The basis of this new view is blindingly obvious once it is pointed out: everyone feels miserable when they are ill. That feeling of being too tired, bored and fed up to move off the sofa and get on with life is known among psychologists as sickness behaviour. It happens for a good reason, helping us avoid doing more damage or spreading an infection any further.

    It also looks a lot like depression. So if people with depression show classic sickness behaviour and sick people feel a lot like people with depression – might there be a common cause that accounts for both?



flagamuffin:

Yes! Great post.

"Depression" is the sort of word that is very misleading and completely unhelpful when it comes to making people healthier. Give it a name, "something syndrome" -- as indeed many doctors are trying to do -- and suddenly it becomes something people can have, something doctors can understand and treat with drugs. As opposed to everyone freaking out and trying to psychoanalyze shit.

My grandfather, who reads all the medical journals as a hobby, updated me on this a couple weeks ago. He buys into the immune system explanation. Freud set us back by 100 years when it comes to the language we use to talk about mental health, the solutions we try and the attitude we have toward the whole thing. Can't let that drag on us all the way into the 21st century.


posted by ButterflyEffect: 1472 days ago