Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Books will beat the blues, says Philip Hensher

If you look at a guy with motor neurone disease, you can immediately see why it sucks to have the disease. You can imagine how it would affect you. And you wouldn't dream of suggesting that it was all in his head. Depression, another (albeit more common) neurological disease, is not afforded the same sympathy. And as such, people do not shy away from belittling the affliction, or dreaming up ways for the afflicted to overcome their disability.



Philip Hensher, for instance, believes that reading books will make people happier. And he implies that depression may even be caused by not reading enough. OK, well maybe he doesn't quite, but his recent column on the governments recommended amount of reading for school kids shows just the sort of ignorant and unhelpful attitude that pervades the modern psyche.

He asks:
Why shouldn't the GP, faced with an aimless, purposeless, depressed patient, not inquire "Are you reading enough?"

I'd suggest that Philip might not be 'reading enough' of the evidence-based lifestyle and medical interventions for major depression before he wades belittles the sufferers of a real and significant condition.

Besides that, though, I'm sure Phil is a lovely chap!

16 comments:

  1. Interesting indeed, thanks!

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  2. thanks for the great post!

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  3. Reading a book always makes me happier!!!

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  4. I love reading a good book; epic fantasies are the best ;D

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  5. I don't read that much at all anymore. Unfortunate, really =p

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  6. hmm cant say I've ever suffered from depression.. but then again I do read a lot :P

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  7. I can see that. I read all the time. Always makes me feel better.

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  8. Sounds like I need to pick up some more heavy reading.

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  9. It makes me sad when you talk to someone and they say that they never read anything :(

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