18 January, 2006

galloping depression

"What horse were you thrown from, which riderless goes on?"

Dr Geoff Gallop is a Rhodes scholar with a devoted wife and family, and has risen through a highly-respected academic career into the world of politics to become the Premier of his state. Dr Gallop this week resigned. Dr Gallop is depressed.

From The Age:
Dr Gallop began his resignation statement with a blunt admission that he was being treated for depression. "Living with depression is a very debilitating experience, which affects different people in different ways," he continued.

Geoff Gallop, surrounded by family, resigns on Monday.

More accurately, Dr Gallop is suffering from depression. The word "depressed" gets bandied about pretty loosely these days. And sure, everyone has those times when they feel shitty or sad or unmotivated. But that is different from suffering from depression. Unless you've been there, you probably can't entirely grasp the difference. It isn't just a prolonged period of that down-facing feeling. It is something more insidious, harder to pinpoint; difficult to define and even more difficult to acknowledge.

The former Premier is receiving across-the-board, whole-hearted praise for his courage and honesty in making such a brave announcement. Indeed I suppose it was brave, as a public figure, to speak so openly about suffering from a mental illness. But why should it be? If he was suffering from leukemia and needed treatment, no-one would question it. Why should a mental illness, which requires serious ongoing medical treatment, be any different - have any more stigma attached - than a physical condition?

My best wishes to Dr Gallop and his family.

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Blogger B.Wabbit said...

ahh depression - can't live with it... hang on yes you can eventually.

me likes cute blondie in pic. much yum. toasty.

January 19, 2006 3:40 pm  
Blogger mindlessmunkey said...

Toasty indeed. Wish I could claim it was me, or even someone I know. But alas, he is merely some anonymous piece of muffin from Google Images.

January 20, 2006 9:37 am  

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