Episode 1 Summary: 'Coming Out'
Stigma in our society
In the first of our series of chats on depression we cover the problem of stigma in our society, how this shows itself in attitudes and behaviour and how we can challenge it with a different way of thinking about the condition.
Depression is still seen as a sign of personal failure, as if the person who experienced this assault on one’s brain function, self-esteem and sense of self, has brought this upon themselves by giving in to unhelpful patterns of thinking. The stigma exacerbates the sense of guilt that it already part of the syndrome.
A better way to look at depression is to regard it as a biological reaction to prolonged and inescapable stress. It is an understandable reaction, a defence even. The corollary being the fever that may be incapacitating in the short term but is designed to fight off infection.
Useful links and references:
Here is an article on British social attitudes towards mental illness:
My book, How Sadness Survived, discusses how depression can be perceived as a defence rather than a disease:
Check out this article which explores the idea that depression is an evolutionary adaptation to stress:
Look here for a summary on Seligman and Learned Helplessness: