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The National Institute of Mental Health archives materials that are over 4 years old and no longer being updated. The content on this page is provided for historical reference purposes only and may not reflect current knowledge or information.

New NIMH Video Describes Depression, Importance of Treatment

Science Update

A new 4-minute video from the National Institute of Mental Health provides an overview for the general public on the symptoms, impact, and treatment of depression. The video is available for viewing by individuals or can be used by community groups or in health care offices to inform viewers about depression and its consequences, and the critical importance of seeking treatment.

Depression is a serious medical illness; it's more than just feeling "down in the dumps" or "blue" for a few days. It affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things. Depressive disorders are common: they affect an estimated 9.5 percent of adult Americans in a given year, or about 20.9 million people. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years. Appropriate treatment, however, can help most people who have depression.

The NIMH video features first-person narrative describing an individual's experience with depression, and depictions of others dealing with symptoms of the illness. It illustrates research underway and gives examples of treatments available for depression. Importantly, the video urges viewers with symptoms to confide in friends or family members and to seek treatment.

Included with the video is a "How to Use" fact sheet that outlines key points in the video, audiences it can be used for, and suggestions for how to use it in a public setting.

View the Depression video

Additional information on depression and disorders that affect the brain is also from the following sources: