The Civilist: Where Depression Comes From And How We Talk About It

Dec 19, 2016

It's easy for many to feel a little blue this time of year, now that we're now smack dab in the dark days of December. The holidays can be especially difficult for people who struggle with depression.

You might remember a conversation I had with the incomparable Andrew Solomon a few months back. He's a clinical psychology professor at Columbia, and wrote “Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression,” which details his own struggles with depression. On our earlier show, Solomon shared his advice about how to come out about depression, and ways to be supportive when a loved one discloses their struggle. If you haven't heard it, I invite you to go back and check out that episode. It's called "Say This, Not That."

I've been thinking more about that interview, and how you only heard part of that conversation. So we're going to share the rest of it. This segment goes deeper into the causes of depression and how the way we talk about mental illness affects the way people see and deal with it.

"Noonday Demon” made a tremendous difference in helping me understand my own life-long depression. It inspired me to write an essay in the New York Times called, "Opening Up About Depression." You'll hear it mentioned.

If you're in crisis, don't suffer in silence. Here are some resources that might be able to help.