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    I think young people are now more comfortable than ever in admitting they're not okay. We still have a long, long way to go though; I speak from experience with a mental disorder.

    I felt intimidated by my GP mostly, because an appointment with them was the first step. Not only was my GP dismissive, she couldn't wait to rush off the phone and I felt like a lot went unsaid. My next step was the health centre examination/assessment which proved to be a bit difficult too and without the aid of my mam (to confirm
    my experiences and symptoms) I wouldn't have been taken seriously. I now have a diagnosis following a second assessment carried out by a psychiatric specialist - it has only taken me 17 years. 🙄


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    (Original post by Durhamgirl96)
    I think young people are now more comfortable than ever in admitting they're not okay. We still have a long, long way to go though; I speak from experience with a mental disorder.

    I felt intimidated by my GP mostly, because an appointment with them was the first step. Not only was my GP dismissive, she couldn't wait to rush off the phone and I felt like a lot went unsaid. My next step was the health centre examination/assessment which proved to be a bit difficult too and without the aid of my mam (to confirm
    my experiences and symptoms) I wouldn't have been taken seriously. I now have a diagnosis following a second assessment carried out by a psychiatric specialist - it has only taken me 17 years. 🙄

    TL/DR; My GP was fairly useless and made me feel like I was a hypochondriac/time-waster.

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    One measure of the nation's mental halth is the suicide rate. Despite suicide ceasing being a crime and fewer regarding as a sin, the suicide rate has been falling for decades.

    https://academic.oup.com/ije/article...61-2007-a-time

    Is this more realistic than asking people whether they feel more depressed now than in the past?
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    One measure of the nation's mental halth is the suicide rate. Despite suicide ceasing being a crime and fewer regarding as a sin, the suicide rate has been falling for decades.

    https://academic.oup.com/ije/article...61-2007-a-time

    Is this more realistic than asking people whether they feel more depressed now than in the past?
    Not everyone who is depressed commits, or indeed, considers suicide. Therefore, I would argue it's not an accurate measure.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    One measure of the nation's mental halth is the suicide rate. Despite suicide ceasing being a crime and fewer regarding as a sin, the suicide rate has been falling for decades.

    https://academic.oup.com/ije/article...61-2007-a-time

    Is this more realistic than asking people whether they feel more depressed now than in the past?
    Following on what Tiger Rag said, not everyone who takes their own life has a mental health problem. You can't just assume these things.

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    (Original post by Durhamgirl96)
    I think young people are now more comfortable than ever in admitting they're not okay. We still have a long, long way to go though; I speak from experience with a mental nodisorder.

    I felt intimidated by my GP mostly, because an appointment with them was the first step. Not only was my GP dismissive, she couldn't wait to rush off the phone and I felt like a lot went unsaid. My next step was the health centre examination/assessment which proved to be a bit difficult too and without the aid of my mam (to confirm
    my experiences and symptoms) I wouldn't have been taken seriously. I now have a diagnosis following a second assessment carried out by a psychiatric specialist - it has only taken me 17 years. 🙄


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    How do you think things could be improved?
    And I hope you're getting better and that more people speak up so things are improve so it's more efficient and actually helps people. I wish you all the best.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    One measure of the nation's mental halth is the suicide rate. Despite suicide ceasing being a crime and fewer regarding as a sin, the suicide rate has been falling for decades.

    https://academic.oup.com/ije/article...61-2007-a-time

    Is this more realistic than asking people whether they feel more depressed now than in the past?
    I think we need to just stop comparing the past to now and focus on the present to help the future. Depression and suicide rates don't exactly correlate and it's all very different. I would argue not everyone who is depressed wants to die as others have mentioned and I think we need to focus in ways to tackle it rather than look at stats. Why does it really matter if one person is depressed or millions, we still need to help that one person don't you think?
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Despite suicide ceasing being a crime and fewer regarding as a sin, the suicide rate has been falling for decades.
    Despite? You think criminalising suicide would reduce it further?
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    (Original post by баребyх)
    Despite? You think criminalising suicide would reduce it further?
    If anything it would make people feel even worse if it were made a crime.
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    (Original post by баребyх)
    Despite? You think criminalising suicide would reduce it further?
    I was hoping we'd moved on from that.

    (for anyone not aware, it was a crime up until sometime in the 1960s)
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    (Original post by Tiger Rag)
    Not everyone who is depressed commits, or indeed, considers suicide. Therefore, I would argue it's not an accurate measure.
    Modelling involves taking one thing that is causally linked to a second thing and deriving information about the second thing from data about the first. There does not need to be a 1:1 corelation before one can find out something that it useful. On your argument because every smoker does not die of lung cancer, we can discover nothing useful about lung cancer rates from data about the the incidence of smoking.

    (Original post by Moonstruck16)
    Following on what Tiger Rag said, not everyone who takes their own life has a mental health problem. You can't just assume these things.
    See above

    Data from the USA suggests that 90% of suicides have a diagnosable mental illness. UK data shows that 26% of suicides had contact with mental health services in the 12 months prior to their death. However, so far as you are concerned, because not everyone who takes their own life has a mental health problem, any information about suicide rates is irrelevant to a discussion of rates of mental illness.

    (Original post by MissBravo)
    I think we need to just stop comparing the past to now and focus on the present to help the future. Depression and suicide rates don't exactly correlate and it's all very different. I would argue not everyone who is depressed wants to die as others have mentioned and I think we need to focus in ways to tackle it rather than look at stats. Why does it really matter if one person is depressed or millions, we still need to help that one person don't you think?
    How do you know whether strategies are helping or not if you do not know whether the problem is increasing or decreasing?

    (Original post by баребyх)
    Despite? You think criminalising suicide would reduce it further?
    I think it is improbable but that would be speculation on my part.

    However, if you had been alive in 1961 when suicide was decriminalised you might have reasonably (although incorrectly) predicted that the suicide rate would increase and if you were researching in 2017 looking at the data and had just reached 1961 in your research, you might have (again incorrectly) have expected the rates in the following years to be higher.
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    In my last year of high school (3 years ago) a teacher of mine said, after witnessing a panick attack "I've noticed that teenagers have become weaker in the last few years" . Personally I think she choose the wrong word, but it's true. It's like something inside this generation has snapped.
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    (Original post by MissBravo)
    How do you think things could be improved?
    And I hope you're getting better and that more people speak up so things are improve so it's more efficient and actually helps people. I wish you all the best.
    I think that GPs should be given workshops in handling mental health queries better, if I'm honest. I wasn't scared to confront my specialist about my concerns, but I was frightened to discuss my worries with my GP because I have never been met with understanding. The only problem is that GPs would never have the time to attend such a workshop unless it was done individually and took one doctor per practice, with rotation between who attends and who stays the clinic. In an ideal world! I am getting better now, thank you. 🌸 I'm just getting used to my medication.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    One measure of the nation's mental halth is the suicide rate. Despite suicide ceasing being a crime and fewer regarding as a sin, the suicide rate has been falling for decades.

    https://academic.oup.com/ije/article...61-2007-a-time

    Is this more realistic than asking people whether they feel more depressed now than in the past?
    AFAIK it's not considered a reliable indicator of mental health - one of the reasons being the effectiveness of 'means reduction' in reducing suicide rates.
    Poisonous town gas was phased out for economic reasons between the late '50s and the mid 70's and it was later noted that the number of suicides due to gassing dropped but was not substituted by other methods... afaik no-one expected that, the previous assumption was that making the environment a little bit less suicide friendly would be useless because a sufficiently depressed person would be highly motivated enough to find an effective method. Turns out a large number of suicides are committed on a whim and if no effective method is to hand the would-be suicider will often think better of it within a matter of minutes.

    The town gas effect is why you now have to buy otc analgesics in limited quantities of small blister packs rather than great big bottles of 100 - there's nothing stopping someone from stockpiling a lethal dose of aspirin for a suicide attempt after making several trips to poundland... but it turns out to be quite an effective suicide prevention measure..

    since the 60's the contents of the medicine cabinet, the pesticides in your garden shed and the exhaust gasses coming out of your car have all become less lethal.
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    Mental illness wouldn't have been readily acknowledged or talked about 25 years ago, so I'd take those stats with a grain of salt. I think it's just more recognised now. There are a lot of pressures on young people that didn't really exist decades ago though.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    One measure of the nation's mental halth is the suicide rate. Despite suicide ceasing being a crime and fewer regarding as a sin, the suicide rate has been falling for decades.

    https://academic.oup.com/ije/article...61-2007-a-time

    Is this more realistic than asking people whether they feel more depressed now than in the past?
    It doesn't give a full picture on how many people have mh problems since not everybody with a mh problem is suicidal. It could give some insight into how mh issues are dealt with however as it may indicate that people are receiving better help for mh problems so are less likely to turn to suicide.
    It could however come about from various different influences. Some that I can think of are
    incorrect/ non consistent statistics. It may be that more suicide-like deaths are being deemed accidents, that data is being collected differently, that people are choosing less obvious methods etc so the statistics don't necessarily represent real values.
    Other options for relief. I would be interested to see how suicide and drug/ alcohol use stats compare. It could be that drugs are easier to come by so people are turning to drugs for relief before suicide is as much of a temptation.
    Drug overdoses and drug related deaths are probably also more likely to be ruled as accidents that other methods so may tie into the first factor.
    Close calls. If the statistics show successful attempts rather than ones where the person lived then advanced emergency response time, medical progress and public vigilance could also play a part. If a person is driven to attempt suicide but is saved and given help they would not appear in stats while they may have in previous years.
    Places like train platforms are also trying out suicide prevention measures that may have a similar influence. An example is blue lights at train platforms which are meant to calm people.

    (These are just some ideas I have thought up. I do not know how plausible they actually are.)
    So, although suicide rate stats could offer some important insight, there are some factors you would need to consider. That's the same case with any statistics though. You always need to bare in mind other influences.

    As far as asking people if they are depressed goes... Diagnosis rates would give you a more realistic value as there are less factors to consider, but you still need to bare in mind that the values collected will have been collected in different ways.
    I would think for instance that doctors are generally more knowledgable of mh issues than in the past and that people are more likely to go see them for a mh issue than they would be in the past. Also, with a diagnosis being how you access a lot of support people are more likely to be given a diagnosis while in the past they may have just been offered advice instead.
    Again, just ideas.

    I would think the best way to go about it is by looking at a combination of statistics including diagnosis rate, suicide rate and also making an estimation of how many people go undiagnosed.
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    (Original post by Joinedup)
    AFAIK it's not considered a reliable indicator of mental health - one of the reasons being the effectiveness of 'means reduction' in reducing suicide rates.
    Poisonous town gas was phased out for economic reasons between the late '50s and the mid 70's and it was later noted that the number of suicides due to gassing dropped but was not substituted by other methods... afaik no-one expected that, the previous assumption was that making the environment a little bit less suicide friendly would be useless because a sufficiently depressed person would be highly motivated enough to find an effective method. Turns out a large number of suicides are committed on a whim and if no effective method is to hand the would-be suicider will often think better of it within a matter of minutes.

    The town gas effect is why you now have to buy otc analgesics in limited quantities of small blister packs rather than great big bottles of 100 - there's nothing stopping someone from stockpiling a lethal dose of aspirin for a suicide attempt after making several trips to poundland... but it turns out to be quite an effective suicide prevention measure..

    since the 60's the contents of the medicine cabinet, the pesticides in your garden shed and the exhaust gasses coming out of your car have all become less lethal.
    I had prepared a posting which I didn't then post on the town gas effect which explains the dramatic fall in the suicide rate between 1965 and 1977. Incidentally the dramatic fall in the suicide rate on the outbreak of WWII is often misattributed to the perception that people found a role and responsibility with the war. The answer is rather more prosaic. anyone in uniform who killed themselves was recorded as a death on active service; even if the death was with one's own service revolver and the active service was with a fellow officer's wife.

    However despite this, I would suggest that suicide rates are a more accurate reflection of mental health than measuring the availability of mental health services or asking people whether they are more or less happy/stressed than at some self-identified time in the past which is what most research into the extent of mental illness otherwise boils down to. I did not suggest it was the only method of measuring mental illness; note the indefinite article at the beginning of my post.

    PS I bring back large tubs of aspirin from the States
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    I think it is improbable but that would be speculation on my part.

    However, if you had been alive in 1961 when suicide was decriminalised you might have reasonably (although incorrectly) predicted that the suicide rate would increase and if you were researching in 2017 looking at the data and had just reached 1961 in your research, you might have (again incorrectly) have expected the rates in the following years to be higher.
    Nah, it wasn't even a reasonable prediction in 1961 chap, nice waffle though, 7/10.

    Suicide rates are of course used as a target, it's easy enough to reduce suicide rates without doing anything to help the underlying cause, which having seen the state of our mental health care isn't far wide of the mark.
 
 
 
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