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About that parallel you're drawing...

I have seen multiple posts about depression recently that compare it to diabetes and say something like "You wouldn't expect a diabetic to go without their insulin, right? Well you shouldn't expect a depressed person to 'just cheer up.'"

Here's the thing. There is lots of shaming of diabetics for being on meds or insulin. A lot of people think diabetes is a "lifestyle disease" and that one can choose whether to have it and how to treat it. There is probably considerable overlap between people with that view and the ones who think depression is a bad mood or a selfish play for attention.

I appreciate the attempt to educate people about depression and I'm not criticizing any particular person or post, but I'm thinking some other comparison would probably work better to get the point across that depression is a very difficult condition to manage.

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/850292.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. I prefer that you comment on Dreamwidth, but it's also OK to comment here.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
nellorat
Aug. 18th, 2014 12:18 pm (UTC)
The blaming of people with diabetes is definitely variable: it certainly happens more the fatter one is, and less the older one is.

This makes me think that the same must happen with blaming for depression, but with different variables--but I'm not sure what the variables are.

For me, my Hashimoto's disease is a great comparison: no one blames me because my immune system for some reason destroyed my thyroid; as long as I take medication, I'm fine, but if not, I'm completely f*cked.

However, not only do few people know what Hashimoto's disease is, but I'm very lucky that Effexor works as well for me as thyroxin. I know that some people end up more like me on diabetes meds--it's a help, but life is still a constant low-level struggle to make up for what should be natural--and some never find even a decent choice of meds.

Interesting tie-in to supergee's link about Russian psychiatric drugs that aren't known about in the USA.
houseboatonstyx
Aug. 18th, 2014 05:22 pm (UTC)
What comparisons would you suggest? My diabetic friend's doctor got him to accept Buproprion as a permanent daily need, by saying that just as his body will never make all of the insulin he needs, it also will never make all of the [whatever] that Buproprion supplies. But that each of these drugs can turn a disruptive illness into a routinely manageable one.
firecat
Aug. 18th, 2014 07:02 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm not saying no one should ever make the comparison in any circumstances, but depending on the audience, it might not be as effective as one would assume.

And I don't have anything to suggest in its place; over on the Dreamwidth version of this post people have been saying that every disease gets blamed on the person who has it, and/or on their parents, because that's what the culture is like right now.
houseboatonstyx
Aug. 18th, 2014 10:36 pm (UTC)
It definitely depends on the audience!

Lately I've been hanging out around some charming Utilitarians, so what comes to my mind on such questions is, among each audience, who would be helped and how much, vs who would be hurt, and how much.

Looking at worst cases, if comparison with depression makes a diabetic refuse insulin, soon he will end up in the hospital, and have plenty more chances to be pursuaded. But if a depressed person refuses to take anti-depressives, he may fall into such drastic action that he has no more chances.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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