Thursday, September 03, 2009

Bluer than blue

Depression has been called the common cold of mental health.

If you've ever struggled with depression (or you know anyone who has, which is more likely than you may think), you owe it to yourself to watch the PBS documentary Depression: Out of the Shadows.

You don't need to buy it — I found a copy at my local library.

The documentary covers quite a bit of territory in 90 minutes:
  • It looks at depression in various populations from executives to gang members, from teens to new moms to the elderly.

  • It discusses the connection between depression and various other problems, including anxiety, heart disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction, even insomnia.

  • It talks about various treatment options and the stigma attached.

  • And it describes what depression is like, from the perspective of those who have battled it.

You may not agree with all of it, but I promise you will think differently about depression after watching.

Edited to add:

Another PBS documentary, Men Get Depression, focuses specifically on men's experience of depression, its symptoms, and some of the issues that can get in the way of seeking treatment for men in particular. It also touches briefly on the conflict some people find between treatment and faith.

If you're a man struggling with depression, I highly recommend both these videos.

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