My Favorite Bit of Information From The Week:
Andrew Solomon on Depression, The Secret That We Share.
This week is relatively simple. I listened to this Ted Talk from Andrew Solomon entitled Depression, The Secret That We Share and it really affected me and sat with me. He is intense, but he shares some of the most beautiful and accurate metaphors and stories on depression that I have ever heard. It’s only 30 minutes, and if you have time to listen to it this week, I highly recommend it. He made me cry, and laugh repeatedly and I felt very healed and seen after listening.
I think it’s worth noting that this talk takes place in 2013 and he talks about how awful his treatment is for depression (even though he is grateful to be in a time when he has access to treatment at all). He talks about how he hopes things will continually get better and progress, and he was/is correct. Treatments since 2013 area already leaps and bounds better than they were even seven years ago, which a testament to how time spent on this still newly developing science can be life changing and culture changing. Also, how breaking the stigma on mental illness can be so powerful and lead us to new scientific breakthroughs in treatment.
Two of my favorite quotes from the talk:
- “Depression is a family secret everyone has.”
- “The opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality. And these days my life is vital, even on the days when I am sad. I felt that funeral in my brain, and I sat next to the Colossus at the edge of the world, and I have discovered something inside of myself, that I would have to call a soul, that I had never formulated until that day twenty years ago when hell came to pay me a surprise visit.”
A Bit About Andrew: Andrew Solomon is a writer and lecturer on psychology, politics, and the arts; winner of the National Book Award; and an activist in LGBT rights, mental health, and the arts. You can also check out his website for more recent articles, and access to his many books on the subject of mental illness and more. I just ordered his book The Noonday Demon:An Atlas of Depression on Amazon (I’ll let you know how it is).
From The Ted Talk: Andrew opens his talk with an Emily Dickinson poem on depression and a painting by Goya depicting depression, they both moved me so much that I felt the need to look at them again and have shared them below in case you wish to do the same:
I Felt a Funeral, in my Brain By Emily Dickinson
I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,
And Mourners to and fro
Kept treading – treading – till it seemed
That Sense was breaking through –
And when they all were seated,
A Service, like a Drum –
Kept beating – beating – till I thought
My mind was going numb –
And then I heard them lift a Box
And creak across my Soul
With those same Boots of Lead, again,
Then Space – began to toll,
As all the Heavens were a Bell,
And Being, but an Ear,
And I, and Silence, some strange Race,
Wrecked, solitary, here –
And then a Plank in Reason, broke,
And I dropped down, and down –
And hit a World, at every plunge,
And Finished knowing – then –
Update On My Show:
This Past Week: I finished composing the music for the show and had the songs coached and work shopped! Cannot wait to share them with you!
Ways to Support: Want to support the show? Please check out our Gofundme. Thank you so much to all who have already donated! Truly, this show would not exist without you.