Monthly Archives: November 2013

Labour MP Slams The ‘Harsh’ Use Of Benefit Sanctions As ‘Brutalising’ The Poor

A lot of good sense here.
You can read Micheal Meachers blog here.

About Micheal Meachers.

Michael Meacher MP has been the Labout Member of Parliament for Oldham West and Royton since 1997.
He was first elected to Parliament in 1970 for Oldham West, reversing his previous defeat, and served as a junior minister under Harold Wilson and James Callaghan (Under-Secretary for Industry, 1974-75, Under-Secretary for Health and Social Security, 1975-79.
During opposition, from 1983 to 1997, he was in the Shadow Cabinet for fourteen years and also during this time lectured at the LSE. He stood against Roy Hattersley in the 1983 deputy leadership election and was a member of Labour’s National Executive Committee from 1983 to 1989. Whilst in the Shadow Cabinet, he was Opposition Spokesperson on Health and Social Security 1983-87, Employment 1987-89, Social Security 1989-92, Overseas Development and Co-operation 1992-93, Citizen’s Charter and Science 1993-94, Transport 1994-95, Employment 1995-96, and Environmental Protection 1996-97.
In Tony Blair’s government, he was Minister of State for the Environment and Privy Counsellor from May 1997 to June 2003.
He is a Parliamentary representative and member of UNISON.
Michael is a member of the Fabian Society.

Where in the world are people most depressed?

In Battersea, well perhaps not 😉

Powered by article titled “Where in the world are people most depressed?” was written by Mark Rice-Oxley, for on Friday 8th November 2013 15.56 UTC

For those who think of depression as a byproduct of the vapidity of western materialism, this latest study by researchers in Queensland might come as something of a shock. Depression simply isn’t that picky. And when it comes to depressive disorders, parts of north Africa and the Middle East suffer more than North America and western Europe.

According to the researchers, who gathered pre-existing data on clinical diagnoses up to 2010, Algeria, Libya, Syria and Afghanistan fared worse for the cumulative number of years their citizens lived with the disability of depression (YLD). (For the Middle East countries, bear in mind that this relates to data gathered before the Arab spring turned lives upside down).

Japan fared the best, along with Australia and New Zealand. The researchers caveated their work by acknowledging that data is patchy from some parts of the world. Intriguingly, the UK and US – countries in which reporting on mental illness and cultural reflections of depression are rapidly multiplying – appear to be far less badly afflicted than parts of Africa and eastern Europe.

The second interesting breakdown (no pun intended) of the data concerns age.

YLDs by age and sex for MDD and dysthymia in 1990 and 2010
YLDs by age and sex for major depressive disorder and dysthymia (milder depression) in 1990 and 2010. Click on the image for a full-size graphic Photograph: info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001547

The gender graph contains few surprises – women appear to suffer about twice as much as men, reflecting most major studies into the incidence of depression. But the age analysis shows the extent to which depression is becoming a young person’s affliction. People aged 20 to 24 suffer most, closely followed by the generation immediately senior to them. By the time you get to 50-year-olds, where existential questions might start to press, rates dwindle. Above 60, they ease off quite sharply. There may be comfort in growing old after all.

So is depression on the rise? Again, you would think so from the proliferation of reporting and analysis about the disease. The researchers say yes and no: depressive illness is the disease with the second heaviest burden on society, with around one in 20 people suffering. But if it is getting worse, they say, it may be down to demographics.

“Whilst burden increased by 37.5% between 1990 and 2010, this was due to population growth and ageing,” they say. “Contrary to recent literature on the topic, our findings suggest that the epidemiology of both major depressive disorder and dysthymia (milder depression) remained relatively stable over time.” © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

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