People are talking much more about depression lately. Part of the reason why is that mental health stigma is lessening, leading to more people talking about it, and partly it’s because mental health is being researched and is in the news more. Whatever the reason as to why it’s happening, it couldn’t come at a better time.
The world is in tumult right now. If 2016 was a year of surprising votes and celebrity deaths, 2017 is about working out what to do now as things continue to happen around us. It’s a frightening thought and it can sometimes be all too much.
Depression-themed media, however, is experiencing somewhat of a surge. People are eager to talk about mental health because they want to know they’re not alone—that someone is feeling like they are. And if that person can hold on, then so can you.
The writer Matt Haig spoke about this when he revealed his reasons for writing ‘Reasons to Stay Alive’, his 2014 book. In it, he said he wrote it because he wished someone had said these things to him when he tried to kill himself at age 24. The book combines lists, short snippets of biography, small thoughts and reminders to galvanise those struggling with mental illness.
Even Broadway musicals are getting in on the act. The big winner at this year’s Tony awards, Dear Evan Hansen, is the story of a teenage boy whose classmate kills themselves and leaves the main character with doubts and questions as he tries to cope with the death. Adding to the conversation can only help. The mental health charity, Mind, suggests that 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem each year. Figures last reported in 2016 put those suffering with GAD, generalised anxiety disorder, at 5.9 in every 100 people, and mixed anxiety and depression at 7.8.
Medication is the most common treatment, but talking therapies such as CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) are excellent ways for patients to learn coping mechanisms that will stand them in good stead if they experience the same kind of problems again. Approximately 1 in 8 people are receiving treatment for mental health right now. But for those 7 who are not, some may be struggling more than others. Works talking about depression, and friends and family who discuss it openly, can help.
Who can I speak to further about mental health stigma?
For help with a potential mental health issue please speak to one of our therapists here at Private Therapy Clinic.