Ted Talk: 'Confessions Of A Depressed Comic'

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In a Ted talk titled “Confessions of a depressed comic,” 19 year-old comedian and mental health activist Kevin Breel states that every 30 seconds, someone commits suicide. This adds up to almost 3,000 deaths every day. According to the CDC’s suicide datasheet, an estimated 9.3 million adults in the US reported having suicidal thoughts in 2013. That’s 3.9% of the entire population of the United States. Now, these numbers can seem so gargantuan, almost unbelievably so, that they fly over the heads of most people who read them, so for some perspective, here is some math. For every 100 US citizens, if 3.9% of them have reported having suicidal thoughts, then 1 out of every 26 people have reported having suicidal thoughts in the past year. …show more content…
His talk is titled “Depression, the secret we share.” He relates some things that are commonly referenced when talking about depression; how it is not simple sadness, and how it is not grief either. Six months after experiencing a “catastrophic” loss, if you are still intensely sad, but feeling better, it is most likely grief. If you can barely function at all, however, it is more likely to be depression. He muses “People think of depression as being just sadness. It’s much, much too much sadness, much too much grief at far too slight a cause.” It would, of course, have to be, for someone to consider taking their own life to end such feelings. To Solomon, the solution to depression is a mixture of medication and psychotherapy. He does, however, concede that that is not the end-all solution. Unlike issues such as broken bones or pathogenic disease, depression isn’t a condition independent of it’s symptoms. While you can give a painkiller to someone with a broken bone, that does not fix their broken bone. With depression, however, if something makes you “feel better,” then it essentially has treated the depression. This is because depression is all about how someone feels. Due to this, the solution to depression will vary between individuals depending on what makes them “feel better.” This is in accordance with much of what we know about mental health issues. The human brain is an immensely …show more content…
The solution to depression is not a single golden bullet treatment. The solution to depression is a multi-faceted systematic approach. First, break the taboo. As long as there are whispers in the hallway about that lonely kid that cuts his wrists, the issue will only get worse. Depression is just as real as any other physical ailment, and it is time to treat it as such. Second, society needs to increase the resources available to help those with depression. Mental health awareness is on the rise, but it is not where it needs to be. Particularly, health insurance coverage of mental health issues can be absolutely abysmal, and there is not nearly enough lobbying going on to change this. Furthermore, we are incredibly quick to give a broken bone treatment, but how many questionnaires and forms must be filled out before, begrudgingly, that girl “who is probably just going through a phase,” can get the mental health care she needs? Third, there is an environment where depression can be as legitimately considered as a disease such as malaria, and society has the resources needed to provide proper treatment, there needs to be counselors, human resources departments, social workers, doctors, and the like that can spot someone suffering from depression, and connect with them on a personal level so they can direct that person to the most personally

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