Savoradin on Depression

I just stumbled across this quote about depression by Antonio Savoradin: “Depression, probably the most obvious condition leading to suicide, is a prison filled with repeat offenders, and the crime of melancholia has a startling recidivism rate. But it is not a prison in which rights are respected, nor is humane treatment the standard fare. Rather, the jailer is a fickle torturer who punishes his charges without mercy. The depressed person inhabits a cell with a tiny window and iron bars, is beaten, burned, electrocuted, and flayed by the guards, left shivering and in pain, while relatives and friends may visit, blind to both the unbearable wounds he suffers and to the bars which hold him. Bewildered, they cannot understand why he doesn’t rise and walk through the empty doorway; they do not understand his pain; and they may inflict guilt or further torture by sneering at his condition or offering pointless advice (‘What’s the matter with you? Just leave!’) which only exacerbates his suffering. Because they do not see the bars, the walls, the jailer, the prison grounds, they cannot take his pain seriously. It is an enigma to them. They can give him little, if any, comfort.” Hat-tip to Andrew Barnett.

One Reply to “Savoradin on Depression”

  1. Yep — it’s very hard to convey the imprisonment aspect of depression — this quote goes some way towards it. I’m amazed any society goes on with its business with as many depressed people around as it stands. I guess we all keep keeping on and everyone else thinks we’re OK! I love the way the current Medicare rebates work for the set of Psychology Consultations — sure you get a block referral and get a full Medicare Rebate for all the sessions, but there are virtually no psychologists who will do it for the scheduled fee! While psychologists are a lot cheaper to consult than psychiatrists, the psychology gap is far too big for anyone earning less than $30 000 pa or a family on less than $70k. Day to day expenses on the basics of food, rent and travel just don’t survive weekly “treats” like $100 for a regular psychologist’s fee! I was emerging as a young potential psychologist at the time Gough proposed well-staffed community health clinics for all, with regional allied health services available on Medibank with no gap for everyone who needed them. Now I’m just a depressed unemployed, unbenefitted, uninsured, uncertified, unqualified, untreated “invisible”. And 20% of the population are my mates!

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