I love ted talks, but haven't seen this one. It was good. Thanks for pointing that one out.
For me, I share some of the situations with others here. I think one of the biggest issues between the public and the issues felt and dealt with by the individual is understanding. In the case of depression, there is a huge difference between what most people think it is and what it actually feels like. I admit I used to be one of the ignorant people.
I grew up in a large household and it was the typical american household of the time. My dad was the "man's man" as his father was before him. If you skinned a knuckle, you rubbed some dirt in it and kept going. If you stubbed your toe, you didn't cry about it. If it's broke, fix it. If it hurts, ignore it. We hunted. We fished. We worked on the car together. We fixed the house and even added to it together. My mom was the stereotypical housewife and loved her job. She cooked, cleaned, and handled the raising of all 6 of us kids. It was a happy home. Nothing really bad ever happened to me as a kid. I say this to set the stage. I have always felt like a normal and balanced guy. I still do to this day. However, my upbringing came with some misinformation.
Now my misunderstanding regarding depression, is pretty much everything that comprises depression. I would hear someone was "suffering from depression" and the image that came to mind was some over dramatic goth kid that had the personality of Eeyore from Winnie the poo. Either that, or some incredibly imbalanced person that really struggled through life. It was always something that I felt you didn't have to deal with if you were a strong person. Which is, sad to say, that I thought everyone with depression was a weak willed person.
Then I had a friend commit suicide. I never saw it coming. One day we were laughing and the very next she was gone. Then came the confusion. She was one of the strongest willed people I had met. Yet, she was "suffering from depression". My mind couldn't reconcile the contradiction. So I did what any person would do, I researched it. What I found completely changed what I thought about depression and the people who dealt with it.
What I found, was that I "suffered from depression". As I dug deeper, it turns out most everyone "suffers from depression". It has nothing to do with being weak, or fragile, or a lack of willpower. It has everything to do with being a normal person. I wanted to know even more and have been looking into it ever since. As I dug deeper into the field of psychology though, I found more and more discrepancies like my bias with depression. I found cognitive biases, addictions, alcoholism, dependency, and a massive, huge list of other "disorders" that people deal with.
What I have come to see (in a big picture sort of way), is that these issues are so common and prevalent that they are not necessarily an indication of a broken person. They are not symptoms of a person that "has issues". But rather, these are so common in some form or another, they are an indication of normalcy. If everyone has problems, it becomes a normal thing to have problems. There are varying degrees of course, some are far more severe than others.
I think the biggest issue with the way that I, and the rest of society has dealt with these things, is that our perception of these issues isolates the person actually dealing with those issues. Our collective perception is that the person "needs help" and that help needs to come from a professional in a private session. It certainly can't come from us. In fact, we just want to distance ourselves from that person that is perceived as "broken".
What we really need, is to understand. We need to educate ourselves. We need to know how to recognize issues not just in the people around us, but also in ourselves. We need to know how to live balanced lives. I'm not saying we all need to be psychologists. I'm not saying we need to constantly be aware of our friends level of depression. We don't need to hold hands and sing Kumbaya. We don't need to immediately check ourselves into AA, NA, OCA, DA, AAA, or any other A. We just need to know what we are looking at. It doesn't take long. You don't need to know everything, just a little bit. You can pick it up in far less time than you've put into SC research, that's for sure.
Human psychology is witchcraft to most people. We see it as a completely different field. However, it's really just the same thing as someone's physical health. Physical health and psychological health go hand in hand. If someone has the flu, we see the symptoms and know what to do. If we break a toe, we know to take pills to dull the pain. Psychological issues shouldn't be any different. If someone is feeling anti-social, we should know what to do (if we care about them). If we are feeling depressed, we should know what that feels like and what we need to do to feel better.
So, that was more writing than I had planned... Aurorias! 3.0, Yay!...