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Marie-Anne Hamilton

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Health/wellbeing feature for Woman magazine

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A magazine feature, for Woman Specials, about why depression seems more commonplace now than in the past, and asking whether our modern lifestyle is to blame. I interviewed several experts in the field for their views.


Is modern life getting you down?

Miranda Hart is one of many famous people who have spoken out about depression, but what’s making us all so unhappy?

With their seemingly fabulous jobs, lifestyles and wealth, celebrities have always been our number one role models, but it’s become increasingly clear that deep unhappiness lies behind many a glossy smile. Author JK Rowling, Angelina Jolie, Kylie Minogue and Miranda Hart are amongst the famous faces to reveal their battles with depression.

‘I’ll always have to force myself to see the positive, because I’m wired badly,’ confesses Miranda, 40, who was plagued by anxiety and agoraphobia after leaving university, hiding in her room and taking anti-depressants.

She’s not alone. It’s said around 20-25% of us will suffer from depression at some point. So is modern life sending us round the bend, or are we just more inclined to talk about it?

Many professionals believe while clinical depression is probably no more common than before, people are more likely to actually feel unhappy – and to seek help.

‘Celebrities, such as Stephen Fry and Miranda, talk openly about their mental health problems,’ says Mark McDonagh, principal therapist at Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust ‘This takes away the stigma of saying you suffer from depression.’ ……


Is modern life getting you down