Saturday, October 11, 2008

Depression Stigma in Australia

"The latest beyondblue survey, released on Friday, found that just seven per cent of those questioned recognised anxiety as a major mental health problem, while 56 per cent recognised depression as a major health problem."

I still think that in Australia, if 44 percent of people think depression is not a major health problem, there's something wrong. Honestly, people just don't know, if they haven't gone through it, and they're so much more likely to dismiss it as feeling sad sometimes, and underestimate its severity, than to think of it as a serious illness.

"This is despite anxiety disorders being the most common of all mental health conditions, affecting one in four Australians at some stage of their lives, whereas depression is likely to affect one in five.

Beyondblue's national depression monitor survey, which questioned 3,200 people, is aimed at assessing changes in community awareness, understanding and stigma surrounding depression, anxiety and related disorders.

Other findings included:

* 32 per cent of respondents said people with depression could not be trusted in positions of responsibility, compared to 36 per cent in 2002.

*31 per cent said people with depression should not stand for political positions, compared to 43 per cent in 2002.

* 32 per cent believe people with severe depression are dangerous to others, compared to 38 per cent in 2002"

And this is pretty ridiculous. We can have politicians like ex-WA opposition leader Troy Buswell who sniffed chairs and snapped bra-straps, total failures like Iemma, corrupt greedy ones like Tripodi and Sartor and that woman in Wollongong, cranky waiter-abusing brats like Belinda Neal,for God's sake, but not someone with depression!

1 comment:

Hips Magee said...

I hear you on the last paragraph. Apparently it's not okay for someone with depression to lead the state/country down the gurgler in some sort of self hating revenge but it's okay if they do it out of complete ineptitude.

Somehow in light of the economy and everyones share price plummeting I wouldn't be surprised if we have a wave of news reports talking of economy-induced depression where people are sad because they can only afford to buy 1 BMW instead of 2 and most will have to kiss goodbye to trivial status symbols because they can no longer afford it.