Is society tolerante of clinical depression ?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by MAJOR METAL, Dec 29, 2007.


    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    Is society tolerante of clinical depression ? From what I have seen I would have to say no but it is mostly due to ignorance and lack of empathy.
  2. I'd say probably, although I feel that it's often overdiagnosed on the wrong people and underdiagnosed in those who have it. Perhaps it's part of American society to expect everything to be fixed by pills. I don't think adequate counseling is utilized.
  3. Jeff Martinez

    Jeff Martinez

    May 10, 2005
    Denver, CO
    Most mental health issues are largely misunderstood by the masses. Someone very close to me is currently struggling with depression, extreme anxiety, and a touch of agoraphobia. Most people just think that she should just "get over it" and get back to normal. It's not that easy. the problem is, that she looks like the same person everyone knows. It's not a like a broken leg, where a cast makes it quite obvious that you are injured. Most folks aren't inclined to be sympathetic to someone who looks "fine".
  4. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Shaker Heights, OH
    society has a stigma towards those with mental illness. they treat them as if they are "wrong" or "messed up" when in fact the majority of the global population has some sort of mental illness. "normal" is actually the minority.

    I have a degree in Psych, so this is a subject very close to my heart.
  5. I dont think its looked down on.

    What is looked down on is how it is so over diagnosed/the lack of better methods to diagnose it.
  6. I agree. It also seems to be propagated by the drug manufacturers. It's funny how the TV ads work now. They throw out the possiblility that you have some sort of affliction and they have the magic medication for it. You go to the Doctor to ask about the medication :confused:

    I feel like someone is watching me :ninja: Doctor, I think I need some Xanex :rollno:
  7. It works, it plays on hypochondriacs and paranoid types.

    Granted it costs ALOT of money to make a drug, and it takes alot of time aswell, but I still dont think the drug companies should be forcing it down peoples necks. (though granted, its not something ive ever noticed over here, but i was aware when i was in the US)
  8. OMG, do you think I might be a hypochondriac? I think I might have that. :p
  9. Dude, i'll PM you a number to call, ive been diagnosed as being a case of terminal hypochondriac :bawl:
  10. Scarlet Fire

    Scarlet Fire

    Mar 31, 2007
    New England
    I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, and I can tell you, it's extremely obnoxious to listen to what some people way about it. Granted, I'm in high school, so people are bound to be insensitive about it, but some of the stuff I've heard is just absolutely insulting.

    The worst part about it, though, is that these people who are so judgmental and insensitive have no idea what Major Depression actually is. To them, I'm just psychotic.
  11. I thought my way out of depression. Mind over matter.

  12. SpankyPants

    SpankyPants That's Mr. SpankyPants to you.

    Aug 24, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    I agree wholeheartedly. Usually, someone is said to incurred an injury. He broke his leg. He had a cold. He has the flu.

    However, mental illnesses become the person. He is OCD. He is Bi-polar.

    The masses absolutely don't understand mental illness in general. Unless you've experienced it first hand (whether you have been afflicted or you've been close to someone else who has), it's very hard to conceptualize.

    For example, iamlowsound just said he "thought" his way out of depression. Now, I'm not a mental healthcare professional, nor was I around for his "depression," but in my experience, a real depression isn't something you can just will away by thought. Depression is a very heavy, serious illness that takes much time and (usually) treatment to overcome. However, when healthy people become sad and easily get over it, they don't understand how that would be nigh impossible for someone who is struggling with an actual illness.

    It all stems from a lack of awareness and understanding. People are also quick to forget how hard it was. I've seen people go from a low place to being healthy again, and still they have no empathy for others who are dealing with the same issues. They figure "I did it. It got over it. It wasn't that hard." Well, we all have 20/20 hindsight. In retrospect, we can all pretend like we overcame the depression ourselves, without help. We saved ourselves! We are our own hero! But in reality that is a far cry from the truth.

    This is IME and IMO of course.
  13. Ive heard of a few people doing that, nice one :)

    Thats high school for you, people will always find some way to drag someone else down. Im sure when you are free of it, you will be able to look back and understand why some people are judgemental, from my high school days i remember about 1/3rd to 1/2 the class was "depressed", its easy for people to tar everything with the same brush, when the majority of what is going on is just teen angst and moody-ness. Im not condoning it, its just what happens.

    Hope things clear up for you sooner than later though :)
  14. i published a book on some related topics in 2006. here are a few things to consider.

    according to the national institute of mental health, there are about 19 million people in the US who suffer from depression. nimh spends well in excess of $200 million per year on research directly relevant to depression (mostly genetic and pharmaceutical research). and they have a pretty good awareness campaign for the most part. so, it seems that (in the US anyway) tolerance is getting better.

    [at least for depression. other mental illnesses are tolerated much less (if awareness and willingness to fund research are a reliable indicator of "tolerance"). for example, there are about 27 million americans with eating disorders, but nimh only spends $21 million per year researching those conditions - and eating disorders are much more lethal than depression]

    conservatively, nimh estimates that at least 25% of the US population has some kind of mental illness. tolerance is something we should expect really. not only because it reflects compassion and human decency, but also because our society actually breeds depression (and eating disorders, etc.). social and psychological anthropologists are able to confirm quite easily that what we call "mental illness" is an artifact of western european culture. that is, to the extent that a population becomes "westernized," so also does it manifest "mental illness." outside the parameters and boundaries (geographical and temporal) of western culture, mental illness is virtually unknown.

    when you think about it, this makes sense. if you were able to design a culture (i.e. - put in place all its norms, values, practices, political economy, etc.) and you wanted to do this in such a way as to guarantee that as much of the population as possible would end up mentally ill, wouldn't the present version of euro-american culture suit that (perverse) task quite well?
  15. Visirale


    Mar 23, 2003
    I think society is almost too tolerant of it. My mom is a professional counselor and says she's one of the only women her age that ISN'T on some sort of mood-altering pill. We have pills for everything... and we're not afraid to give them to people. And those people aren't afraid to tell everyone that they are on them. People drop labels like it's nothing.

    I don't know we're in a complicated state of things. I want to be a counselor after I finish 7 more years of school (ugh). Part of me wanted to be a psychiatrist and make the big money, but I really want to not rely on pills unless they're absolutely necessary... people don't want to work out problems anymore. They just want to pop a pill and feel good.
  16. I actually think that sadness is being looked down upon. Lots of people seem to think that you can just stop being depressed, as if your doing it by choice. I really hate it because I am sick of acting so damn happy all the time.
  17. Don't act happy, be happy.

  18. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Inactive

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    I guess so.
  19. Not to say I am never happy. But there definately are times when it just feels right to be sad.

    To be happy all the time though..... well, that would just be grand.
  20. To be happy all the time wouldnt be human.

    Theres a big difference between being depressed or a bit down than being clinically depressed. I can feel depressed about the workload ive got, but that doesnt make clinical depression.