It could never happen to me: said Professor X
Professor X was a very successful teacher of Science and Advanced Mathematics, had a highly organised and successful family life, and was adamant there was no such thing as stress or depression, and indeed accused people who had time off from work due to stress as basically telling lies.
In one particular six month period, Professor X had a range of emotional stresses affect himself and his family. He went on to develop a devastatingly severe and life threatening form of depressive illness, which did not respond to every conventional antidepressant available, did not respond to cognitive therapy, did not respond to interpersonal therapy, did not respond to psychodynamic therapy, and responded very briefly to ECT (shock treatment). Professor X was hospitalised numerous times for his own protection when suicidal, but nonetheless made a number of serious suicide attempts. Professor X saw multiple psychiatrists, including myself. In fact, Professor X eventually responded to an untried combination of antidepressant medications and is now fully recovered and back at work.
Unfortunately, NEITHER YOU NOR anybody else is immune to depressive illness, just as no-one is immune to cancer. WE ALL HAVE IMMENSELY COMPLEX BUT FRAGILE BRAINS. OUR MOST COMPLEX COMPUTERS NEED THE MOST CARE.
Depressive illness has affected members of every sex, age, race, religion, intellectual level and occupation known to man.
To claim “it could never happen to me” is really to state one’s fear of this illness, which can secretly get you in its grasp.
We can only hope the depressive illness any one of us may get is not as severe as that which affected Professor X. He used to believe there was no such thing as stress; now he states that he understands why people kill themselves to escape the pain of depression.
Early diagnosis and treatment of depression lessens the suffering and the risks of this immensely common illness.
Important Disclaimer: This site is medical information only, and is not to be taken as diagnosis, advice or treatment, which can only be decided by your own doctor.