TED-talks that helped me change: #4 – Andrew Solomon

TED-talks that helped me change: #4 – Andrew Solomon

“The opposite of depression is not happiness; it is vitality.”

This talk is important to me not because it made me change the way I live, but because it gave me a better vocabulary to describe my experiences.

Depression is not sadness, unhappiness, or laziness. It is a sickness that tears you from your life and makes you a disconnected observer.

Sufferers of depression should watch this talk because it will help them understand their condition and describe it to others. Everyone else should watch it because they probably know someone who suffers from depression but do not understand what that means.

There’s also a tip in here for sufferers of depression that I want to repeat. To stave off an oncoming depression, perform some simple, physical task to occupy your mind, something that carries with it little or no risk of failure. Years ago, when it was dawning on me that I was suffering from depression, I started taking walks. They would be short; the point wasn’t how far I walked, but that I changed the scenery and moved my body (which in turn, moves the mind). Now it’s a daily routine, so well established I can scarcely avoid it if I try. There are days I think I’ll skip my walk, but then I suddenly find myself at the door, putting my shoes on, seemingly having ended up there with no conscious effort. I will talk more about habits and how to create or break them in a future post.

For now, please take the time to listen to this heartfelt and poetic talk by Andrew Solomon:

What do you think?