This past week there have been a great deal of damaging media stories about Depression. I am still amazed in this the 21st century, that some people do not acknowledge that Depression is a serious illness. Real diagnosed and sometimes non diagnosed Depression or Depressive Disorder can render some people unable to function properly. The story this past week has been dominated by the German wings airliner disaster. A horrible tragic story of the deaths of 150 people. The newspapers went mad. They relish in the horror of the then, unproven stories of the young pilot’s health issues. Before we really knew anything, whilst we were all still reeling from the horror of this nasty incident, while the families of the poor passengers were trying to come to terms with their deaths; the media grabbed anything that would make headlines.
They said the pilot was depressed. That he was taking antidepressant medication. That he hid this from his bosses. At this point no one actually knew this to be true but the stories kept coming. No thought for the family of the pilot, an innocent family who had lost a much-loved son. No thought for the families who were in shock at losing loved ones so tragically.The media were having a field day.
We still don’t know the truth and maybe we never will but my reason for today’s blog is the way the newspapers and radio and TV referred to this man’s depression. Almost as though, if he were depressed, he was a lesser person. As if being depressed is something to be ashamed of. The headlines disgustingly said he had murdered 149 passengers! It said he wanted to kill these people and himself. If and I emphasise, if, the pilot on the German plane that hit the mountain did commit suicide, he did not murder or kill 150 people intentionally. If he was wanting to end his life, his tunnel vision at that time would not have allowed him to think of anyone else. Just a way out of whatever pain he was in. My heart goes out to every one who has lost a loved one in this horrific incident, including the pilots family. If he was Depressed, I wonder why he couldn’t tell his employers? Stigma?
Depression as I said is a serious condition. In my opinion medication is not always the answer. Usually there is a reason for a person to be suffering from this horrid illness, blocking those reasons out with meds alone is never the answer. Antidepressants are mind altering. It is a well-known fact that some people taking them will experience suicidal thoughts.( As retold in NOBODY TOLD ME http://ccdgroupftp.co.uk/ch/ ) I just wish that we could all acknowledge this illness in the way we acknowledge and accept other illnesses like Diabetes, Epilepsy, cancer.
Everyone occasionally feels blue or sad. But these feelings are usually short-lived and pass within a couple of days. When you have depression, it interferes with daily life and causes pain for both you and those who care about you. Depression is a common but serious illness.
Looking on Twitter the past few days I see the ‘journalist’ or whatever she likes to call herself ,Katie Hopkins has been having a field day talking about things she obviously has no first hand knowledge of. Depression.
“UK has seen a 500% growth in anti-depressants since 1991. Like being bullied, being depressed is a fashionable thing to be”
“Sympathy for the co-pilot is making me angry. If you are suicidal, for goodness sake top yourself in private. Attention seeking b*stards.”
“Prescriptions for a anti-depressants have gone up by 400% in America over a 10 yr period. Golly, depression must be catching….” Read my book Ms Hopkins!!
“To be diagnosed as depressed is the holy grail of illnesses for many. The ultimate passport to self obsession. Get a grip people”
I know nothing about this woman and don’t wish to but she obviously enjoys upsetting people. That’s okay when it doesn’t hurt anyone. Making stupid remarks such as those above, can damage patients suffering from this nasty illness. They can set the fight for acknowledgement and understanding of such illness back years. Illnesses such as Depression, Anxiety, PTSD etc are sometimes still thought of as something to be ashamed of. Illnesses that are not real illnesses. Believe me, Depression is very real! I in 4 people in the UK will suffer some kind of Mental illness in their lifetime. So take care Ms Hopkins, you may be one of them!!
I would have liked to say all of this to her but I won’t give her the satisfaction of knowing how her thoughtless, unkind and dare I say misinformed and ignorant Twitter posts offend and anger me.
We and I mean everyone, needs to understand the great difficulties people suffering from Depression and other Mental Health issues suffer because of ignorant bigoted self-centered people like Hopkins. She needs to grow up and accept that these illnesses are serious, they are not-self inflicted, they are not pretend, they are real and can change a person’s whole life. No one wants Diabetes, no ne wants cancer, no one wants epilepsy and no one wants DEPRESSION!! It is life changing and can ruin your life and that of those around you. The illness itself can render a person suicidal. The medication in some cases can do the same. Suicide is a last resort. Think how desperate someone must feel to take their own life. Suicidal intention, makes the victim unaware of the world around him. Unaware of the results of the act they are contemplating. It gives a victim tunnel vision and nothing else enters their head. That is the only possible way anyone could commit suicide. I don’t believe any suicide victim wants to harm anyone else. It is only about their own pain ending. (Not including suicidal terrorists in this)
So the remarks above made by the ignorant self loving Ms H. are unforgivable. As for telling depressed people to “get a grip!” Maybe one day in the shoes of a depressed patient might just change her mind. But I doubt it, she appears to be self obsessed and think she is always right. In this instance, as a psychotherapist who works with Depression at all stages and all kinds and as a past sufferer, I know she isn’t.
Well that rant over. Book news!
NOBODY TOLD ME is awaiting a publisher to take it to the High Street.
THE FACE BEHIND THE SCREEN may be published in a very big women’s magazine, photos and names maybe as well. Still deciding. I DID TELL has now sold more than 90,000 copies and that makes me very pleased. Don’t forget to check these out on my website http://www.cassieharte.com and if you read them, please leave a review.
Have a wonderful week ahead and take care on here, remember the Jade Wood saga. xxx