I was going to just leave a comment to yours Gracie and Max but it would have been a bit long I think.

Is anxiety and depression apparently more prevalent because we talk about it more nowadays and there is less stigma attached?

People don't worry quite as much as they once did about admitting to having bouts of depression or suffering from panic attacks...

Though having said that I've had some awful reactions from people I thought were friends with one of the worst being told in no uncertain terms to 'Snap out of it...there are plenty of people far worse off than you are'

Suffering from long-term depression isn't the same as being depressed. Being depressed because it's raining again or the cats gone missing isn't the same as the over-whelming feeling of total helplessness accompanied by loss of appetite, disordered sleep patterns and social phobia which goes with long-term depression.

Being properly diagnosed was the turning point for me...being told I had a severe lack of serotonin and needed to take a daily dose of medication to bring the levels back to something near normal quite literally saved my life.

But it took almost ten years before a Doctor told me at long last what was wrong...

Most Doctors are still too fond of saying, you need a nice hobby dear to take your mind off yourself...as they hand you another prescription for valium and tell you to come back in a month...

I've often wondered if the prevalence of depression has something to do with our loss of control over our world. We have news items about bombings and murders and neglected people and animals thrust at us from all quarters...endless appeals for sufferers of terrible natural disasters...babies dying through lack of food and fresh water and seeing soup kitchens opening in our own small towns to feed the hungry.

Famines and earthquakes and cruelty has always been with us...but we were shielded to a great extent because we simply didn't get to hear of it.

Now it is in our faces day after day and we are powerless to make it better.

We don't have 'heroes' anymore...or if we do I'd struggle to name them. There isn't a Bob Geldof for 2013 to virtually coerce his friends and acquaintances into raising huge amounts of money for rehoming the homeless or whatever...we don't even have music to call our own...there is no one world leader who deserves respect that we can rest our hopes upon.

Even the food we eat has been tampered with by companies who consider profit above ethics.

Endlessly being told we will see the last of the great whales and the polar bears within our own lifetimes isn't exactly cheering news because we are helpless in the face of such a situation.

Our heroes are barely literate footballers who earn obscene amounts of money...'pop' stars who get above themselves and think it hilarious to fall out of night clubs in a drunken stupor and those razor thin models who throw seven kinds of fit if they weigh more than six meagre stone in weight...

People become 'personalities' for having plastic breasts and dyed blonde hair and having sex with anyone with money and a fast car...

Television programmes veer towards 'artful cooking'...not teaching young women how to produce a hot inexpensive supper for a hungry husband and three small children but instead we are treated to a neat heap of rabbit livers topped with truffle oil...

We are endlessly force-fed advertisements on how to keep your house so feckin' clean you end up with zero resistance to germs and buy those god-awful plug-in air fresheners smelling like a chemical experiment rather than throwing a couple of windows wide open.

Years ago I was friendly with a young German...he'd stop and chat and we'd lean on the garden gate and put the world to rights. Jorge used to say all we can do as individuals is live the best lives we can and hope one other follows our path...then it will spread and expand until one hundred people do the same and so it will spread.

I've seemed to come a long way off topic...but I also feel I haven't.

You might well think differently but I think our rise in people suffering from depression has much to do with the world in which we live and our inability to do anything to change that world.

Depression is also linked to having a creative mind...writers and painters...are particularly prone to being depressive and in times past would have taken to opium...I just smoke a lot.

If we talk about it..if we share our own experiences without fear of ridicule...if we stand up to be counted among the very many who will at some point in their lives suffer from a short episode or a long-term diagnosis of depression then we'll make it easier for others to come forward and say...me too.