Friday, June 29, 2007

Speaking Out

One of the advantages of long commuting hours (besides knitting in the train) is listening to ABC radio. Programmes like Radio Eye, The Night Air and The Nightly Planet make the trip bearable and keep me awake.

Sometimes I hear interviews that make me stay in the car to catch the last details. John Brogdens open and frank discussion with Tony Delroy about his private and public struggle with depression was one of them:

"Often the most outgoing of people are those who in their quiet times when they’re alone the depression will take control. The public face is often the most misleading. It was a long and difficult process for me to come to terms with the fact I was suffering depression."

The former NSW Opposition leader was one of the three million Australians who experienced a major depressive illness during their lifetime - he happened to be in the public spotlight as was Winston Churchill, Les Murray, artist Margaret Olley, Blue Wiggle Anthony Field, Garry McDonald and tragically Paul Hester from Crowded House.

Meg has posted a forthright and revealing story about her own history of Depression and there is much there that I can relate to. I think her Internet campaign to raise awareness for mental health is a worthy cause. As the new patron of Lifeline says;

"the most critical thing that has to be achieved with depression and with other forms of mental illness is that people will talk openly about depression the way they talk about cancer, the way they talk about diabetes, the way they talk about an injury they had in a physical sense.”

1 comment:

Lynne said...

Been there myself and am very close to some one else who has it, therefore I applaud anyone who makes mental illness as 'normal' a topic as physical illness.

I remember when I had chronic fatigue, people called me a "yuppie" and told me that it was "all in my head" - they should have lived 24 hours in my body!! The same lack of understanding is shown to those with mental illnesses.

I'm going to post a copy of this comment on Meg's blog too - hope that's okay!