Depression: Out of the Shadows

Depression: Out of the Shadows

Millions of Americans suffer in silence from this extremely common disease. How can it be recognized ... and treated? Peabody Award winner. (PBS)

The National Institute of Mental Health reports that approximately 18.8 million American adults have a depressive disorder. The disease seeps into all age, race, gender, and socioeconomic groups. Depression stalls careers, strains relationships and sometimes ends lives, yet many people remain silent about their condition.

This PBS documentary explores the disease’s complex terrain, offering a comprehensive and timely examination of this devastating disorder. Divided into 12 chapters ranging in length from three to eleven minutes, the project includes interviews and analyses from a wide range of patients and experts.

The video looks at the science and treatment of depression along with personal stories of individuals coping with different aspects of depression — including adolescent, post-partum, and trauma-induced.

The series also explores the dynamic between genetics and environment as causes of depression. While about one-third of the risk for depression may be caused by genetics, childhood trauma may also cause a significant role in the illness for adults.

A 30-minute follow-up program titled “TAKE ONE STEP: Caring for Depression,” with Jane Pauley is a roundtable discussion with acclaimed experts offering advice on recognizing and treating depression.

Winner of a 2008 Peabody Award.