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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Depression often goes undiagnosed

One of the dumbest and least successful ways of committing suicide is by taking pills.  Surely it works sometimes, but more often than not someone will come around and find your butt and call an ambulance.  You'll end up in an emergency room. 

The same is true for alcohol abuse.  You end up in the emergency room, and you will be poked, prodded, puked, and maybe even tubed.  Doctors and nurses like to make you as miserable as possible so you don't do such a dunderhead thing again. 

Then when you are better you will end up in the psych unit at some hospital, and you will have to see a psychiatrist or psychologist.  You will be required to sit through counseling sessions.  Yes, you will be forfeiting some of your freedoms.  Whether this is right or not can be debated later. You will, hopefully, benefit as a result and hopefully not try to kill yourself again.

Hopefully you will realize that depression is a disease that can be treated.  It's normal to be depressed.  It's okay.  So don't take your life.  It's not worth it.  It's special.  Your life is special.  Your life is a gift.  You are a gift. You are special.  You are loved by someone, and that person will miss you. That person may blame himself.

But in your depression you probably fail to think how others think.  You may not care.  And you might take the misery the nurse and doctor put you through and make sure you do it right the next time.  But if you don't do it right, chances are that your doctors and nurses will simply think you are seeking attention.  And you will get attention in the psyche unit. Or, perhaps you ARE seeking attention.

And I don't think the psych unit is a bad thing.  Honestly, depression is a disease that can be treated.  And, while many people make fun of psych units, they are good.  They do good things.

Depression might simply be the most under diagnosed disease in the world.  It is because most often it goes unrecognized, and on the other hand the patient who is depressed is too embarrassed to say anything.  So the cycle continues.

Surely there are those people who abuse the system.  But for the other 80 percent, I think we need to take you more seriously.  I think we need to not throw everything at you. I think we ought to have a little more empathy, and treat you with respect and dignity (the way we'd treat you if you were one of us in trouble). 

I think one of the roles of respiratory therapists, nurses, and physicians should be to watch for the markers of depression, and a common one is silence.  We ought to do our part in trying to address this however we can, and perhaps the best remedy is kindness on our part.

Note: There was no research into this article.  This is merely an opinion. 


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