Member Speeches/Articles /Achievements

Broken brain

The reason for the title is that I would like you to consider that the brain is an organ of the body such as a leg or arm. Many of those who have little understanding or impatience with depression say to those suffering depression is “snap out of it”. The person uttering these words is attempting to distance themselves from the emotional effect they would experience in engaging with the person with a mental problem. Would any of you tell someone who has a broken leg to “snap out of it”?
It is easy to empathise with someone who has an illness or injury. I am sorry about sprained ankle. I am sorry about you broken brain (?) Doesn’t really work, does it?
For those who do suffer from depression, the world looks very different. The blazing sun has no heat the richest red rose is grey and without perfume. There is no joy in anything. In severe cases, the depressed person is at the bottom of a deep, dark hole with no way out.
For those who are close to a depressed person, many are exasperated and feel emotionally drained. The person closest to the depressed will be targeted. The depressed person will not know how to alleviate the depressant will tend to blame the circumstances, the people close by and life in general. Professional help may be needed.
I would like to compare a depressed person with a black hole described in physics and astronomy. If you stay far away there is little understanding of the condition of the black hole. If you get too close, you will be sucked in and can be destroyed. Your loved one is in this deep dark hole and needs your help to get out.
You have little pebbles of love in heart, we all do. Stay far enough away so that you are not dragged in, but close enough so that you can feel the effect and toss these little love pebbles in. The pebbles will form a rising floor which the depressed person may step on and slowly rise from total darkness to the bright world. With clinical depression, the depressed person will fall into another deep dark hole and will need more of those pebbles.
The reason that most people reject the depressed person that it s a matter of emotional survival for the non-depressed person. Psychologists and psychiatrists also do not fully understand depression. As research continues, the more that is discovered about the brain, the more avenues of doubt are opened up.
Famous people that have suffered from some form of depression are:
Abraham Lincoln
Virginia Woolf
Tennessee Williams
Van Gogh
Vivien Leigh
Charles Dickens
Robin Williams
Spike Milligan
Symptoms of a depressive include:
Persistently sad
Loss of interest
Hopelessness (it will not succeed)
Worthlessness (I have nothing to give)
Appetite change
Drugs and excessive alcohol use
Suicidal tendencies
Unable to concentrate, remember or decide
Persistent illnesses
Social deterioration
The estimate from surveys is that 20% of people will suffer from major depression at some stage, twice as women as men. This is understandable as you women have to deal with us men. 2% of children become depressed. 5% of adolescents become depressed. There are contributing factors such as abuse, neglect, assault or bereavement.
85% of mothers experience temporary depression known as baby blues which starts 2 days after the birth and ending 2 weeks after the birth. Sometimes this persists and may need medication.
80 to 90% of those with depression respond to treatment. The effects are sometimes not evident for 6 weeks. It is important that the medicine is continued for up to 6 weeks. The first medicine might not work and an alternative might have to be tried.
A broken leg will take 6 weeks to mend. A broken brain will take longer, maybe it will stay a lifetime as diabetes or many other illnesses
For those who are fortunate enough not to suffer from depression, keep those pebbles of love in your heart to give to those who need them.
Mr Toastmaster