Category Archives: Depression

Antidepressants work, but there is a better way to break the cycle of harm | Mike Shooter

Pills may help adults, but most depression has its roots in our early years, and listening to children could stop it before it begins

Sian was just 14, brought by her misery to the edge of self-harm, when I met her in a cafe at the top end of one of the old mining valleys. Neutral ground. She told me about her rugby-playing older brother and her bright little sister who had lots of pets and wanted to be a vet. She felt that her parents doted on them and that there could be no room in anyone’s heart for her. She told me about her only friend, who had been killed in a road accident just as they went up to big school. About the recent death of her grandmother, who had been the only person she could confide in. And about the GP who had said she was depressed and given her a course of pills.

I thought about Sian again this week. The newspaper headlines across the world were welcoming a major study that confirmed the value of antidepressant medication in the treatment of depression in adults. And so did I. Depression was validated at long last as an illness every bit as serious as physical conditions, that could cause untold human suffering and economic devastation, but could be helped with a course of antidepressant pills.

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Source: gad

Antidepressants work – but we need to talk, too | Rhik Samadder

A study proving the effectiveness of medication was no surprise. But the news that talking therapies can be as effective as drugs was a striking detail

The results of a comprehensive, six-year study confirmed last week what I’ve known a long time: antidepressants work. I know this because half the people I know are on them – and that’s only the half I know about. Antidepressants saved my life, they tell me, and I believe them. I don’t say: “The only thing you’ve swallowed is propaganda, mate, straight from Big Pharma’s chalky teat.” I would have to be a maniac to do that. And I’m not a maniac. At least, not in that way.

I’ve been on antidepressants at various points in my life. And I’ve always been one of the 80% who come off them within a month, looking for another way. I quickly tire of the tweaking of drugs and dosages required to find the appropriate prescription. I freak out at the initial side-effects – the flaccidness in my brain, the lack of ideas in my underpants. More than that, I’ve always had been uncomfortable accepting there is something medically wrong with me.

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Source: gad

Dismayed to discover a bear behind at the Baftas

This week I pondered awards shows, curling, fashion, antidepressants and ‘managed ambitious divergence’

Monday

I’ve never seen the attraction of awards events on TV. Especially when there is a new episode of Endeavour and a new series of Homeland starting on the other channels at the same time. So it wasn’t hard for me to give the Baftas a miss on Sunday night. There’s only so much confected hysteria I can take. And it’s all so predictable. First the shots of stars, whose faces are vaguely familiar, but whose names all too often escape me, arriving on the red carpet.

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Source: gad

If I can come back from wanting to kill myself, so can others

Peer-to-peer support was the key to my recovery. Now I run a charity where I use my experience to help others with mental health problems

When I was a child, my mum said I had a depressive personality. I was prone to low periods that intensified as I reached adulthood and when I started my police career.

There was and still is a huge stigma around mental health, so I, like many others, tried to mask it in the hope it would go away. In secret, I visited my GP for what they thought was clinical depression, worried that my job as a detective would be compromised. I managed to convince other people that I was living a normal and successful life, but behind closed doors I was living a different story – just about managing to cope with my depressive episodes. When in a manic phase, I couldn’t sleep and would work 18-hour days. I wasn’t really looking at the evidence that I had a serious mental illness.

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Source: gad

Perfectionism is destroying the mental health of my millennial generation | Daisy Buchanan

It began at school, with A-star expectations and a horror of failure. Now we’re on social media platforms, locked into a game of mutually assured depression

During many job interviews, it’s common to be asked: “What’s your biggest weakness?” It’s a horrible question to respond to on the spot. We know it’s a trick, and the answer isn’t: “Sometimes it takes me more than two hours to stop looking at my phone and get dressed after a shower,” or: “I spend my free time constructing elaborate revenge fantasies.”

The cheat’s answer of choice, the panicky pick that puts you in a better light than the truth might, is along the lines of: “I’m a perfectionist.”

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Source: gad

‘I slept in a hospital toilet’: the UK’s hidden youth homelessness crisis – video

Young people who become homeless often find themselves in a chain of misfortune, forced into unsafe situations with little help from the state. Thomas Korpiela, Ann O’Shea, Kirk Rogers and Brookemorgan Henry-Rennie share their experiences of dealing with mental health issues  and surviving on the streets. They describe how the charities Depaul and Centrepoint helped them get their lives back on track 

• Help us break the chain. Donate to the Guardian’s Christmas charity appeal

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Source: gad