Depression – faculty member shares his story

It’s not every day that respected academics reveal their personal struggles, especially to a big audience of colleagues and strangers. So a recent talk by Peter Railton at the University of Michigan, is making the rounds on social media. Railton’s topic? His battle with depression, which he says he’s hidden for too long.

Railton advised those who suspect friends or colleagues are suffering to inquire as to their wellness, especially by sharing any of their own experiences with mental health issues. Reflecting on his own major depressive episodes throughout his life, he said, “I couldn’t say it. I couldn’t say, ‘Look, I’m dying inside. I need help.’ Because that’s what depression is — it isn’t sadness or moodiness, it is above all a logic that undermines from within, that brings to bear all the mind’s mighty resources in convincing you that you’re worthless, incapable, unlovable, and everyone would be better off without you.”



“You are not your thoughts”

The average person thinks between 50,000-70,000 thoughts per day. These thoughts range from the mundane — I need to buy milk, to the significant — I love you, to the self-destructive — I’m not good enough. In the moment, our thinking seems logical. But when we examine long patterns of brain activity, it’s clear that thoughts can be unstable and often arbitrary, shifting depending on context and contradicting our better instincts. Yet humans usually form our personal identities around the things we think. The result is a scattered sense of self that drifts as the wind blows.

Read more:


Mental Illness at Work – Erin Sutherland’s experience

This video shows Erin Sutherland, an employee of the Canadian government, talking about her experience with mental illness.  It speaks to the power of the workplace and leaves us with some of her lessons learned.


Less stress for the holidays

It’s no secret the holidays can be a stressful time of year, but it’s particularly difficult for perfectionists — the ones who plan the parties, choose the gifts and need everything to be just “perfect.” And when you’re trying to cook the best dinner or find the most thoughtful gift, this time of year can really rev up anxiety and depression levels.

Simon Sherry, associate professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, sat down with CTV’s Amanda Debison for a feature interview on managing anxiety and perfectionist traits.

Watch the full interview.

And don’t forget to breathe….