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Depression and social stigma

Discussion in 'Obsessive Compulsive Disorder' started by michaelj77, May 28, 2007.

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  1. michaelj77

    michaelj77 New Member

    69
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    Protestant
    Single
    Hi,
    I would like to know how much of a social stigma that depression is in the west (or where every you are). I'm from a asian country and discussion of such topics is still quite taboo. :(
    How much of a problem is it in the west? Do people accept depression as any other illness? Do you feel comfortable speaking to your freinds/ family about it?
    I know some people on this forum have had issues talking of the subject with their loved ones, so would love some more responses from you all!! :wave:
    God bless you all.
     
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  2. marcb

    marcb Regular Member

    332
    +28
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    Married
    Hi, Michael J,

    I wish I had one answer for you. I think people in the West are becoming more aware of depression, largely due to its prevalence. Many have experienced depression themselves or have been close to someone who has.

    Responses to depression still vary, but I have found most to be accepting. I've learned it is not my problem if some do not understand or accept it. On the other hand, sometimes people are so accepting that they want to know too much and want to "fix" me.

    At first, I was not comfortable speaking to my family, even my wife, about it. That was probably due to the depression itself, which changed my perception of the truth. However, I was so desperate that I had to reach out. Besides, I could no longer hide it. Once I brought it up, my family (who never discusses such things either) was extremely understanding. They were more understanding than I was. The ocd component was quite a bit different at first, and still is, but I understand enough about ocd, that it's manageable (by God's Grace) when I'm not depressed.

    I don't know if this is of any help. Have you tried to talk to your family or someone close to you about your depression?

    Praying for you,

    Marc
     
  3. gracealone

    gracealone Regular Member

    +94
    Christian
    Married
    US-Republican
    HI Michael,
    I think that our West society has an overall open attitude about things like Depression and mental illnesses. I do, however, think that the Christian community is undereducated about such things.
    There is far more stigma attached to these disorders within the Christian community. Thankfully that is changing although gradually. There are still Christians who use their "soapbox" radio programs to spew ignorant and damaging remarks that make depression and anxiety disorders all about a lack of faith or a spiritual problem. They not only harm Christians who have these disorders by their uneducated advice but they push away the unsaved folk who suffer from these disorders with their uneducated judgements.
    I speak up about my disorder quite a lot. I've also experienced people who try to "fix" me like Marc. It's so funny to me. They will say things like.. "you know this one time I was sooo worried about such and such that I worked myself up into a panic over it, but then I just prayed and gave it to the Lord and I felt better instantly." You must picture this being said to me with a tone of condescention. Inside... I'm thinking.. "really... duh... you think I should pray...wow I never thought of that!! I am blonde you know." :)
    So overall I think there is far more understanding and less stigma about these disorders in our Western culture, but far less understanding within the Christian community. I pray that God will use each one of us to lovingly reach out to change that. Not in anger but with the goal of teaching so that compassion would win the day rather than judgementalism.
    Sorry for going on so.. I have a real heart for this subject.
    Bless YOU,
    Mitzi
     
  4. stacii

    stacii Regular Member

    229
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    Married
    I think the understanding in Western culture has expanded rapidly in the past decade or so. There are still some who I encounter who really see it as a personal failure and who I know for a fact have never looked at me the same since I started feeling depressed. I kind of got over it though. Those who really matter to me have completely supported me. And there are even some who I've been able to educate.
     
  5. marcb

    marcb Regular Member

    332
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    Christian
    Married
    Hi,
     
  6. michaelj77

    michaelj77 New Member

    69
    +2
    Protestant
    Single
    Dear All,
    Thanks for the replies posted!!
    Yes I agree that among the christians there is still a misconception about this desease, and a general feeling its a lack of faith.
    But unfortunately in Sri lanka where I'm from (does anyone know where it is??) it is still taboo among the general public as well. Not that people don't have it, but mostly Its a family secret not shared. There are no open forums or discussions held on the topic.
    But recenty there's been a lot of articles appearing in the papers about the subject. So the knowledge is being shared, but it being accepted as a decease like cancer or TB or any other illness is still not there.
    anyways hope things change:)
    God bless you all,
    micheal
     
  7. HeatherG

    HeatherG Member

    120
    +12
    Christian
    Married
    Hi Michael,

    I know where Sri Lanka is! Well I'm sure we all do. By the way, I'm in Asia too, in Hong Kong. Not exactly just around the corner but at least in the same continent. People don't really talk about OCD much here. I don't know if it's taboo or if everyone's just too busy with the rat-race to be bothered with talking about it!

    Hope you can find some understanding people to share with.

    Heather
     
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