The Truth about Depression

The Truth about Depression

2013, Health  -   128 Comments
Ratings: 7.35/10 from 145 users.

Only someone who has had it knows how paralyzing depression can be. No one is immune. There's a one in four chance that depression will affect you at some stage in your life. It's bad enough to get it, but the stigma can make you feel much worse. This is the truth about depression.

People battle with chronic depression for decades. It is extraordinary that thousands of us will suffer from depression and yet so many people will feel the need to hide it. Why? Because of the stigma. People with depression are judged to be weak. Some people even go so far as they think it does not exist. Stephen Nolan wanted to find out the real truth about depression.

For those not able to see their depression as an illness it is really important to show what is actually happening inside their head. Examining the brain through imaging is a relatively new area of science. It's only been studied over the past 15 years or so. Nolan has come to the University of Manchester, one of the main centers in the UK for brain imaging.

The part of the brain responsible for memory and emotion is the hippocampus. It is there that depression shows up. What's fascinating is that hippocampus in depressed people behaves differently than the hippocampus in those with without the illness. Professor Ian Anderson is leading the research.

But, there's been quite a number of studies which have suggested that people who are depressed don't just have an alteration of how the brain's working but also actually in the structure of the brain. As Anderson studied the hippocampus he found a striking decrease in the massive gray matter in people who are depressed. This is about a 25 percent decrease, which is quite a striking and staggering change in fact.

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5 years ago

I have endured severe clinical/chronic depression since my early 20's, I'm now in my late 30's. At the time I thought it was the ending of a relationship that "caused" it but looking back, there were symptoms well before that. I thought for a while that I could learn to recognise the symptoms and thought/behavioural patterns and have some control over it that way but in truth, it has only gotten worse and I am certain it will kill me eventually in one way or another. I tried medication at first but the side effects were so bad I stopped taking them and refused to try any others. EffexorXR was the drug I was given, a very high dosage. They made me emotionally numb, unable to concentrate and made my temper unpredictably explosive when I forgot to take them. I lost my job because I couldnt stay focused, and I believe they had a permanent effect on my metabolism too as they caused me to sweat really bad back then and I still sweat excessively now.
There have been times where I have been somewhat better and able to hold down a job and even make new friends but I always end up alienating myself subconsciously and then eventually it becomes awkward to contact people so I dont. After repeated refusals to attend social events people stop inviting you anyway,
This condition has turned me into a mere shell of my former self, it has ravaged my confidence and self esteem and has made me bitter, peeimistic, nihilistic and just so damn cynical of everything. Barely a day goes by that I dont just wish for death, even on a good day. I get home from a concert and within hours I'm thinking about dying. I'll think about the future then later think there isn't one. All in a day.
I dont even know if Im still alive because I still have some kind of subconscious hope, or if its just to spare my family from having to find my corpse.

5 years ago

The brain is a major body organ just like the heart, kidneys, liver, etc are. It has the capability to have a variety malfunctions just as any other major organ can. This documentary does a great job of describing what is physiologically different in a depressed brain and also the struggles and suffering of actual people who are living with this debilitating disease. As soon as our society acknowledges the brain as a major organ and not some nebulous mush of emotion, the sooner medicine will have the money to devote to brain illnesses just as they have heart disease and cancer. This needs to be a priority and needs to be properly funded. Too many people are suffering, dying, and many are suffering in silence. I pray the brain gets the medical attention it deserves and all the people with brain illnesses get the best treatment possible.

6 years ago

just a thought, what would you do if you were on a island all by yourself an you had nothing or no one , an you got depression or bipolar or anxiety attack , what would you do ?

6 years ago

As I former severely depression person and naturopath i can confidently say that if you suffer from mental health eliminate gluten/dairy completely and get checked for food sensitivies and avoid all sensitives and your anxiety/depression will vanish! God bless all the sufferers out there with this beyond delibitaing mind disease! Your body is telling you it doesn't like something, listen to it ;)

6 years ago

Lari and Lenny, you two are right on the money. Lari, I agree with the feeling of being blindsided by depression and it's debilitating effects. When you're in it, there's very little you can do. However, when I'm feeling better, it's easier to see that the self defeating thoughts are manipulative and controlling. Not just of myself, but also others. If you can recognize that you are making the choice to be a total ***hole in order to have a sense of control, it's easier to keep from falling into the depressive episode in the first place, and it may be easier to get out.

6 years ago

I slowly fell into a place of nothingness
it was not sad or gentle nor despair
that is what made it so insidious... so complete
I slowly lost all I was before until...
I didn't care if I took that next breath
and I opened my hand and it all fell away
leaving me in a place i still fear today
I would watch the light from the blinds come and fade
and I tried to remember who I had been
before...before I disappeared
you who read this and shudder in the telling
you know what the beast of depression smells of
as for the rest who wax and wane and profess
to know...I am happy you don't
depression can kill you...not all at once
but in the end it will prevail

8 years ago

This goes out to anyone who has or has had depression:

Having lived most of my adult life with extreme depression on and off, then being diagnosed with bipolar, i was faced with a massive choice, take the meds, or the other, a choice i gave myself, which was to set off an adventure that would change my perspective of this state of mind forever.
I chose the latter...
I found myself in India studying the ancient techniques of yoga, from there i went on to learn in great depths different dietic lifestyles used around the world, in other words, how to use food as medicine, for example veganism, macrobiotics, juicing.

I now run a business centered around all i learnt, and help others too.

It sounds like a lot, and i certainly went the long way around, but talking from experience, simply combining my daily yoga and or meditation, as well as a good diet and active lifestyle has turned me into someone completely different, the problem does not control me anymore, now im in control.

Now im living a succesful life, i have a family, and im actually happy, for the first time, i can focus on the things that matter, and i have energy.

I guess what im trying to say, is that only by sheer logic alone using the meds can only mask the problem, it will never truly leave you until you face it, and deal with it.
Sounds so easy, but it was the hardest thing i ever did, but there is never a day i look back with regret.

I believe with depression we have the power to change things, i believe its mainly a result of an unnatural environment as well as unnatural pressures in this busy new world we live in, but of course there are other reasons.
Its seems almost like a coping mechanism gone wrong, we should all approach the problem openly, without stigma.

8 years ago

19:08 Excellent! Will resume watching at a later time.

8 years ago

I had 30 years of depression starting age 14. What cured it overnight was when i reached a dosage of two grains of Armour Thyroid--non synthetic thyroid medication. Anyone with depression should read the classic book on hypothyroidism by Broda Barnes, MD. Forget the blood test; take your basal temperature by shaking down a thermometer and leaving it by your bed; first thing in the morning, while still in bed, place thermometer in armpit for ? minutes; if the temperature is below 97.8 you are hypothyroid, regardless of blood test. Search online Broda Barnes, MD, and find a holistic doctor who follows the Barnes protocol; your regular orthodox MD will not go along with this; DR BARNES WAS RIGHT and could save your life.

8 years ago

I didn't watch the video yet. I'm betting poor diet which means malnutrition, was never mentioned as a possible culprit for depression, just like it's never suggested that violent criminal types very often have abysmal or non-existent nutritional foods and high in sugar. Ever notice how depressed people tend to use drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and eat junk food regularly; and violent types drink and eat sugar heavy foods and simple starchy garbage.
People must learn we are what we eat.
And most diseases, even autism and alzheimer's, can improve with proper and consistent nourishment.

ViolentPeace101 .
8 years ago

I suffered from depression for almost 4 years, losing the best part of my young adult life. I went from spending hundreds on just a belt to not spending a dime on new clothes for years, life is funny like that.

9 years ago

I renounce ssri's as a good treatment for depression. Making a depressed person into a zombie is not an acceptable cure, though so many doctors seem to think that it is. Richard Baxter from the 1600's was way ahead of our current knowledge on depression. See his treatise on melancholy. For that matter, many Puritans have treated melancholy with Scripture properly interpreted. Read any one of them and you will do much better than if you rely on a documentary like this one.

Manu Hashidate
9 years ago

Whoa... well-good!

We kinda' agree in that peeps who are depressed should sort it out with jogging or joining band instead of anti-depressants, which can only add more layers of BS!

9 years ago

ok i've deleted my opinion because i dont want to offen anyone, if you took it the wrong way then sorry.

Bob Dole
9 years ago

I was diagnosed as manic depressive a year or so ago, let me tell you what, DO NOT TELL ANYONE. Everybody treats you different, especially with all the recent violence in the US, if I'm not smiling I must be depressed LOOK OUT go take your meds! If I'm smiling I'm clearly manic and insane and LOOK OUT GO take your meds! I was told the stigma is gone with depression and other mental issues, it is not. Even my family treats me different now, as do the few friends that know. If I could go back I would have chosen suffering silently than being put on a stage and used as a test subject for the latest and greatest drugs from big pharma. Sure they might find one that eventually works with my brain, but what damage is being done by the three drugs they've already tried? I trust doctors and I'm in no way anti-science, but I wish I had just kept my mouth shut.

9 years ago

I was on antidepressants for years and years.
Every 4 years or so the horrible dark, nasty thoughts would come creeping back and envelope me in hopeless and relentless despair and loathing for all and everything. Then my doctor would try something new, and I'd be okay for a couple of years.
Didn't like the side effects, though!
Finally last Fall when the darkness crept in again, I decided to slowly withdraw myself till I was completely off the merry-go-round. The withdrawals were awful and went on for 2 months at least, but I was determined.
I'm still a gloomy thing inside my own head now but I've psyched myself into ignoring the negative thoughts and try very hard to enjoy life. Humour and laughter really, really help.
I try to avoid sad situations that are beyond my control.
This is difficult because I like to know what's going on in the world. (I know this makes no sense, but that's me.)
I'm very grateful for what I've got and have to give myself a good talking to every day. (and a big kick in the bum).
I'm left with a very bad short term memory and it's very hard to focus; but I'm getting by somehow.
I wouldn't recommend other sufferers try this though, unless they're sure they won't off themselves.

9 years ago

i suffered from depression twice i thought it was going to take me out ! thank god my depression was caused by a situation and all i had to do was remove myself from it,great documentary !

Sandra Rennet
9 years ago

If you want 2 be normal and healthy. Stop watching news, smoke weed, and drink at least a few glasses of wine

9 years ago

imo, depression is a normal reaction to living in a world that has become utterly depressing, because of the greed & depravity of mankind. sensitive people experience the isolation of depression the most, while the rest are just too stupid and selfish to care.

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society — Jiddu Krishnamurti

9 years ago

After 20 years of shrinks and meds, I can say this - if you take that one little pill every day (and normally you don't need more than one for depression, and if you're being prescribed 4 different anti-depressants you should get another professional opinion) and if you actually LISTEN TO THE WORDS coming out of your therapist's mouth -- instead of using those 40-50 minutes to unload your baggage week after week -- you WILL get better. And I don't mean slightly better. I mean normal, functioning, happy, outgoing and confident.

Or you can jump on the paranoid conspiracy theorist bandwagon, put your tinfoil hat back on and continue living under that omnipresent black cloud of mental anguish and despair. You know, because shrinks and meds are only making things worse, right? No.. it can't be your fault, after all, you're the victim here, right? You're "sick", right?

Life does not have to be pitch black, nor do you have to "celebrate" living in darkness. Why would a depressed person celebrate depression, you ask? Simple, it feeds your narcissism. You don't know you're a bit of a narcissist yet. In fact, you probably think you're the exact opposite of a narcissist.

Wallowing in depression continues to create the illusion that everyone else on this planet is happy except for poor little you, so that this chaotic world will make sense to you because you are a tortured soul. That's why you keep listening to Radiohead and all of that other depressing music. It reenforces what you CHOOSE to feel like. Seriously, the next time you feel like listening to depressing music, put on some cool jazz music instead. See what happens.

When you are TRULY fed up with feeling depressed, and living the lifestyle of a depressed person -- and realize that it is about perspective, environment and lifestyle as much as it is a medical condition -- you have already won half the battle.

The second half of the battle is humility. Humility towards yourself, but most importantly, humility towards others. The less you think about yourself, the happier you will be. Help others, listen to others, invite people into your comfort zone.

And one more thing. Ask yourself the following 2 questions. Am I in good shape? Do I eat healthy most of the time? If the answer to either of those is "no", you are missing out on tools that can literally make you feel and look a thousand times better within a few weeks. Guaranteed. It works like magic.

There is nothing unique about depression, nor is it a badge of honor. It does not make you special, it is simply a waste of your time.

9 years ago

i 'tooled' my depression...helped my written out-put & managed to integrate my affliction instead of combating it!

Alexandru Matei
9 years ago

I really wonder how many people have cured themselves using the traditional anti-depressants..

9 years ago

i once fasted for 14 days, only drinking veg juice i made myself. after about day 10 many wonderful sensations that i had not felt since my youth began to come back, i had some euphoric moments and was aware that i was fully aware of my surroundings, a big deal as i wasn't aware that i was normally so unaware. i had more energy and i was much sharper.... makes you wonder what is in our food.

point being. we live in a f@ck up western society that will kill you if there's good money in it. how the hell can any correct baseline for diagnosis be drawn with a culture just as sick as it's patients ?

Fabien L'Amour
9 years ago

I question the choice for the interviewer, he is very monotonous.
Some interesting bits about experimental treatment like the VNS at 24:37. The accounts from patients are repetitive, I suggest to skip them unless you want to hear how bad they felt.

9 years ago

well...this was depressing!gotta get some snake-oil!

9 years ago

20 minutes in, boring, depressing switched it off.