The Independent is carrying an article about the current incidence of depression in the UK.
Once upon a time, England’s third richest man shocked the world by admitting he was suffering from depression. “About eight years ago I hit the buffers – it came totally out of the blue. One day, I woke up and couldn’t get out of bed. I thought, OK, I’ll be better tomorrow, but the next day was even worse. I couldn’t face the world, couldn’t handle social interactions of any sort. At that moment, all my wealth counted for nothing. I was fragile and, although never suicidal, I recognised something was desperately wrong and I needed to do something fast.”
And that is how the Duke of Westminster came to take three months off in order to recover from a major depressive breakdown. Would that other men could be so well-advised or in a position to finance the opportunity.
By and large, men wouldn’t touch such a confession with a barge pole. It seems to me there’s a paradox in the depression literature, suggesting that while women provide the greatest symptomology of self-dislike, low self-esteem, pessimistic and negative personal thinking, leading to classical self-harming behaviours, men suffer from equally severe emotional problems. With exceptions such as the noble Duke, they just don’t talk about them.
The official position is that currently one in six adults is depressed and women are twice as likely as men to get the diagnosis. But a report launched from the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) via the London School for Economics shows that the way organisations such as the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) collect depression statistics is likely to under-calculate the totals for men.
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