Is Ireland heading for a depression epidemic?
That’s the provocative question which a new three-part series on depression, posed to us on Tuesday night.
Presented by popular radio persona (and psychology graduate) Ray D’Arcy, the first part of this series on TV3 focussed on the personal stories of those living with depression, interspersed with contributions by experts in the field of mental health.
Throughout the show we were made aware of the Irish people’s traditional reluctance to acknowledge their own or their loved ones’ depression, let alone seek treatment. Agnes (59), who’s been battling depression since she was 21,recalls her mother’s bouts of depression, when she refused to leave the bedroom for weeks on end, yet it was never openly discussed. “If we don’t talk about it, it doesn’t exist.”
With the suicide rate in Ireland running at 500 a year, this investigation into the rise of depression in Ireland is to be commended for tackling the issue in such a measured, thoughtful and sensitive way.
I hope that those who are dealing with depression right now can draw hope from the stories of those who have been there, sought treatment, and come out the other side. Far from being an affliction, depression and how we handle it is an essential part of being human. The Tv3 documentary showed that depression is no respecter of age, gender or social circumstance, but it can be successfully treated. Newer treatments for depression now involve a combination of different therapies such as medication, psychological therapies, social support, and self-help techniques. This combined approach treats the person as a whole, and marks the beginning of the journey back to wellness and a normal life.
If you missed the show you can catch up on the Tv3 player. Click here to view.