The Blog of Dabido (the Baka one). Everything in this blog is copyrighted. Copyright 2004, 2005, 2006 by D. Stevenson.

11 October, 2005


Imran raised some good points in his comment, and I started to write a reply, but it became a bit of an essay - so I've included it as tonights post. There is good documented records that our forefathers (and mothers) did suffer from depression. It's true that it seems to be on the increase. Part of the theory for that, is diet. We've placed a lot of preservatives and other additives in food now-a-days and it's believed that the chemical reactions they are having within the body are part of the reason for the rise. There is also things like Sleep Apnea (which I happen to suffer from as well). That is proven to cause depression, and because people are getting fatter, sleep apnea is on the rise as well. If you do get depressed about not geting your way, then you're not using it as an excuse. It's really what you are feeling. That does bring up another point that Psychiatrists also believe is a cause of depression. A lot of young people wish to be 'rock stars' and 'actors' etc and find their dreams unfulfilled. That's not chemical though, unlike the sleep apnea and diet ones. It's probably part of the human condition to experience disappointment in this way. Of course, in the olden days, there wasn't much a person could hope for outside of a nice house, nice clothes a nice spouse and good food. So, the fact that there is more to get disappointed from could indeed contribute to the growing number of depressed people. After saying that though, the 'condition' of manic depression / Bi-polar disorder is not related to that, and it is on the increase. There are other reasons for the increase as well. If two manic depressed people have babies, there is a 90% chance of having offspring who are also manic depressed people. That's 9 out of 10 babies ... and people in society often get together over similar problems, as they can relate to each other. So there is a natural occurance where two depressed people will get together. I think the chance of a depressed person and a non depressed person having a depressed off spring is in the 30% range ... (might be less) so let's do some imaginary maths: imagine - two depressed people have ten babies ... 9 are depressed like them. (Plus we'll chuck in the two non-depressed people having ten babaies also - I think the incident is 10% so that another baby) ... so it makes 10 out of 20 ... which is 50%. ( Let's do that again ... but we'll mix the marriages together (so the two depressed marry the two non depressed) and they have ten babies each - that's 6 out of 20 depressed. Now we have 30% depressed offspring. So amongst those four people, we see a twenty percent difference in the increase in depressed people in the world. (NOTE: that's NOT a 20% increase in number of depressed people in the whole population.) Many famous people suffered depression including Winston Churchill, Leonardo Da Vinci, Caravagio (painter), Julius Caesar etc etc, so it's been around since the year dot. Since the rise of psychiatry to treat these things, it's become more open and more people have admitted to it too. Unlike the old days when it all occurred behind closed doors. Understanding depression has certainly made it more acceptable to admit to having it. In the past, it was taboo, so there is less chance of people breaking out of the structure of society to admit to something that most could not understand. Hope that is helpful. [Still depressed, but not as bad as yesterday] :-)