Tuesday, April 21, 2009

House... depression... don't freak out

It always amazes me when people can talk about being depressed in large crowds of people, or even in small crowds of people. Blogging about it can be either, but it's disconnected because you don't have to look into anyone's eyes while typing it. Sometimes it's hard to separate the attention seekers from the truly depressed.

I posit this: it's the people who don't talk about it, who seem "fine" and tell you as much that are the ones we should focus on.

I don't know if you watch House, but in a recent episode, one of the doctors on House's team committed suicide due to depression and everyone was completely shocked because no one knew that he was depressed, no one even guessed it! The whole episode showed House trying to prove Kutner was murdered because House didn't want to accept that Kutner was depressed and everyone had missed it for the past two years. It wasn't until the very end of the episode that House seemed to finally accept Kutner's depression and his own failure to see it.

Here are some stats:

  • Depressive disorders affect approximately 18.8 million American adults or about 9.5% of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year.
  • Everyone, will at some time in their life be affected by depression -- their own or someone else's, according to Australian Government statistics. (Depression statistics in Australia are comparable to those of the US and UK.)
  • 15% of the population of most developed countries suffers severe depression
  • 30% of women are depressed. Men's figures were previously thought to be half that of women, but new estimates are higher.
  • 54% of people believe depression is a personal weakness
  • 41% of depressed women are too embarrassed to seek help
  • 80% of depressed people are not currently having any treatment
  • 15% of depressed people will commit suicide
  • Chronic or life-long (endogenous) depression is caused by trauma in childhood which includes: emotional, physical or sexual abuse; yelling or threats of abuse; neglect (even two parents working); criticism; inappropriate or unclear expectations; maternal separation; conflict in the family; divorce; family addiction; violence in the family, neighborhood or TV; racism and poverty

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