Wednesday, June 06, 2012
Dr. Joy Bliss over at Maggie's, who I often have significant disagreement with, has put up the remarkable video by Dr. Frances about overdiagnosis. It is long, and you might wish to sample a few minutes and then mark it for later viewing if you like it.
Every time I have taken a Beck's Depression Inventory I have scored over the threshold for Mild Depression, and a few times have crested into Moderate. I am certain there is no period in my life when I would have scored out as Severe. God be praised, because Moderate is miserable enough. But a legitimate diagnosis of depression is just real life for me.
I don't come across as depressed for many reasons: people activate me, so no one is there to witness it; the lift that others give is usually enough to get by (as it would not be for a severely depressed person); I have learned to adapt, because I grew up with little expectation that life would be anything but sad. This is what real life is, at least for some of us. The metaphorical term for happiness, buoyancy, is remarkably apt. Some people just naturally float pretty high in the water. Burdens or stormy weather can bring them under the waves like any other person, but they start at a higher level. (They sometimes give themselves a sort of moral credit for this, which is fairly irritating.) Those of us who constitutionally have more water in the sponge have to tread water a bit harder, and there are those who can barely get high enough above the waves to draw breath. Causes vary. Try not to leap to conclusions about how hard another's life is.
So I can well believe that 40% or 53% or 85% of us are diagnosable at some point in our lives. Life is hard and very few people get out without heartache. The balance between recognising that your obstacles are real - worse in at least that area than most people have to put up with - and understanding that somehow humans have made it through anyway, and so can you - is difficult to keep clear.
Posted by Assistant Village Idiot at 9:15 PM