4Thought, the short item that follows Channel 4 news in the UK has been parading a bunch of views this week that truly has caused me to shout quizically “huh?”. Namely that faith cures depression.
Right. So no people of faith ever suffer from depression? Really? And the stuff about mental breakdowns being ‘good for you’. I find that kind of generalist talk , especially from professionals who use their religious views to reframe medical research to fit their beliefs a little worrying.
Each to their own point of view but the seeming contempt for sufferers of depression who ths ‘suffer’ from a lack of faith revealed a little lack of compassion in my eyes.
I notice the the UK Department Of Work And Pensions (DWP) is giving this short film another airing on our TV screens. It’s not new but was criticised when first unveiled some months ago and was subsequently given a very low key outing(this is the 60 second version). It’s targeting employers attitudes to employing people who have had mental health problems.
Getting some of these people off benefits is one of the UK governments stated aims but changing employers attitudes to mental health may be a tougher nut to crack.
This advert voiced by Philip Glenister is one attempt to tackle the other side of the problem.
Today is Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year. The relationship counsellors Relate together with The Samaritans have both long reported that the weeks following Xmas see an upsurge in people contacting them for help.
The combination of the weather, the rock setting in at work, post Xmas debt and failed new year resolutions combine to pinpoint this Monday as particularly blue.
Despite the British predilection for moaning statistics seem to show that most Brits are optimists and only 13% are hardcore pessimists (really! or is that just me being a pessimist?). Scotland has the highest suicide rate whilst suicides in England are at their lowest since records began.
So here’s to another miserable Monday. We can all get through it together . Group Hug?
I’ve had a temporary mood blip today so I tend not to write when my mood is below a certain critical level. I’ve written before about using various creative diversions as a way of kick-starting my mood again (immersing myself in audio visual playfulness seems to help slightly) and the above audio doodling was another quick cul-de-sac of tuneless twiddling I knocked up that’s intended to go with a short video piece.
‘Experts’ from Yale university say that ‘joggers high’ will eventually be available in tablet form. The beneficial effects of exercise will likely be made available via popping a pill that will target a specific gene in the brain.
The write up in the journal Nature Medicine says that their research may lead to more effective drugs in future. The original research looks at the link between changing the actual structure of brain cells and enabling the lifting of depression.
By targeting an area of the brain called the hippocampus and a gene called VGF it has been possible to facilitate the lifting of depressive states of mind.The claim is that possible VGF ‘exercise’ related drugs could become more effective than current anti- depressants. Exercise is often recommended for sufferers of depression.
The Melancholy Aisle
I managed to shoe-horn myself out the door this morning in order to get some supplies from the supermarket though I very nearly resorted to an Internet shop instead. Luckily it wasn’t too busy and I worked my way around though the first sensory experience to greet my was the music of Elton John’s semi instrumental ditty Song for Guy which I managed to be in range just as the light vocal line comes in that goes “Life, isn’t everything, isn’t everything, isn’t everything”. Thanks S’Elt (Sir Elton). This line has always been in contention with many. I used to think he was singing “Death, is a terrible thing” which is plainly ludicrous whilst I’ve seen other lyrics say ” Life, isn’t death everything…”. Melancholy stuff anyway.
9 Items More Or less
Despite the relative emptiness of the aisles it still seemed a long haul through the checkouts as most people in front of me had mile high stacked trolleys. Where are the self checkouts guys for those of us with just a few items that are above a 9 items or less basket but not the scale of a large family shop?
The Tic Tac Kid
I pulled in behind a couple of young women in moderate Muslim dress who had a young boy in the child seat of their trolley and who was facing me. I engaged in some face pulling and wry smiling as he smiled back cheekily. He was around 2-3 years old I reckon and had a packet of green and orange tic-tacs in his hand which he held proudly in his left hand before eyeing them with a cheeky grin and shaking them vigorously followed by a gloriously happy yelp akin to the sun baby from teletubbies.
We engaged in some more mutual face pulling whilst the boy’s Mother (I presume) looked on only slightly bemused. Tic tac boy then flipped open the packet and poured some tic tacs into his mouth and munched on them whilst laughing and then opening his mouth fully at me to show the predictable debris and multi coloured tongue that they produced. I gave a half hearted mock disapproving smile back and tic tac boy yelped with joy again before his trolley was on the move and he waved me bye bye with his tic-tac hand.