drug to help people deal with this illness.” (in response to an article about Anxiety being labelled as a mental illness)
“It’s basically a result of the. “It’s not my fault generation’. It’s somebody else’s fault”
“NO depression or mental illness for those who trust the Lord”
There is still so much to be learned.
I shake my head.