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Old 24.09.2012, 14:05
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Mental Health

HI,

I recently lost a friend to suicide. (Im 26 for info)

It sparked many talks with my friends about mental health, addiction, suicide, depression etc.

I was seriously suprised to hear peoples views on Mental Health. A shocking backwards view.

My town has a huge Psychiatric Hospical in it. It was one of the main employeers in town . . . so i assumed thateveryone would have a better understanding of peoples needs.

I think it was different for me because my parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles, siblings, cousins etc are all psychiatric nurses. . . So i thankfully grew up with a greater understanding of positive mental health.

It just so happened about the same time our News Station had a few facts about depression in ireland...
54% of people believe depression is a personal weakness
There was also stats saying over 50% of employeers wouldnt hire some one (They knew) had depression
And more stats that followed those lines- Basically saying we are all ignorant and its true!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, basically i was wondering how you were brought up to view mental health and/or depression?

Niamh.
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Old 24.09.2012, 14:40
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Re: Mental Health

I'm so sorry for your loss Niamh.

My father had a break-down about thirty years ago (thankfully he is fine now), his mother suffered from depression and a couple of his aunties had electric shock treatment (many many years ago) for depression.
My two sisters are both on anti-depressants, I am the only sister not to have had serious depression, though I have had my moments (!)
I do not think depression is a weakness, it can be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, a familial problem, or by what life throws at us, or a combination of these things.
People who appear to be confident and strong can suffer from this terrible illness, sometimes life simply becomes too hard to cope with.
People generally need to be educated about mental illnesses, to understand that those with a history of depression are not 'nut cases' but people with an illness, which like many physical illnesses, need understanding, treatment and care, and not to be ignored and ostracised.
My sisters are both happy, grounded, beautiful, 'normal' girls who simply needed someone to listen to them, and a little help from the professionals as well as their loved ones, to enable them to live their lives, enjoy their families, and hold down responsible jobs.
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Old 24.09.2012, 15:29
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Re: Mental Health

Sorry for your loss, Niamh.

Not sure how to clearly view depression since it seems to always be a mix of so many factors and we don't know unless the person receives some in depth therapy and a series of check ups, if it is in fact a symptom of something or a cause of something else. It seems to be a civilisational ailment, something that certain people tend to suffer while it feels the whole environment and structure around them should have been changed to they wouldn't become the "designated patients", being the ones loaded up with chemicals while everything else, which is in fact malfunctioning, keeps going on..

I think I tend to dislike when people get treated for depression the traditional way, ie supressing the symptoms medically, without treating the cause. My best friend jumped off the rock when we were 20 and I am still trying to see if there was any way to help. I can see depression in young people, and often it is them being allienated and neglected. Depression and shutting off seems to be linked.

I also think we put too much emphasis on being happy at all times and not recognising regular need for melancholy a as a normal thing. When people are close, pathological sadness might be harder to grow. If somebody is depressed, be with them. Not necessarily talk or push them to talk. Sometimes that's enough.
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Old 24.09.2012, 15:45
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Re: Mental Health

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Sorry for your loss, Niamh.

Not sure how to clearly view depression since it seems to always be a mix of so many factors and we don't know unless the person receives some in depth therapy and a series of check ups, if it is in fact a symptom of something or a cause of something else. It seems to be a civilisational ailment, something that certain people tend to suffer while it feels the whole environment and structure around them should have been changed to they wouldn't become the "designated patients", being the ones loaded up with chemicals while everything else, which is in fact malfunctioning, keeps going on..

I think I tend to dislike when people get treated for depression the traditional way, ie supressing the symptoms medically, without treating the cause. My best friend jumped off the rock when we were 20 and I am still trying to see if there was any way to help. I can see depression in young people, and often it is them being allienated and neglected. Depression and shutting off seems to be linked.

I also think we put too much emphasis on being happy at all times and not recognising regular need for melancholy a as a normal thing. When people are close, pathological sadness might be harder to grow. If somebody is depressed, be with them. Not necessarily talk or push them to talk. Sometimes that's enough.
I agree with Music Chick here.

In this age of "instant communication" we have lost the art of "real" communication - making time to just listen to others, without judgement.

It is very important to be aware when a person, any person, needs to "just talk", and to make the time for this.
Very rarely will a person jump right in with their problems, they need to lead around to what is actually worrying them - to feel their way, so to speak, about how the other person is actually receiving them, before opening up and being honest.

People usually wear "masks". Only when one person removes their mask, does the other remove theirs. The one "hiding behind their mask" is waiting to see how "safe" it is to remove theirs.

I learned this in a self-improvement course many years ago, and it`s helped me in my "granny" status, to deal with grandchildren, who will be more open when accepted with their so-called "faults" and offered understanding/acceptance, as a way to work thru their problems.

Parents are usually too busy to make this time often enough. I know, I was a "too busy" parent once upon a time.

Suicides? If the person did not seek out, or find, someone to talk to, there is nothing anyone can do to help. It was a decision they took, on their own. Just like any decisions any of us make.
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Old 24.09.2012, 18:20
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Re: Mental Health

Sorry for your loss. Sorry for the soul who left.

I agree with what people said previously and I'd like to add that :

Depression is something serious and it's also something difficult to understand, even for specialists.
I've been there, slowly until it becomes a phobia.
Communication is important, but well, you need to have people who can communicate, who can understand what you're going through.

Some will do their best to help, but has they don't understand they make things worse.
The worst are the parents who don't understand and act as you were just I don't know, lazy ?
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Old 24.09.2012, 18:38
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Re: Mental Health

I am so sorry about your friend.

The trouble with depression is that unlike a physical illness you cannot see that a sufferer has it.
I have been a sufferer all my life and most times have hid behind a smiley face mask - I have tried most things and rather than go down the route that sadly seems to be often offered (tablets) find that other things work better for me - but they do have their place in certain circumstances.

What is a tragedy is how many young people suffer - especially young men - I think that not many people understand the pressures that young people are put under these days. I have seen it in a friend of my son whose self esteem was so low he felt such a failure and this was always drummed into him by his parents. I remember asking him once a deep question when he burst into tears and after a hug we chatted for a long time about his feelings - he said that just talking made him feel better but of course for a lot of young men it would seem like a weakness.

I think these days that there is not so much of a stigma attached to mental illness - so many people suffer silently when expressing their feelings can make them feel so much better.
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Old 25.09.2012, 13:28
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Re: Mental Health

Everyone, thank you for your replies and your courage to speak up..

I think (in my town back home) it has become an epidemic! About 8,000 people in my town and 6 suicides in as many weeks! Thats just in the last few weeks and not to mention the last year

We were always brought up with the idea that something like depression was like a broken bone... and should be treated with the same care.

I am so thankful to my parents to have the education i have.I think my friends find it easier to talk t me because i dont have the prejudice..

During the same vaction home one of my girlfriends told me her fiance will be going to see a councelor... he lost his adoptive mother & father and his best friend in the space of two years... It took him untill he was really drunk to tell her.

I think its just so sad

There were talks about bringing people into secondry school (High school?) to discuss and educate people about mental health. Oh I hope hope hope it happens!
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Old 25.09.2012, 14:13
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Re: Mental Health

Men IMHO are particularly affected as they're expected to be the family's cornerstone and it's, sometimes, particularly a heavy burden to carry

What makes matters worse is that assuming one's weaknesses is treated as taboo. Even before one's closest friends.

So whoever dares to talk about it is doomed to bear the reputation. A weakling one
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Old 25.09.2012, 14:17
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Re: Mental Health

I had depression once. Not something I'd wish on my worst enemy.

An author described depression like this: You put a pen into your shirt pocket. It leaks. The only possible solution is to kill youself.
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Old 26.09.2012, 13:26
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Re: Mental Health

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An author described depression like this: You put a pen into your shirt pocket. It leaks. The only possible solution is to kill youself.
Wow.

Yep, i agree tevion.You make a good point.

Unfortunately ots seen as a sign of weakness and that needs to change.
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