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.”