Only a couple minutes to write, but wanted to note a very good program about depression that was on PBS a couple nights ago, called Depression: Out of the Shadows. It was followed by a Q&A with Jane Pauley and three experts on different aspects of depression. They are reairing the program a couple more times – or, more accurately, I think it’s already been rebroadcast once – on our local PBS station. It’ll be on again in the wee early hours of Monday – I think it starts at 3 am. The program was 90 minutes, then the Q&A was half an hour. I wish I’d been able to see the whole thing, but missed a few parts of it. Jane Pauley talked a bit about her own experience – she was ultimately diagnosed as having bipolar illness. They talked in the program and the Q&A about the stigma of depression and mental illness. My feeling is, like sexual abuse, it’s one of those secrets that SHOULDN’T be kept. There were a few people in the program who had undergone shock treatments (Electroconvulsive therapy, or ECT), including one who wasn’t helped by ECT and tried an experimental treatment that did help. It made me wonder, if we could have gotten Medicaid coverage for ECT for my mom – and then convinced her to actually have it – would she have improved? Could she have found pleasure in something, some level of contentment or peace? Would she not be essentially starving herself now?
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