Letter: Depressed society

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The Independent Culture
Depressed society

Sir: As a doctor, I was prepared for a professional career and thought I could slot a family in just like that. How unprepared I was.

As a mother of three who has suffered from postnatal depression, I would echo all Deborah Orr's ideas (Comment, 24 February) about the breakdown of families and new pressures on both sexes since the sexual revolution as a significant cause of depression today.

I also believe that full-time parenting is so undervalued by society that anybody doing it cannot hope to feel worthwhile or successful.

However, I disagree with her view on drug treatment. I believe I am recovering thanks to a combination of antidepressants, counselling and reprioritising my life. There are many causes of depression: biochemical, psychological and social. There are many causes of most illnesses. We all know stressful events can cause angina attacks. That doesn't mean sufferers should keep away from their anti-anginal spray.

It would be wonderful if we could take away the causes of depression in society but that seems unrealistic. So, surely the answer is to treat it in the best ways we understand. Antidepressants work - why not use them?


Newcastle upon Tyne