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Mental Illness

December 8, 2014

Many people assume that depression is simply caused by recent personal difficulties. However depression is often caused by the mix of recent events and other personal factors.

 

Research indicates that recent life stressors are not as important as chronic difficulties such as long term unemployment or living in an abusive or uncaring marriage.

 

A few statistics1 :

 

  • Around one in six Australian men suffer from depression at any given time.

  • Four times more young men than young women commit suicide

  • Depression in men is associated with an increased risk of a variety of disorders including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

 

The experience of male depression is complicated by the fact that men are more likely than women to shy away from treatment of any kind.

 

However, females have their own challenges1 :

 

  • From puberty onwards, women are twice as likely to experience depression as men

  • Depression occurs more commonly in younger rather than older women.

  • Those women who are vulnerable will usually experience their first episode during their reproductive years ( ages 15 to 45 years )

 

There have been many developments in the medications available to sufferers of anxiety/depression in recent times and a basic understanding of these medications may assist you when discussing these matters as part of the personal statement.

 

The two big groups are :

 

  • The Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors ( SSRI’s ) which are a newer drug class with less side effects and include Zoloft, Cipramil, Ciazil, Talohexal, Aropax, Paxtine, Prozac , Erocap, Lovan, Zactin, Auscap, Luvox and Faverin. The SSRI’s are now the most commonly prescribed antidepressants in Australia and are highly effective with relatively few side effects.

  • Tricyclic Antidepressants ( TCA’s ) are older style drugs which have more side effects. These include Allegron, Anafranil, Prothiaden, Dothep,Tofranil, Tryptanol and Endep.

 

1 Australian Bureau of Statistics. ( 2006 )

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