Ask an Expert: Depression in the World
< Ask an Expert: All Topics
- How has the medical field historically viewed depression? [1:07]
- Do the United States' public policies adequately address depression treatment? [1:21]
- How do other countries manage depression care? [1:43]
- How will we understand and treat depression in the future? [1:02]
Learn more about depression in the world:
Depression Statistics: English version (PDF, 644k) Spanish version (PDF, 776k)
Depression in Communities of Color: English version (PDF, 636k) Spanish version (PDF, 772k)
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance: www.dbsalliance.org
American Psychological Association public policy section: www.apa.org/ppo/pi
National Alliance on Mental Illness: www.nami.org
How has the medical field historically viewed depression?
DR. HELEN MAYBERG: But in fact in thinking about depression, the fact that we've gone from mind to brain seems like a monumental step. But in historic times, when you go back to Hippocrates, the black bile, melancholia as it was called, was a disorder that wasn't even above the neck. It was really considered a disorder in the gut. And that's very fascinating, considering that many patients, if you say, "Where is the disorder," will grab their stomach, grab their chest. The empty sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach, everybody knows what that feels like, that loss of something precious, as one of my recent patients described it, that feeling as though you've lost something precious, even though nothing bad has happened, that sense of impending doom, that deep dropping feeling in the pit of your stomach. No wonder they called it black bile as though something was percolating through your system and just eating out your insides.