Tuesday, January 26, 2016

I prefer death to an episode of depression,

 I can honestly say that I would prefer death to an episode of severe depression. The anxiety, the deep sadness, the whole body fatigue and the inability to sleep are truly horrible. Depression makes a person feel detached from the happy world around him. The affective disorders, especially, bipolar and major depression, are episodic. An individual may be minding his own business and he  has either cycled into severe depression or mania.

This begs the question: is the awareness and delivery of services equal to the pain and suffering it warrants? Many people who have suffered cancer and depression or heart disease and depression, say depression is far worse. It seems to me if those who are involved treating the mentally ill could experience the awfulness of it for a little while; they would reach out with great compassion and a sense of urgency to give timely, skilled treatment to them.

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I have seen a psychiatrist have her severely depressed patients admitted to a psychiatric hospital for electro/convulsive therapy and then go on vacation, without designating another psychiatrist to take her place. I have had outpatient psychiatric office personnel stop a process which was initiated by me for a depressed client and deny approval for free medications from a drug company, simply by saying to the provider something to the effect of, “we don’t really handle that aspect of his care,” and not saying anything about it until I inquired about it.
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Why do you think that peer support in the management of mental illness has been so popular and effective in our times? I would sum it up with one word, empathy. I think every person who applies for any job which involves being a part of the therapeutic milieu of the mentally ill should during the interview, be grilled on their empathy toward the mentally ill. This includes pharmaceutical, office staff and the like. To be sure, it must be a skilled, guided empathy but the treatment should be done with great compassion.
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 In regards to pastors, I have seen them laugh at the mentally ill who were suffering from severe depressive, manic symptoms. I have heard so much of their unfeeling advice to those with depression, that I could have  scarcely believed it.  Many pastors have a censorious attitude toward the mentally ill and it is fueled by their ignorance of biblical theology and science. Let us pray for compassion and for those with diseases of mind and mood.


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