RVN meets reality ~ Depression & Mental health

25 Feb 2012

Author: Tim 

Pic. credit: http://lonelygirlbloggers19.files.wordpress.com

Unlike our previous “reality” topic money, this topic has been aired in the community on a number of occasions. Although it has been discussed and been the subject of survey questions and polls it has never been made quite clear what the purpose of gathering such information might be. Is it a belief that modern living vampirism presupposes mental health issues, or is it a supposition that modern living vampirism creates, precipitates or negatively reinforces such health issues?

It may well be that the VC/OVC does have a disproportionate number of members that suffer from some issue of mental health, however, when looking at a microcosm it is easy to infer that there is a higher per capita rate of instances than would normally be expected. In reviewing some information that we have researched, we read that:

In the United States, “even though mental illness is widespread in the population, the main burden of illness is concentrated in a much smaller proportion-about 6 percent, or 1 in 17 Americans-who live with a serious mental illness. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that One in four adults-approximately 57.7 million Americans-experience a mental health disorder in a given year.

– The U.S. Surgeon General reports that 10 percent of children and adolescents in the United States suffer from serious emotional and mental disorders that cause significant functional impairment in their day-to-day lives at home, in school and with peers.

– The World Health Organization has reported that four of the 10 leading causes of disability in the US and other developed countries are mental disorders. By 2020, Major Depressive illness will be the leading cause of disability in the world for women and children.”[1]

From the United Kingdom the facts and figures around Mental Health are reported as “being alarming“.

1 in 4 people will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year

– Mixed anxiety and depression is the most common mental disorder in Britain

– Women are more likely to have been treated for a mental health problem than men

– About 10% of children have a mental health problem at any one time

Depression affects 1 in 5 older people

– Suicides rates show that British men are three times as likely to die by suicide than British women

– Self-harm statistics for the UK show one of the highest rates in Europe: 400 per 100,000 population.” [2]

Meanwhile, reports from Australia indicate that:

About 20% of Adult Australians, or one in five people, will experience a mental illness at some stage in their lives. Many will live with more than one mental illness at a time, such as anxiety and depression, which commonly occur together.


Each year a further 20 000 Australians are found to have a mental illness. In summary:

Three million Australians will experience a major depressive illness during their lifetime;

5 per cent of Australians experience anxiety so crippling that is affects every aspect of their lives;

Almost 1 in 100 Australians will experience schizophrenia during their lifetime;

About 3 per cent of Australians will experience a psychotic illness such as schizophrenia during their lifetime.”[3]

Statistical information from THREE locations only, a global picture can only be worse. Why is the issue a discussion/debate/research point in the entity known as the vampire community? Obviously, it would appear that as a group the population of real living vampires is no more or less immune to mental health issues than any other social group so what are the important inferences that can be drawn from gathering facts and statistics within the VC?

Are we creating an inference that “all real living vampires suffer some form of mental health issue” or are we seeking some evidence that they do not?

Are we aiding and abetting the outside view of “vampires” today as being “of unsound mind” and hence focusing on the criminal activities of extremists and those clearly suffering delusions or some other form of mental health issue?

Are we seeking to attach some additional burden to the label of “modern vampire” that is already fraught with concerns and burdens in creating a balance between the vampire and the mundane worlds?

If it is true that a higher per capita representation is facing this problem in the community then it is perhaps timely to reveal some of the resources we have researched in the fight against mental illness.

There are many web resources that offer information on, and explanations of, mental health. Some good information is to be found at Live Science.com, Health Direct Australia, the CDC in the United States, E-Science News, Psych Central.com and the World Health Organisation to mention but a few. Another key to fighting mental health issues is to be able to access support services that are free and not dependant on weakening national health care systems.

On a more personal level, three excellent resources for help and advice are to be found at:

Wing of Madness Depression Guide,

Their introduction contains the following, “Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. Of course, it was over thirty years ago, but I still remember with painful clarity what it was like to be a teenager with depression. The sadness, the feeling of helplessness, the belief that it was part of my personality and the conviction that something was wrong.

Depressionet Org.au,

A 24/7 resource for help, advice and support that writes, in their introduction, “Our online peer support forums for people living with depression were the first of their kind in the world.  Since 2000 our messageboard & chat have been providing a safe place for people living with depression to give and receive the support we all need along the way.

Depression Forums,

Who write in their opening message, “Our mission is to create an atmosphere that is both supportive and informative in a caring, safe environment for our members to talk to their peers about depression, anxiety, mood disorders, medications, therapy and recovery

As all will advise, somewhere along the line, the best thing to do in the beginning is to get help and support as early as possible. Early intervention can be crucial in the treatment of many psychological disorders and mental illnesses. In many ways it could be likened to recovering from alcoholism wherein the most important step is in recognizing that you have a problem. Failing to do this will inevitably prolong any treatment regimen that can be used effectively and it’s not only the person suffering that has a hard and difficult journey ahead, their families and loved ones also face the burden of living with someone who suffers from a mental health issue. Fortunately most of the resources available today have been taking on an increasing interest in the welfare of “carers” and family members as part of their overall management strategy.

The short version is, vampyre or not, recognize the problem, get help without delay, stick to the management plan and you will find that you rule your life rather than letting the depression or other mental health issue rule.

1) www.nami.org

2) Mental Health Org. U.K.

3) Responseability.org Australia

Please Note:: This information is presented as is with no warranties or guarantees expressed or implied. It is presented as reference material only and is not meant to replace or supersede the advice of a qualified medical/psychological practitioner.


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