TED Talks on Depression

TED Talks logo

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)

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)

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)

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:

book cover: Managing the Depression Puzzle, 2nd Edition, by Ashley L. Peterson

Managing the Depression Puzzle takes a holistic look at the different potential pieces that might fit into your unique depression puzzle.

It’s available on Amazon and Google Play.

16 thoughts on “TED Talks on Depression”

  1. I listened to the Sherwin Nuland one a while back on my rabbi mentor’s recommendation, it was good. I might try some of the others, although I’m wary of watching the suicide ones in case they trigger suicidal thoughts in me, especially as this is a stressful time for me.

  2. Please check my latest post ‘Insecurity, Anxiety and Depression’. It’s specially for parents to know and understand better about their children and what they’re being going through. It’s really important to spread awareness and saving lives of our precious little kids. You’re doing great work. God bless you.

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