Once again depression has claimed another victim. And once again, we see that depression kills. When Mary Kennedy hanged herself this past week, it brought to the country’s attention that depression is a difficult and complex illness. It manifests itself differently in different people. It comes and goes as it wishes. And truth be told, the more we know about depression, the more we find we know very little.
This fact frustrates insurance providers as the companies look for an easy way to treat this disease. The powers that be in these companies want black and white answers to treating a very complicated illness. There is no simple way that therapy treats and cures depression in all people. Medication doesn’t work for all and neither does any other treatment. There is no magic number of days a person should seek treatment from a psychologist, a psychiatrist, or other health professional. And there is no guarantee that the disease will not return again and again and again.
During this time of discussion about the health care mandate, we need to heighten awareness of not only providing health care for all people, but also providing quality health care for those suffering from mental illness. A nation as great as ours should do no less. And if the corporations providing health insurance could do the same, we might be on the right track to treating depression as the unique disease that it is. And we will read less and less of depression claiming yet another victim.
Our sympathies to Mary Kennedy’s family. We know how hard it is to deal with the questions that plague those left behind.