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I’m fed up about the way the media portrays depression when writing about it. Even media I trust and respect show the stereotypical ‘head in hands’ shot when illustrating articles about mental illness, and some charities that should know better do the same on their websites.

A recent article about depression and mental illness did just this. Ironically, the same newspaper champions wider understanding of mental health issues, apparently this information hasn’t reached the picture editor’s desk.

People who suffer with depression (or any other mental illness), are not necessarily in despair, and most are walking, talking, fully functioning members of society.

Between 10 and 20% of the people you know are struggling with psychological or emotional difficulties that can be classified as ‘mental illness’. In most cases you don’t know about it because they choose to keep it to themselves.

See also

MIND, How Many People Have Mental Health Problems?

 

2 Responses to “Depression Isn’t a Picture”

  1. Wow Barry, you hit it on the nail. After opening up about my years of depression I was amazed at how many of my friends, colleagues, and just acquaintance’s opened up about “their” depression. Some had much worse experiences than I have had and I have been humbled that all it took was a few words out of my mouth to get them to open up, some for the first time ever. Most depressed people look and act “normal”, and we never know what is going on behind the scenes. The most rewarding thing about being open…we all feel much better!

     
  2. Thanks Sue, an affirming comment. I think that normalising depression as a part of life can only be helpful. The more people are confident about doing it, the more role models there are for others who might be feeling alone or ‘outside’.

     

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