10 Best Depression Videos of 2013
The Fight Against Depression
According to the National Institutes of Health, depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States in people aged 15 to 44 and affects 14.8 million American adults a year. It causes intense feelings of isolation and worthlessness and can lead to debilitating physical illness, even suicide. Loved ones and families of people suffering from depression are often caught in a similar downward spiral,.
But there is hope in fighting depression. These 10 videos, mostly touching, some amusing, all enlightening, encourage us to fight back for our loved ones and ourselves.
The Road Back: A Dramatic Film on Teen Anxiety/Depression
This moving film follows Allie and Christian, two Maine high school students living through the rigors of contemporary teenage life. The anxiety and depression they suffer isolates both kids from their friends and family, a cycle driving them further from help. Touching and courageous, The Road Back is based on real-life experiences, and written and performed by Maine teens, described in the credits as “young people who want to make a difference.” The message? Identify depression and anxiety early on, and seek out help as soon as you can.
Feel Good 101: Depression
Emma Blackery nails it in this wacky but completely heartfelt monologue on what the heck depression is (metaphorically), and how you can get help. Practical, straightforward, and sprinkled with cuss words, Feel Good 101: Depression is an uplifting summary of being down. Emma talks about her own depression and anxiety and how she got herself out of “the well.” This girl wants to help!
Isolation - A short documentary on Depression & Anxiety
Millions of people suffer from depression and its evil twin, anxiety. So why do those conditions cause so much isolation? In Isolation, victims talk about their experiences over beautifully gloomy images. Their stories and the images track a journey from darkness into light. This brief, affecting chronicle offers understanding and hope: victims of depression can move forward.
Suicide, Depression, and Anxiety. My story. Miss America 2011, Teresa Scanlan
Six months after she graduated from high school, Nebraska farm girl and piano virtuoso Teresa Scanlan was crowned Miss America. How could such a shining life be touched by depression? In Suicide, Depression, and Anxiety: My Story, Miss America 2011 allows viewers to see the real “face” of depression: nervous eating (Teresa gained 30 pounds in her year as the image of perfection) and thoughts of suicide. Teresa’s healing was found in her Christian faith and prayer. In this candid video, she provides inspiration, hope, and support for others.
Kevin Breel: Confessions of a Depressed Comic
“Who I am, who I really am, is someone who struggles intensely with depression.” So says Kevin Breel, team captain, top scholar, and class comic in this 2013 TEDx talk. Breel speaks lyrically, working to make his vast audience (the video has been viewed nearly a half million times) understand how different depression is from natural sadness and grief. “Real depression is feeling really sad when everything in your life is going right.” Confessions of a Depressed Comic is an insightful call for compassion for the victims of this debilitating condition.
With his usual candor (and a generous dose of colorful language), actor, comedian and writer Dave Chappelle talks about the depression he has suffered, and his friends’ hapless attempts to get him to see the brighter side. Chappelle disappeared into Africa for several weeks to come to grips with his fame and its fallout after walking away from a lucrative television contract. In this video, he takes Americans’ simplistic “keep your chin up” philosophy to task.
Sad Cat Diary
If you’re feeling depressed, Sad Cat Diary won’t provide inspiration or solid medical advice. But it will make you laugh! BuzzFeed.com’s vice president of video has created a chronicle of the interior lives of our domestic felines. You may think being a cat means eating, sleeping, chasing dust bunnies, and more sleeping. But there is apparently much dramatic feeling about such daily travails as shredding evil houseplants and tracking kitty litter through the living room. Accompanied by the perfectly titled background score, “Plaint.”
Living with Depression: Empowerment
RealTime Health filmed this interview-based documentary for their “Speaking from Experience” series. As depression sufferers talk about the strategies they employed to manage their condition, small but meaningful bits of advice emerge: stay busy, go to school, help others. Living with Depression: Empowerment reminds us that, no matter how debilitating depression is, an important line of defense is our own inner resources.
Heavy and Light: 2012 Intro
This opening to To Write Love on Her Arms’ New Year’s Eve event at the House of Blues is strong and beautiful enough to stand on its own. Using just text and music, the brief film asks, “Is it possible to leave the past behind and start over again?” To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit that raises awareness and funds to support people with depression, and for suicide prevention programs. Heavy and Light is a video “postcard,” which reminds viewers that life is worth fighting for. You matter.
What I have to Offer
Screenwriter Charlie Kaufman delivered a 70-minute monologue to a sold-out audience at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in 2011. What I have to Offer is a five-minute edit of that presentation with video images curated by filmmaker Eliot Rausch. Both a personal and social treatise, What I have to Offer speaks to the vital human urge to create and connect. Kaufman speaks from the conviction that the only hope for humanity is to balance the need to treat ourselves as utterly unique individuals while honoring our connection to and love for each other.
Don’t Let Depression Take Over
Sadness and grief are natural parts of the human condition. We are sad when disappointed, we grieve over life’s losses. And then we move on. But depression—and its frequent fellow traveler, anxiety—seems unattached to any particular experience, and clings to its victims relentlessly. Hope, in any form, is depression’s enemy. These videos remind us to hope: reach out, get help, fight back. Don’t let depression drag you under.
- The Numbers Count: Mental Disorders in America. (n.d.). National Institute of Mental Health. Retrieved November 7, 2013, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/the-numbers-count-mental-disorders-in-america/index.shtml