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Stat of the day: The difference between sadness and depression

By Angela Matthews

For those who heard Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, apologies for the repetition. Ruby Wax was talking about the importance of recognising the differences between sadness and depression, and how the people around us – and even GPs – often fail to distinguish between the two. The discussion included that a key situation where such errors occur is when someone is grieving following the loss of a loved one, and this often becomes mis-diagnosed as depression. Ruby was commenting that even GPs often do not have the specialist knowledge to be able to recognise and deal with mental health conditions, and she was advocating for GPs to be referring mental health cases to specialists sooner and more frequently so that a more accurate diagnosis and response can be given.

The statistic that caused discussion this morning was that 1 in 5 people living in Wales are currently taking anti-depressant medication.

Some of what Ruby was saying about depression this morning is also in the videos and transcripts here.

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