Prozac Nations

Illustration for article titled Prozac Nations

According to a new study from Down Under, men are more likely to discriminate against the depressed than women are. The research, conducted at Australian National University and the University of Melbourne, showed that along with men, less educated people and migrants were more likely to attach a "stigma" to depression, according to Reuters. The stigma of depression is so strong for some of the Australian population that 20% would "refuse" to work with someone they knew was depressed. These statistics are...depressing. [Reuters]


[Image via Exploding Dog]


A Small Turnip

As someone who has wrestled with the Big Sad, I'll shyly admit that if I had a choice, I probably would choose to work with someone who wasn't depressed rather than one who was. It can be draining to spend your day with someone who is grappling with a mental illness. I'm not exactly as fun as a box of budgies when I'm in a depressive episode, and I don't want to add someone else's agony to my own.

That said, life just isn't that clear-cut. As many have pointed out, you may well be unaware that your co-worker is depressed. You might think she's fatigued or a little less chirpy. But clinical depressives are often absolute masters at functioning at a very high level until the day comes that they swallow their body weight in venlafaxine.

Every depressive's illness is different. With mine, I can't even get out of bed, let alone go to work. Concentrating for long periods of time is impossible, as is decision-making. I'll stand in my kitchen for fifteen minutes in the morning, absolutely frozen because I can't decide if I want tea or coffee. It's pretty funny when I'm happy and healthy, but when I'm in it, it's fucking tragic. I wouldn't want to inflict that on anyone, let alone co-workers that I liked and respected. I wouldn't blame them for guiltily, secretly wishing I would just take some time off, rest, and get well again.

And for the record, I whine when they're out of salt and vinegar crisps at the supermarket. I whine when my cat snoozes on my coat. I whine when the Jubilee line on the Tube is suspended due to ''essential engineering works'' on a Monday morning. I do not whine when I'm depressed. I smile pretty and sob quietly in the loo, like a good girl.