Friday, 19 June 2015

MH || depression changes your DNA

It was World DNA Day on April 25th! Which I'm aware was ages ago but things got a bit cray and I didn't get around to posting much more about mental health, but I'm going to continue trying! IFL science posted an article titled 'Depression can Physically Alter your DNA'. So basically anyone who still thinks depression isn't real can shut the hell up.
Just some blue sea and sky and nothing else to represent depression 'cos I'm deep like that.
I think it helps me a lot to think of depression in terms of science, everything is science so I don't see how people can say they don't believe depression is actually an illness when it has been studied and there are plenty of research results out there. Sure we don't know everything but that's because it's the brain a hugely fucking complicated organ. Some of us are just wired differently, and within depression there are different types of depression that scientists are currently struggling to categorize.

And it's technically still a 'physical illness' seeing as our brain is an organ so when people say 'it's all in your head' just nod and smile and walk the fuck away from them!

I'm currently reading a book (which I will review once I've finished it) called Sane New World about the mind by Ruby Wax and in one part she gives some other examples of illnesses of the brain, one where the sufferer honestly believes they are dead. So if people can be diagnosed with diseases such as this, why are people still struggling to accept that depression is also a diagnosable illness?

I'm fed up of reading that we shouldn't be taking medication, we just need to "man up", because taking medication has meant that I can pretty much carry on living a normal life, whereas before I had hardly any energy from crying all the time, and I barely left the house.

While we're here, I'm going to point out that as depression is an illness, suicide is not a crime. People need to stop with the 'it's so selfish' bullcrap. People who say this still seem to think that there is a choice, that it is simply about having a positive attitude. Well I am a very positive person, I know I am, I'm very much a everything will be alright in the end just keep swimming kinda gal, but yes I have my moments and I have felt suicidal in the past. These feelings aren't me though, the crying for hours and shutting people out is not me. It's my illness, it makes me scared and hurt and angry and what's even more scary is that we still don't know lots about it, and it can be very difficult to completely cure. It is one of those illnesses that usually comes back again and again, but I'm learning to live with it, and admitting that I am ill was the first step.

If you suffer from something similar I really recommend you read up on the science behind your illness, it doesn't have to be scientific papers, I Fucking Love Science posts about mental health, this post was inspired by one of their posts which I mentioned and linked to at the start of this post :) let me know how you deal with it, I think it's easier to accept it when you know more about how it is actually working inside you.


  1. Im aware of how real and incredibly difficult it is to handle depression from my health classes and I really believe that the reality of this illness needs to be talked about more. I know that a lot of ad campaigns have been released about the "just deal with it/man up" attitude and how it needs to stop but I also know that even after some people see these posts, they still don't think that some person they know can actually have this illness and they just assume that they're exaggerating.

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  2. Yeh ofc plenty of people still assume we're exaggerating, this post wasn't for them though. It was for decent friends/family and for people who have experience with mental illnesses. That's great that you are learning about it in health class! I think people should read up on the research being done because it's reassured me, and now that the medication is making a big difference to my life I have no doubt that it's treatable with medication. Problem is we don't know everything, or even much about how it works in the brain, the brain is such a complicated organ! But I keep an eye out for research or articles because there's a lot more research going into it now, which I think is the important thing. Ignorant people can get out of my life haha! xo

  3. I am exactly like this. Especially as I also struggle with a "physical" illness - type one diabetes - it really can get to me when people view diabetes as more serious than my mental health, when arguably the latter has had a far greater impact on my life AND physical health! thank-you for sharing this, brilliant post. Sending huge hugs your way x

  4. Thank you so much for this comment! People don't always realise there are physical effects with it, it is such a draining illness. I totally avoid and ignore (or scorn and laugh at) ignorant people now, it used to bother me, but I am extremely lucky to have a great Dr and support system. My Dr said one reason why depression is rising quickly now is because people don't have as good support systems from people in their lives as we used to, and a lot of that is down to the rise of social media and technology. I always encourage people to be as open as they can be, and to get to a stage where they can talk about it as openly as though it is an illness such as diabetes so people in their life get the idea that yes, we are ill, and if they don't like that, they can leave!

    Sending huge hugs right back atcha ;) I hope you are well at the mo? xoxo

  5. Well said. Interesting you mention science because I never read about that side, at all. It is an illness that needs to be treated as such.
    I personally worry I come across as boring or a downer because I sometimes say no to things with friends. But I do want to join in and have fun, but some bad days last for weeks at a time. Anyways, enjoyed reading this post and you're opinion!