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Depression and the Brain by Andrew Solomon

Depression and the Brain

by Andrew Solomon

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Running Time
53 Min.
In this episode of the Charlie Rose Brain Series, the panel of guests covers one of the most common mental illnesses in the world, which is depression. Neuroscientist Dr. Eric Kandel delivers a brief history of how the illness was viewed, from the Greek physician Hippocrates calling it melancholia, which in Greek means black bile, up to our contemporary understanding of major depressive disorder related to biology in the brain dealing with mood. The group does an excellent job of summarizing the symptoms of depression, separating unipolar from bipolar depression. Author Andrew Solomon, who wrote The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, describes his personal experience with major depression and the anxiety that often accompanies it. The neuroscientists weigh in on the areas of the brain involved with depression and some of the drugs that can be used to treat it. They also emphasize the importance of psychotherapy, which has proven effective in treating the disease. It's an excellent hour-long look at a mental illness that afflicts an estimated 300 million people around the world.


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