Spot the electric junky...
If the death of Gary Speed can be said to have led to anything positive whatsoever, it’s that it has dragged depression back out into the open. Admittedly, early responses from family and friends suggest Speed was not known to be a man troubled by depression, and it may yet come to light that his apparent suicide had nothing to do with the illness at all. However, it would be entirely in keeping with my own experience, as someone who has lived with clinical depression for a decade, for his friends to have been as in the dark as he may have been.
I was inspired to write this blogpost for two reasons. Firstly, James Olley’s piece in yesterday’s Evening Standard, which highlights the problem of depression still going unnoticed in communities where it might be viewed as a weakness, and secondly, an apology I recently received from a GP – an apology made “on behalf of the medical profession” for the six-or-more years I’ve spent taking the notoriously addictive antidepressant, Paroxetine. Having spent a little over 10 years visiting more mental health specialists than I can honestly remember (certainly more than this post will detail), I continue to be amazed by how little people seem to know.