If somebody has body odour or bad breath do you tell them? Or subtly move away, change your desk or open a window?
If someone you know well becomes miserable for no apparent reason, is anyone going to move in and say 'Why not see the doctor, you may be depressed'. Mostly, because the 'cafard', black dog, grey cloud can be explained by something as simple as a bad hair day or a partnership break-down.
I spend too much time in hospitals with people in a desperate state, and too much time on my own, but reading the blogs with great care (particularly Mary's a few days' ago) I don't see depression everywhere, but look at close acquaintances in a new light.
When my husband's sight problems a few years ago caused him to stop driving and reading, he settled to a deep anger against the world. As he was happy (unlike most men) to be driven around by me – to outsiders our life seemed to go on without a hitch. But he would not avail himself of outside help, it was me or nothing.
He now has Alzheimers. I may be jumping to conclusions, but could he have gone in to a deep depression, which, if recognised, might have put the Alzheimers off for a while?
Another example, is a friend I have 'finished' with. His meanness and sponging had gone too far. For years he behaved oddly - he hated being 70 and was horrible to his wife. He was one of these real 'macho' guys - rally driving, shooting, always very competitive.
A few years ago he suddenly insisted on separate rooms, blamed his back. We believe he became impotent, but his pride would not let him seek help, and certainly not admit to depression.
So, who tells?
A Moodscope member.