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Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States. Yet it can be very difficult to talk about and get help for depression. We’ve collected the best videos on depression to help you learn more. Whether you’re exploring what depression is, seeking help, or seeking to help someone you care about, we hope you find something here to make starting the conversation a little bit easier.
Navigating therapy for depression can be tricky, especially if you aren’t sure what to expect. Luckily, licensed therapist Kati Morton is here for your questions. In this video, she responds to viewers’ queries about getting people to believe your diagnosis and see you want help, why a friendship with your therapist isn’t a good idea, and how to navigate feeling like you’re getting worse and your therapist doesn’t get it. Always informative and compassionate, be sure to check out Kati’s other videos if you have questions about therapy.
In 2016, actor Wentworth Miller of Fox’s “Prison Break” opened up about his struggles with depression. This video presents the internal monologues of people living with depression, asking questions like “Will I ever be happy?” and “Why bother?” It ends with a call from Wentworth to get help and support others who need it. A powerful PSA with resources for people facing depression, this video is worth a watch and a share on social media.
Having depression can be a deeply isolating experience, and especially difficult to talk about with someone who hasn’t experienced it. This BuzzFeed video presents confessions from staff, friends, and the internet at large about depression. Set to music, quotes cover misconceptions like “Just because I’m depressed doesn’t mean I’m depressing,” as well as realities, such as “Just knowing I have someone to talk to makes all the difference.”
This video from AsapSCIENCE dives into the scientific side of depression. Illustrated with whiteboard animations, the video starts with the premise that depression isn’t just about a chemical imbalance, and from there explores the roles of the hippocampus, neurogenesis, and genetics in depression. Check out this video if you’re curious to know more about the biological and psychological foundations of depression.
Depression looks different in everybody, and determining the right treatment for your depression is a personal decision. In this video, YouTube blogger Mimi Ikonn shares how she manages her depression and anxiety through meditation, yoga, and other strategies. Mimi speaks frankly about how she realized something was wrong, how she decided to seek treatment, the options she explored, and some resources that may be helpful to others. Check out her story if exploring alternatives to medication feels right for you.
Meghan Rienks is a YouTube blogger known for her haul videos, tutorials, and all around fun content. She’s also grappled with anxiety and depression for years. This video is a written piece performed by Meghan, set to music and footage of Meghan going about her day. The piece poetically explains what it’s like to experience anxiety and the effects of social judgment on anxiety (“they assume if you cannot see it, it must not exist”). It’s a visceral look at anxiety that will give you a small idea of what it’s like to feel every feeling at once.
Psych2Go aims to make principles of psychology accessible to everyone through their videos. This video provides real, usable strategies for helping someone you know cope with depression. There’s no easy fix for depression, but small gestures, such as helping a friend by doing dishes, making them a healthy meal, and telling them sincerely that they matter to you, can make a huge difference. Check out this video for seven small but impactful ways to help a friend with depression.
Colette Stearns experienced depression as a high school student, and she wants to talk about it. In this TEDxYouth Talk, Colette discusses the prevalence of depression in adolescents, her experience of feeling alone in her depression, how she sought help, and why it’s so important to talk about and recognize depression in young people.
It can be difficult to know what to say when a friend tells you they’re depressed. While in many cases friends will understand if you say something that’s not quite right, there are some things that will never be helpful. AJ+ compiled this quick video of some things not to say to someone who has depression, like “it could be so much worse” and making their depression about you, as well as some helpful language to use when reaching out to a friend. The video also includes some tips for checking your assumptions about depression and how to reach out to someone online.
BuzzFeed’s talent for creative content shows in this video that literally portrays depression as a monster (albeit a furry, purple monster). The depression monster acts out what it’s like to have depression, such as being unable to eat, make the bed, leave the house, and enjoy being with friends. At two minutes long, it’s an intriguing metaphor that might make you think differently about depression.
Actress Kristen Bell has struggled with anxiety and depression since she was a teenager. In this clip from “Off Camera with Sam Jones,” Kristen talks about her family history with depression, how her mom supported her, and how she’s managed her depression since. Her candid comments on not being ashamed to take medication are well worth a watch by anyone managing depression or anxiety.
Depression takes practice. So starts Jessica Gimeno’s TEDx Talk on how to get stuff done with depression. She calls attention to how depression can be as debilitating as a physical illness or obstacle, and yet treatment often ends with a diagnosis or medication. In her talk, Jessica draws on personal experiences managing depression alongside bipolar II disorder and physical illnesses, and reflects on how developing certain coping mechanisms have changed the way she prioritizes her responsibilities — and gets stuff done — in light of her depression.
Since its opening, more than 2,000 people have died jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge. Kevin is one of the few who survived such a jump. Like the others who survived, he says he immediately regretted the decision. In this candid interview, presented by BuzzFeed, Kevin discusses struggling with addiction and bipolar II disorder, what led him to attempt suicide, and the ripple effects of his suicide attempt on those around him.
The Whisper app allows users to anonymously share secrets about anything. In this video, BuzzFeed compiled 12 confessions, shared on Whisper, about depression. Confessions range from hard truths, like “The worst part about depression is not knowing when it’s going to hit you,” to big victories, like “I cleaned my house today.” Together, the confessions describe a spectrum of depression and offer intimate insights into what it’s like to live with depression.
This TED-Ed animated video breaks down the basics of depression. After covering how depression is different than feeling depressed and the symptoms of clinical depression, the video moves on to how to help a friend cope with depression. At once an informational primer on depression as well as a helpful guide to supporting others, it’s worth noting that this animation is just one part of a full lesson on depression. Find a link to the full lesson in the video’s description.
BuzzFeed is at it again with thoughtful content that hits you right in the feels. This video follows someone through their daily routine of waking up, getting ready for and driving to work, and so on. With a twist ending, however, you’ll need to watch this video twice before you can fully appreciate its title.
Kristen Barta is a doctoral candidate in Communication at the University of Washington, where she researches the intersections of technology, social support, and sexual assault disclosure. Prior to graduate school, she worked as an educator and activist in the movement to end violence against women. She currently lives in the Bay Area and enjoys gardening and cooking elaborate vegetarian meals in her spare time.