Monday, December 9, 2013

IS GOVERNMENT DOING ENOUGH TO KEEP THE BLACK DOG ON A LEASH?


Bonnie Belic’s article in Saturday's The Telegram on the impacts of depression, the stigma it still carries and society’s poor response to the magnitude of the scourge makes for some eye-opening reading.

One in ten people in Canada will experience an episode of major depressive disorder. 

It is the elephant in the room. The continued ignorance about mental health issues is perplexing.

Depression is a social dilemma.

Society has advanced miles but there is a long way to go. Is treatment a government priority? I do not think so. There are lots of studies, lots task forces and compassionate speeches but not enough tangible resources are being put in place to help individuals and families that are afflicted.

Over the past couple of years I have become a mental health consumer. It is a daily chore to get out of bed, to go to work, to focus, to finish things.

I have a vibrant healthy, well-adjusted family. It should be all Blue skies! 

We are better off than most, yet the old black dog has become my constant companion preventing me from always enjoying the abundance of love, support and material well being that surround me.

At first I was ashamed and afraid to ask for help. I felt it was a character flaw, laziness and a weakness – something I could snap out of, or just shake off in time.

The article on the weekend hit home.
 
My family and I have seen first hand what depression is.  It is a real medical condition.  It has had emotional, social, professional and family repercussions.

Depression is stubborn. It is like being stuck in quicksand - a seemingly intractable stuck-ness. It takes an incredible effort to do anything under the burden of it’s weight.

Managing the old black dog has meant lifestyle changes including better nutrition, proper sleep and exercise.  Finding the desire and the time to keep the three in balance is a complicated chore. While in  practice it has proven to be beneficial, the regime can be difficult to keep up. 

Balancing a three leg stool can be a challenge.

If you think you may be suffering from depression, see a doctor as soon as possible; only a doctor can diagnose depression and recommend appropriate treatment.

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