OK that’s a jokey title…but musing about the differences between UK and US over discussions and openness about mental health. Now the script of a discussion like this usually goes ‘repressed = British = bad’ right? Well I don’t really agree with that…
Me and a friend usually eyeroll (literally) over the Americans we know who happily start trading numbers over anti-depressant dosage at the drop of a hat. It just seems like the new D&D - Celexa 10/20, Prozac 15/20, roll D20! It’s the new mobile phone / Mac vs PC / Twitter vs Facebook amongst gay men of a certain age. Or is this an American thing?
Also find it odd when people moan or worry about having no money then you see them happily attending therapy…I guess that might be paid via insurance? But that’s a cost that would usually be seen as luxurious here…as well as the fact the prescription charges for all those pills alone would bankrupt you.
Here, yes stigma is evident in mental health, and isn’t great - although I didn’t get a crowd of open concerned Americans when I talked about the suicide of my Dad’s new wife’s eldest several years back…the silence was still deafening…so it’s still bad.
But I don’t see all of this openness about spending the Health Insurance as good; it’s very well, unBritish to do that…sorry that’s something that is hard-wired…but also it worries me that it legitimises it, that yes people get ill, but it’s endemic and part of the endemic stress/depression/illness cycle is probably focusing on it too much, taking too many drugs and creating nice DSM names for it so everyone can feel cuddly about being ‘ill’…not sure this is the way forward?
I remember a research study that found that sharing problems actually doubled them rather than halved them…that has played on my mind recently. Certainly the fact we now have 1000 Channels and Nothing On But Moaning About How Shit Life Is - well at least in social media terms…doesn’t really make me think that’s helping much.