Monday, May 14, 2012

Above politics: Something personal rather than political

According to the CDC nearly one in ten adults suffer from depression.

There is a certain stigma with mental disorders, such as depression, mood disorder, etc to certain people that it doesn't exist or that only weak people suffer from these disorders. The explanations for why they do not recognize mental disorders varies, in all honesty, I don't want to re-hash a series of strawman arguments. The CDC maintains that depression screening has to be offered at doctor's offices and the like. These depression screenings typically rely heavily on the honesty of the patient. A patient can choose not to answer the questions in a truthful manner. Even if the patient does answer the questions truthfully, in most cases the doctor can prescribe anti-depressants and can offer the services of the recommended therapists, psychiatrists, or the like. The open period for those psychiatrists are very limited and those in need of psychiatric help have to wait a month or longer to have an appointment. The wait time to see a therapist is usually shorter and therapy combined with the anti-depressants prescribed by a doctor might be enough in some cases. The cost of seeing a psychiatrist or therapist is usually fairly expensive. Perhaps because of these factors, the CDC states that those most likely to suffer from depression are unemployed, uninsured, women, those aged 45-64, blacks or hispanics, or those with less than a high school education.

As some of you know, this is a personal issue for me. You may notice multiple hiatuses or hiati from my blog posting. It's not that there is a lack of information for me to post on, but rather there is a lack of motivation or an inabilty to sufficiently pay attention by the author. While it affects my daily life, some days are better than others. On my good days, I have had to learn how to do my productive work as quickly as possible. The problem is that while I need breaks to get things in order, I am hampered by my inability to afford this type of care and my inability to match up with the schedules for psychiatrists or therapists. The problem isn't that we're not seeking help, because we are, the problem is that this help is hard to actually receive. We need to end the stigma about mental disorders and adequately provide access to this help for those who need it. Calling emergency lines or being rushed to the hospital is not adequate help. It's a safety net for those who need it in the emergency situations but we cannot simply rely on those emergency safety nets. This should be something that is above politics.

Former Chargers linebacker Junior Seau committed suicide just about a week ago. This tragedy has put a more famous face to depression and concussion issues from former NFL players. Multiple former players have argued that there should be a fund set up to help those who suffer from depression and actions should be taken to ensure that these tragedies are few and far between or eliminated altogether. I told you that story to tell you this one. Sports Illustrated writer Peter King wrote that these football players have a hard time when they leave the NFL to find value in their life after doing something for so long. We simply must help those players out to avoid the tragedies.

What I'm saying is, there is a lot of people who have trouble finding value in their life. Our inabilty to properly help those who need it or the constantly deriding those who have mental disorders is shocking and needs to end. Regardless of politics, helping out those who need it, is something that needs to be done.

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