Understanding depression is such an important task especially going into the health care industry. Imagine for a moment that you have an elderly patient who is recovering from a heart attack and he/she now has to take several medications. Will the patient take the medications on time? What if this patient is now suffering from depression because of the heart attack? Are you confident now that the patient will medicate properly? How does that affect the needs of this patient going forward? Depression can cause so many problems that we may not even be aware of and this homework assignment is meant to make you think about this in a small way.

Go to the link below and watch the TED talk video on Depression (it is about 30 minutes long).

TED talk on Depression

Write a short essay on this talk answering the following questions:

  • What were your overall impressions of the talk?
  • Did you learn anything new about depression that you didn’t know before?
  • What was the most interesting part of the talk to you? Why?
  • Do you know anyone who has or had depression? If so then how did this talk fit into your perception of what depression is?
  • How is depression different than grief and sadness?
  • Why does Andrew Solomon believe that alternative forms of medication have value in treating depression?
  • What did Dr. Solomon mean by “The opposite of depression is not happiness, the opposite of depression is vitality”?
  • Given what you know now about the biology of aging and what you know about depression, why do you think depression is a bigger concern for the elderly than it is in other age groups?
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