Depression: A Rarely Discussed Topic

Depression: A Rarely Discussed Topic

02.22.13 | By

Depression. I think it is pretty safe to assume that you know someone who suffers from it.

Approximately 17 million American adults have been diagnosed with depression. It is a form of mental illness that people don't like to talk about.

I was visiting a member company last week to interview a scientist working on a new potential medicine for patients with depression.

She was a quiet scientist who didn't have much to say, an introvert who was quietly passionate about her job.

The only time she spoke up with a little passion was when she talked about her best friend who since college has fought the deep and silent pain that often is associated with this form of mental illness.

I asked the scientist if her friend was a motivating factor in finding a new treatment for this disease and she looked at me for a moment and almost looked pained to respond to my question.

I could tell that it was a touchy subject for her, something so close to her that she rarely talked about because it would unleash emotions that in her culture are not always acceptable to reveal.

She is of Korean decent - something she said helped her become driven her whole life. In her culture, she said, failure really isn't an option - only success. And I could tell that her emotions have been checked most of her life.

But I couldn't help but notice the passion and emotion present in her eyes and I knew that the driving force behind her work to find the next treatment for this debilitating disease was her friend.

When I softly pressed her on this question she acknowledged that this was indeed the case. She said that she wakes up every morning thinking of how her work can help other patients just like her best friend.

Depression isn't something we should be afraid to talk about. It should be something we should talk more openly about in society so that those who suffer from it don't have to feel ashamed for getting the treatment they need to get better.

I will always remember the scientist I met that day. She is what brings us all hope that suffering can end for those living with depression.

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