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Feature Article: Andrew Solomon TED Talk
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Marty L. Cooper, MFT

(415) 937-1620


4831 Geary Blvd.

San Francisco, CA 94118





January 2014                 Vol. 6, Issue 1 

Happy New Year!  Holidays being so often more intense than they are advertised, I hope that you've enjoyed yours, or at least weathered them as best you can.  
This newsletter "article" is a couple of thoughts, and then the link to, Andrew Soloman's TED talk on depression.  Soloman is someone who has gone there, and thought deeply on the subject (in his book, The Noonday Demon).  He hits, in my opinion, all the right notes.
Best wishes, and enjoy,



Depression, The Secret We Share

(Andrew Solomon)


Here is Andrew Solomon's TED talk, a broad overview of depression:


Link to video 


A couple of points I want to highlight that I think he gets dead on:


1) Calling Major Depression "depression" grossly misunderstands the difference "normal depression" and the disabling form that is suffered by folks with chronic depression. The consequence is both poor treatment, and stigma.


2) The idea of a "final cure" might come with time and developing out of this primitive time of psychiatry and psychotherapy (he says he hopes in 50 years people look back at current treatment for depression and are appalled--me too!), but that to not accept one's own depression as real, as a condition of potential relapse, and as something that needs to be included in one's purview of oneself and one's experiences, is to court disaster.


3) Unlike cancer treatment, what makes us feel better--more hopeful, happier, more meaningful, less futile--is an effective treatment of depression.  The way we feel in depression is the illness.  So the particular elements of an effective treatment are not important (although there are common elements, there's not a fixed protocol), that whatever we do actually works to abate the depression, that's the only important measure of treatment.  As he says, if you stand on your head and that actually works, then amen. 

4) Depression is natural like teeth falling out is natural--true, we evolved to experience depression, but we also evolved to have back problems because of the change to walking bipedally. "Natural" does not mean we can't make fundamental changes.  Solomon also points up, implicitly, that emotions are not depression.  My extension of that would be, we need emotions--sadness, joy, fear, etc.--and we need grief--the emotional process of letting go of that which is already gone--but we don't need the full-blown condition of depression.  We need it's functions, but not it's form.  



My Book is Available:

Anxiety and Depression:  42 Essays on Overcoming the Wild Moods

My book,

Anxiety and Depression:  42 Essays on Overcoming the Wild Moods, is for sale as a paperback or Kindle.


It is a collection of short essays, focusing on the challenge of managing, and ultimately, uprooting depression and anxiety.  You can find a few sample articles here, and

can purchase the book on Amazon here.

Archive of Past Newsletters
   All past issues of Tame Your Mood can be found here.
Audio Recordings
   Various audio recordings can be found here.
About Marty

I am a San Francisco psychotherapist who helps individuals struggling with anxiety and depression to not only manage theseMarty L. Cooper, MFT "wild moods," but eventually learn how to overcome them.  I work comprehensively with mental, emotional, bodily, and spiritual dimensions and anxiety and depression, all of which are necessary to overcome the chronic quality of anxiety and depression.

If you are interested in exploring working together in psychotherapy, please contact me at:


(415) 937-1620,