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Sunday, 5 October 2014


The use of the word blue for a downcast feeling dates back to the 15th century. Its origin probably lies in the blue tinge of flesh when blood circulation or oxygenation is poor.

King Henry VI of England suffered from a depression so grim that at times he couldn't speak.
When he had one of his attacks doctors were unable to stir him despite using such treatments as pulling his nose and hair and blistering him with hot irons. The rival houses of York and Lancaster seized their chance and began the Wars of the Roses.

Martin Luther suffered from fits of depression. One day his wife came to him wearing a black veil and a black gown, saying “I am mourning the death of God for by the way you are behaving God must surely be dead.”

During his twenties Benjamin Disraeli suffered from depression and was on the verge of a nervous breakdown, which was described by his doctor as a chronic inflammation of the membranes of the brain. For a four-year period he lived the life of a recluse, then for many years after that he was frequently bed-ridden through psychosomatic illness and crippling headaches.

The manic-depressive Sigmund Freud was unable to concentrate on his work when on one of his uppers or downers.

Winston Churchill suffered from cyclothymia, a chronic disorder consisting of repetitive periods of mild depression followed by periods of normal or slightly elevated mood. So bad were his periods of depression, (he referred to them as his "black dog"), that he did not allow himself to stand at the edge of railway platforms or ship decks in case he decided to jump.

The writer Ernest Hemingway suffered from bipolar disorder, then known as manic depression, and was treated with electroshock therapy at the Menninger Clinic. The therapy, he claimed, had destroyed his memory, which was essential to a writer.

The "Dementors" which were first introduced in Harry Potter and The Prisoner Of Azkaban represented JK Rowling's severe depression.

The Japanese had a negative view of antidepressants until 1999 when pharmaceutical companies initiated educational campaigns. They coined the catchphrase 'kokoro no kaze', which literally means "a cold of the soul", as a marketing ploy. As a result, antidepressant sales increased six fold within a space of eight years.

According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of ill health today, affecting some 300 million people worldwide.

The third Monday in January is considered to be ‘Blue Monday’, the most depressing day of the year. Factors contributing to this theory include: debt, miserable weather, post-Christmas blues, failing New Year’s resolutions and low motivation.

Depression is the most common disability in women - About 25% of all women will experience severe depression at some point in their lives.

People with depression are more likely to use absolutist words e.g: "always" "never" "completely."

Dogs, like humans, experience varying levels of depression.

Gus (1965-2013) a polar bear in New York Zoo was the first zoo animal in history to be treated with Prozac

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