Tweet There's a lot of black ink being spilled in the press today with regards to Prof Patrick McGorry"s Early Psychosis Intervention Centres -EPIC - being described by a US expert as a "vast untried public health experiment". I suppose that it may have something to do with the cost, $222 million to expand the scheme, but call me a softie for supporting any initiative that helps those struggling with mood disorders/psychiatric conditions, but I think that every effort must be made and every initiative tried, to lessen these black dog diseases.Ampersands & angle brackets need to be encoded.
It's not that we're dealing with something new: I was listening to a discussion the other day about a book written 500 years ago by an English Vicar called Richard Burton, entitled "The Anatomy of Melancholy". At that time all health problems were thought to be due to a disorder of one of the four "Humours" - Sanguine, Choleric, Phlegmatic and Melancholic. In fact the word Melancholic comes from two Latin words that mean Black Bile, and was thought to affect the brain; and the whole Humour theory dates back to the time of Hippocrates a couple of thousand years ago. In other words mental disorders have been talked about and discussed for centuries, and is not just a disease of our times.
I mention all of this because there is no simple solution. Yes we do have some medications, and the researchers are constantly looking to better understand the mysteries of the mind but there is no quick fix anywhere on the horizon. I suspect that because mood disorders have been such a constant companion of society ever since we stopped dragging our knuckles along the floor, that we've come to see it as an inevitable part of life. Thanks to people like Patrick McGorry and others, the light is now well and truly being shone on a dreadful burden that so many have to endure, and at last something is actually being tried!