Thursday, September 28, 2017

Depression is a Disease, Not a Human Failing

I see these memes on Facebook every now and then. And they piss me off. Here's an example:

This comes from ignorance and the belief that depression is a human failing, not a disease. You might as well label the forest as "This is a cure for cancer" and chemotherapy drugs as "shit."

(Full disclosure: Prozac is not my favorite anti-depression drug. But it's been around for 30 years and better drugs have come along since.)

Now I try not to argue on Facebook (anymore). So I don't argue with the people. But next time I see one of these ignorant memes, I might post this (that I found Googleing to find the above meme):

Depression is a disease. That's why they call it "mental illness" not "mental weakness." Yes, you can have a bad day and be situationally depressed and a walk in a forest may help you. But if you are chronically depressed, you have a disease and you need drugs. There is no shame in it, there is no moral failing. You were born that way (probably inherited it from a parent or two).

I'm type 2 bipolar with dysthymia. Which means, without drugs, I'm depressed a lot (with occasional bursts of mania). The drugs literally saved my life.

So don't tell people to go for a walk when they have a disease. Including depression.

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