Destigmatizing Depression

From Science:

Depression_SaraBjork_160 Flaherty speaks in a rapid-fire staccato about her still-born twin sons, lost after a difficult pregnancy more than 10 years ago, as she was about to start the residency portion of the Harvard-MIT M.D.-Ph.D. program. A postpartum depression morphed into mania and an eventual diagnosis of bipolar disorder. As a psychiatrist in training, Flaherty was fascinated by her own disease and began speaking publicly about her travails. During that time, she was approached by her peers and discouraged from talking about her mental illness.

“One thing that appalled me is how many doctors told me I should hush it up,” says Flaherty, who today is an assistant professor in the Neurology Department at Harvard Medical School in Boston and directs a fellowship program at Massachusetts General Hospital. She didn't listen. And as she reached out, she found that her experiences resonated with other students who were isolated, enveloped in their own malaise. They began to seek her out and share their own experiences with depression. Their stories convinced her that there was an undercurrent of depression among a significant portion of her profession that no one wanted to talk about publicly. “The more I talked, the more I met all these people who were saying, 'Oh yeah, I had all these problems when I was a resident or when I got my first job.' And they had never talked to anybody, so it was a sort of a relief for them that I was out of the closet,” she says.

More here.