At the dinner table tonight:
Benjamin - "Do you know what the worst thing in the world is?" (pauses briefly) " Being dead."
Laura - "No! Mummy said that sometimes people are really, really sad. That could be worser."
I guess that could well be 'worser'. Severe depression must feel like the deepest crevasse, the blackest night, the loneliest place on earth. How strange that my five-year-old daughter was able to remind me of that fact this evening. Children sometimes have the keenest sense of the truth.
Major depression affects approximately 6% of the Australian population. Too often it goes undiagnosed and untreated - especially when sufferers hide their distress, or complain more of the physical symptoms, such as fatigue, insomnia or problems with memory or concentration. I suppose we all need to be vigilant in watching our nearest and dearest for warning signs. And that includes ourselves.
Of course, for those transitory blues or momentary stress-outs, there's always chocolate. It has proven mood-elevating benefits (I'm sure I read that in the New England Journal of Medicine, or was it Who Weekly?). With the amount of Old Jamaican Rum dark chocolate I ate tonight, I should be cruising through the rest of the week, happy as a clam!
I'll let you know how it goes.