Somehow, the folks at TED manage to gather amazing individuals with powerful voices to speak up about difficult topics. Here are some TED Talks on depression that I found particularly impressive.
Don’t Suffer Your Depression in Silence
(Nikki Webber Allen)
When Nikki Webber Allen was first diagnosed with depression, she didn’t tell anyone, because “I didn’t think I had the right to be depressed.” She attempted to self-medicate through high achievement. It wasn’t until her nephew, who she hadn’t known was depressed, died by suicide that she decided to share her story.
Depression, The Secret We Share
Andrew Solomon described depression as something “braided so deep into us there was no separating it from our character or personality.” He observed that depression makes it seem like a veil of happiness has been removed from the world so that the depressing truth is made visible. He described the current state of treatment as “appalling”.
Confessions of a Depressed Comic
Kevin Breel points out that depression often happens to people who don’t seem like they should be depressed. He spoke passionately about the silencing effect of stigma, and the need to shatter that silence. He described depression as society’s deep cut that we simply slap a bandaid on.
How Electroshock Therapy Changed My Life
Sherwin Nuland shared how his life was saved by electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in the 1970s. At that time, most of his doctors had identified a lobotomy as the only option, and it was a medical resident that actually pushed for ECT. After 20 treatments he’d experienced a significant response and finally was able to feel hope. He came up with safe words to manage obsessive thoughts, and I think they’re just perfect: “Ah, fuck it”.
Want more TED Talks suggestions? The Straight Talk on Suicide page includes TED Talk picks related to suicide. I’ve also done posts covering TED Talks on: