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Living with Depression

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These slides were prepared for NAMI Block Island Spring Conference, 2018, to accompany showing of a TED talk by Andrew Solomon - that is at https://www.ted.com/talks/andrew_solomon_depression_the_secret_we_share

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Living with Depression

  1. 1. DEPRESSION, INTRODUCTORY INFORMATION: CAUSES, TREATMENTS, ATTITUDES A COMMUNITY CONVERSATION WHAT DO WE KNOW? WHAT CAN WE DO?
  2. 2. TED TALK – ANDREW SOLOMON -
  3. 3. CAUSES UNKNOWN ! ! ! … but … Chemical or psychological? … what kind of cure? … not advanced enough…primitive science “Depression was something braided so deep into us that there was no separating it from our character and personality” Depression is the flaw in Love… Confuse depression, grief and sadness Genetic vulnerability … and triggering circumstances …
  4. 4. TREATMENTS • Chemical and psychological both have a role to play… treatments re appalling… side effects… grateful now, not 50 years ago… • Ways people make themselves better … • Medication, certain kinds of therapy, maybe ECT … are conservative treatments • Depression is an illness of how you feel, tolerance of vast world of alternative treatments … but not one size fits all … need perspective … and reflection/awareness … how do I feel now
  5. 5. ATTITUDES • Of the sufferer • Courage, optimism, shame, feeling ridiculous, feeling overwhelmed, • Not to be talked about [who wants to hear about me?] • Of others • A weakness of character, A middle class problem, not to be talked about [family secret, can’t intrude, embarrassing…] • Both – a False Moral Imperative, treatment an interference with self, not natural,
  6. 6. FURTHER INSIGHTS / COMMENTS • You know its ridiculous [sufferers are not without their ordinary faculties] • Acute anxiety – depression – sensation of being afraid [can we compare these, as worse or better, or just all bad?] • Medication making me someone else [Who Am I? Do I know?] • Burdensome nature of secrecy [exhaustion, takes up time and energy]
  7. 7. LIVING WITH DEPRESSION • The opposite of depression is VITALITY • Mood is Adaptive, Depression is Maladaptive • Those who deny experience are enslaved by it • Needs are our greatest assets, they bring SEEKING and LEARNING
  8. 8. ILLS OF THE MODERN WORLD - WAYS WE CAN MAKE OURSELVES BETTER Meritocracy – both good fortune and bad exist – have as much to do with success or failure as talent and energy Individualism – don’t aim for SPECIAL/STAR – celebrate heroism of ordinary life Secularism – look for that which is beyond us – sea, stars, deserts, music, transcendence Romanticism – build relationships from friendships and interests, not ideals and sex Media – look for solutions, not outrage, etc. systemic issues not scapegoats, local news

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