Where do we begin?
From those I have spoken to through my work with 'Turning Point', the beginning seems to be that women in our society are seen as the carers - the ones who can cope. Whatever life throws at them - they will always cope. On call twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, whether their children are sick, their husbands are out of work or their parents are old and frail and need attending - they will cope. They will cook and clean, go out to work, attend to the needs of those around them - and they will cope. They may be suffering themselves, from post natal depression, violence in the home or struggling in a daze of exhaustion and stress to make ends meet - but they will cope. Strangely, it is women themselves as well as men who believe this to be true. So deep seated is this belief that it can take enormous courage for women to admit they cannot cope, that they may need help. Either from family and friends or the support systems put in place by you the professionals. Frequently they will attempt to survive it alone, falling 'help-lessly' into a deeper and darker depression as they feel more and more trapped by the life they are leading. As their world closes in on them their self esteem evaporates into a haze of loneliness and desperation as they retreat further and further from those who could help them. Many women and men turn to alcohol to numb the pain of their despair. But because it is seen in women as less acceptable to admit to a dependence on alcohol, it often goes unnoticed. They are merely perceived as having a 'rather nervous disposition'. The suffering behind their anxious eyes so often goes unseen. Sadly for others the strain becomes too much and their decision to take their own life seems to them the only way of ending their pain. Perhaps they didn't believe they deserved the same support they had given to others? For those who find the courage tentatively to ask for help the 'pill for every ill' is most often administered. For...
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