Charting the Depths

Reflections on the science of depression.

Depressed People Are Not Expendable

An alarming WHO report reveals that the depression epidemic is already at hand, with deadly results for our children. Why didn't it attract any major media coverage? Read More

Excellent article

I was surprised that there was so little media coverage as well. Especially given that we are in the peak rates of suicide now.

Thanks Dr. Serani

I am not sure what it will take to get priorities straight. This blog and speaking out are what I can do today.

We'll just need to be a little repetitive until TV, radio, and print journalists start to take interest in this vital issue.

Jon Rottenberg

The difference is difference

Sadly, depressed people are allowed to suffer and die because we are seen as different. We live in a world where the average person will stand up in outrage against injustice, . . . but only when there's a chance it could happen to them.

Look at all the great tragedies of our time: the holocaust, slavery, abortion, incarceration of the mentally ill in deplorable conditions, persecutions of other faiths, and on and on and on. If you want people to turn a blind eye to atrocities in their midst, all one must do is demonstrate that the victim is different.

No, Suzie, it can't happen here. It only happens to THOSE people. However, if a bomb goes off or a plane goes down, then it gets scary. The modern world has no objection to violence. It's INDISCRIMINATE violence that we won't tolerate.

Werther Effect

As far as I know there is a lack of suicide coverage on the Media to avoid imitation. Have you never heard about the Werther Effect?

well said

Dr. Rottenburg, you made some excellent points in this article! Let me share this with you;
I am paticularly interested in studying psychology (especially with areas such as depression and substance abuse) since I have had ugly experiences in my past and have been seeing a Christian therapist. Since seeing my psychologist I have learned an immense amount of information about psych as it applies to me and in general; lately I have been pondering going for my masters in psychology and specializing in those two areas. Along with that, I have learned as just graduated with a bachelors in business management that psych goes hand-in-hand with business. It applies to aspects such as employee-manager issues, team management, and even ethical dilemmas. Having read this article of yours, I feel a bit more motivation to pursue that goal. Thanks for sharing!!

thank you for the comment

Good luck with your studies!



Thank you Dr. Rottenberg for this post as well as everything else you do to help raise awareness for the depression epidemic.

I have suffered from depression for almost 10 years, and have lost several jobs and meaningful relationships because of it (I am currently unemployed and lonely).

Anyway, I wanted to simply express my gratitude that someone understands how horrible depression is and how many people are affected by it.



America's Got Talent contestant

Hey Dr. Rottenberg, I wanted to make sure you saw this. A 20 year old girl sings on the show America's Got Talent and opens up about having had anxiety/ depression. She does great, too!


A Bit Late To this Discussion...

I find reading the comments to this and your other posts quite extraordinary. It is the raw courage of so many of your commenters, I suppose, in the midst of their profound struggles that I find most compelling.

I am 62 and have suffered on and off from depression since just before my sophomore year in college. I have been fortunate in that I have had long periods away from the illness and during that time, with my wife's steady support and an excellent therapist, I managed to build myself a life, of sorts -- three children now out of the house and a long (if not particularly distinguished) career from which I just retired, though I realized early on I would never the person I thought I could be from the time I began working. If I can be ironic for a moment, my "reward" for all of my hard work at staying somehow above water, was a diagnosis of coronary artery disease a year or so back. Two chronic illnesses, both incurable in any conventional sense, strikes me as a bit much, but I manage most days. I am aware that one of the hardest things you can tell a depressed person is that he or she should exercise, but I can tell you that it saved my life.

I am intrigued by the premise of your book, though I would agree with Andrew Solomon that too much of our contemporary treatment of depression and anxiety remains appalling. I hope that changes soon as I know too many people, and at times myself, who suffer terribly and often in silence with depression. I was scared at times that I would never reach this period of life, but here I am. So, there is hope and, paradoxically enough, often great wisdom in the journey.

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Jonathan Rottenberg is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of South Florida, where he directs the Mood and Emotion Laboratory.


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