" Even though internally I am a hot mess, on the outside my appearance is the same."
- Patrice Bendig
Depression is an illness not a weakness. Almost 20 per cent of Canadians experience a mood disorder at some point in their lives. Approximately 8% of adults will experience major depression at some time in their lives.
The economic cost of mental illnesses in Canada for the health care system was estimated to be at least $7.9 billion in 1998 – $4.7 billion in care, and $3.2 billion in disability and early death. An additional $6.3 billion was spent on uninsured mental health services and time off work for depression and distress that was not treated by the health care system.
Depression is an illness that can be treated. Support from family, friends, co-workers and self-help groups can also make a big difference in how well and how quickly the person with depression recovers.
Patrice Bendig has bravely written an article that provides an unusually penetrating insight into the battle with her depression. If you know someone who is afflicted by depression or are suffering from the illness, this article is well worth the read.