Recently, I went to the doctor. After a few blood tests, a couple of rather amateur forms and a quick chat I was diagnosed with something bizarrely known as “depression”. The doctor said t... »
Interesting article, worth a read!
Recently, I went to the doctor. After a few blood tests, a couple of rather amateur forms and a quick chat I was diagnosed with something bizarrely known as “depression”. The doctor said their tests confirmed that I had probably suffered from “severe depression” from my early childhood brought on by childhood trauma.
Hmm… OK, I thought. Bit confused but let’s try to work this one through. My father left when I was around 6 years old. He went to work one day and never came back. He tried to commit suicide in front of me twice by slitting his wrists and when one day my mother told me they’d been in contact again and were planning on re-marrying, my father decided it would be a good idea to get married to a Thai women in the interim period. For my 12th birthday he kindly sent me pics of the wedding and caused my Mum to completely lose what she had regained over the past few years.
So yes, the diagnosis rang true in that respect. Where it did not ring true was my life. I’d travelled the world, lived in 40 countries, spoke 3 languages, had trained as a commercial pilot and passed every psychological test with flying colours. Yes, I’d also partied way too much and had trouble with long term relationships but “depressed”? Before my aviation days I’d spent many years as the top salesperson for a chemicals conglomerate. I managed 30 sales people, sometimes well and sometimes not so well but does this sound like someone who’s depressed?
My point is this: why do we call “depression” “depression”?
Apparently, I suffer with a chemical imbalance. That imbalance can be addressed via medication and/or diet, and/or Jesus. The problem is that half the nation these days seems to be suffering from “depression” and if you’re a Tottenham supporter (which I’m not) that will surely come with the territory…
Whether your brain is slightly broken or your body suffers from an imbalance of chemicals, a state that feels a lot like being “depressed” is not you actually being “depressed”.
If I think about sad things day in day out I will eventually become “depressed”. If I have a chemical imbalance I will experience something that feels like I’m “depressed” but I’m actually not “depressed” at all.
So why on earth do we insist on calling “depression” “depression”?
If I get a bad cold or flu we call it a bad cold or flu. By the thesis that calls “depression” “depression” we should not give the illness a name but instead call it by it’s symptoms. Therefore, a cold should rightly be called “snotty, throat on fire, sweating, can’t do anything disease”.
Gonorrhoea should rightly be called “burning ball disease”? And PMS? Well, you take your pick!
Because “depression” is the one illness which seems to have been named after it’s symptom, 99% of the world’s population seem to be confused as to what it is or how to best deal with it. Can you imagine if we’d done something similar with cancer?
Would it really be too much to ask doctors, and those in the medical profession, to come forward and label this debilitating illness in a way that would not cause prejudice and misunderstanding? Come on guys, we’ve got enough on our plates!