Depression is better understood when people tell personal stories about their experiences in order to bring awareness to the disorder to prevent suicide. There are two particular TED Talks where experts on the issue talk about the misconceptions of depression and how they fall under the category of being a depressive.
Writer Andrew Solomon’s “Depression: The Secret We Share” is about his long battle with depression. He describes how depression is different than regular sadness in that depressives feel sad and do not know why over simple everyday things like eating lunch, listening to the messages on your answering machine, talking a shower, etc. He was thankful that although not all depression treatments have been effective towards him that they exist compared to fifty years ago.
Solomon has spoken to a number of different cases of depression such as a woman with children who would sing a song to drown out the negative thoughts of her self-worth to calm her down or about a man who was optimistic about trying different treatments for his depression. He also explained the controversy of treatment in that people feel that “happy pills” are blocking out negative emotions that all people should be experiencing instead of being 100% happy. Solomon states that depression is different than your everyday sadness in how treatment helps him live his life the way other people do. That he may not feel overall happy but is able to eat lunch, shower, and listen to messages. Solomon concludes his speech by saying having depression helps him want to cling to life and joy more and that denying your depression will only strengthen it.
Comedian and mental health activist Kevin Breel’s “Confessions of a Depressed Comic” is about how despite being captain of the basketball team, drama, theater, and English student of the year, and being on the honour roll, Breel still suffers from depression. He explains that depression is not like being sad where you feel bad after something goes wrong but you are depressed when everything is going right. Breel also lets us know how people are afraid to talk about depression and do not take it seriously. If it is not taken seriously, more people will take their own lives. Breel concludes his speech by saying that we need to stop the ignorance and that expressing your emotions is not weakness and the importance of acknowledging your emotions.
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