Tag Archives: mental health specialist

The State of Depression

19 Feb

This article on http://www.weather.com was rather interesting until the last page.

The 10 Most Depressing States in the U.S.

To summarize, it lists (rather irresponsibly and), alphabetically, indicators of what makes these states possibly depressive to live in.  Things like poor economy, high unemployment rate, poor health statistics, etc.  I was rather intrigued by these statistics until I read the last page, listed for West Virginia:

The Mountain State is ranked last or next-to-last in every mental-health category on our list, including the average number of “mentally unhealthy” days residents have per month and the percentage of people who experience frequent mental distress (15%).

One reason may be that roughly two-thirds of West Virginians live in rural areas, where both steady jobs and access to mental health care can be hard to come by. A 2000 study found that while nearly 1 in 3 residents living in rural areas had “a high level” of depression symptoms, almost half had never been treated for the condition by any doctor, let alone a psychiatrist or mental-health specialist.

I think the most interesting sentence there is the one listing their supposition behind these markers for frequent mental distress: these people live in rural areas where almost half had never been treated for their conditions by any doctor, psychiatrist or mental-health specialist.

Doesn’t this seem a bit arrogant to you?

I can see one side of the coin, and probably how it was meant, that it is a largely agrarian, mining, and industrial society that has incredibly sparse access to the luxury of a mental health physician…but the other side of the coin?

Are they really implying that rural society must be depressed because they are rural?  That’s how this last page read to me.  Not to mention that it was incredibly irresponsible to make a LIST of the most depressing states for those states to see.  Gee, let’s just tell people how sick they are! (and watch the money roll in for the medical profession, I think?)

Look at that last sentence.  “1 in 3 residents living in rural areas had a ‘high level’ of depression symptoms“.  Where are the actual numbers stating that these people have depression?  I can sigh and have a bad day, but maybe I just stubbed my toe.  Does that mean I’m depressed?  Maybe I’m having trouble making my checkbook balance and my kid’s clothes weren’t completely dry before sending them off to school today so they might catch cold before the day’s out.  With winter storms like we’ve been having, every day being cloudy and rainy and snowy…YEAH, I’m going to look depressed, but that doesn’t mean I am clinically or chronically depressed to the point where I need help.  You can observe many points where I might look like I need medical attention, but I can look on Webmd.com all day long and find symptoms I’m sick with, too.  That doesn’t mean I’m really sick.  I can write an entire thesis on the supposed connection between strep throat carriers and autistic children, but it doesn’t mean it’s true.

My point is, the medical profession and their researchers are becoming increasingly arrogant to believe that just because they say something is so, we need to believe it and never question them.  I know this is one report and one article, but honestly, how many times do you read or see some kind of advertisement that wants you to try something new, simply because you “might” be expressing those symptoms?

THAT’S unhealthy, and something incredibly arrogant in the current pharmaceutical and medical professions.

I leave you with this:  Please don’t hesitate to question your doctors.  They are human and second opinions are well-respected.  Don’t fall for this claptrap that someone puts online about “depressing states”.  If you feel depressed, yes of course, get whatever help you need and I’m sure you (and especially West Virginia) have a medical professional or at least a counselor within at least 100 miles that can help.  Do not forget the power of friends and family, or if you’re religious, the higher power of your faith.

What have you seen recently that has been a solid representation of irresponsible medical advertising?

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