Anonymous said: does chronic depression count as a chronic illness or is chronic illness only physical illnesses?
We have a very strong standing on this. Chronic depression or any other mental illness is still a chronic illness. It irritates me to no end to hear people say otherwise.
Because when people deny that mental illnesses are chronic illnesses, they are saying that mental illnesses are not based in physiology. They are saying that they are somehow emotional or spiritual in origin. THIS IS NOT TRUE. Mental illnesses are based in brain chemistry and physiology. Just like any other organ in the body, the brain can physically malfunction. It can produce too much of one neurotransmitter or not enough of another. It can have failed synapses, or overactive synapses. There can be actual brain damage from physical trauma. There are many reasons why the brain does not function within average parameters.
But the stigmatization of mental illness would have you believe that this is something that is in your control. That somehow you are to blame for this illness. That this is something you can turn on and off by sheer willpower, positive thinking or faith. That is like telling someone who needs glasses, that if they just tried harder, their eyes would work without help. It is like telling a someone in a wheelchair that they just need to think happy thoughts and their body would be able to walk unassisted. (Not that those things don’t actually happen.)
Mental illness is physical and it is chronic and I will throw down with anyone who says otherwise.
There is so much more to rant about on this subject, but I will stick to answering your question. Yes, depression is a chronic illness. And it is a physical illness, even if the organ that is not working properly is the brain.
Also, you did not ask this, but I want to assure you that you ARE welcomed here. We do focus on physical illnesses because that is what we suffer from and it is what we know and understand. It does not mean you cannot relate and it does not mean you do not belong.
Thank you for being brave enough to ask this question. You made yourself very vulnerable to rejection and I have so much respect for you.
(EDIT: I was standing in the kitchen and realized that I said we focus on physical illness, which was goes against the heart of this message. I apologize. I should have said we focus on illnesses not usually classified as mental illness because our diagnosis fall outside that umbrella. I am truly sorry for my wording.)