Monday, 18 August 2008

I Didn't Know That

I have just read this item about a small scale study carried out in the USA which shows that depression can impair your driving ability. I know that there have been occasions in the past where I have driven to work, but not been able to remember any of the journey, but I put that down to travelling the same route every day, at the same time. I knew what the driving conditions were likely to be like, so if it was frosty, or foggy, or raining, I always made sure that I concentrated on what I was doing.

The study said that it had been impossible to determine whether it was depression itself, or high doses of anti-depressants that led to the impairment, and that further studies would be needed to determine what was having the effect. Anyone who takes anti-depressants will be aware that the literature that accompanies them includes the information that the medication may cause drowsiness and that if you are affected you should not drive or operate machinery. That is also the partly the reason that some anti-depressants are taken in the morning and others at night.

The item went on to quote the DVLA about people with certain conditions having to inform them that they had these conditions, and that depression was one of them. I have always been aware that you had to inform the DVLA if you suffered from Type-1 diabetes, or if you had suffered a heart attack, and that your insurance was invalid if you tried to drive whilst you had an arm or leg in plaster. But I was not aware that it was necessary to inform them if you suffered from depression, nor has a doctor ever spoken to me about it.

I didn't know that; did you?

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