Here is the full transcript of Jessica Gimeno’s TEDx Talk: How to Get Stuff Done When You are Depressed at TEDxPilsenWomen conference.
Depression takes practice. Now, some of you may hear that and say: “Jessica, that’s preposterous. Do you know my boss? Have you met my ex? Don’t you know that mental illness runs in my family? I don’t have to try to be depressed. It just happens.”
What I’m saying is that living well with depression takes practice. Being productive every day, despite depression, takes practice. Being a student or an employee with depression takes practice.
I’ve had experience with depression both personally and professionally, but before I go there, I want to share with you a few numbers that illustrate how depression impacts all of us, as a society.
According to the World Health Organization by the year 2020, depression will be the second-greatest disability in the world, second only to blindness. The National Institute of Mental Health tells us that depression is the number one disability among Americans ages 15-24, preventing millions of people from being able to finish school or hold down a job. Psychology today calls it ‘presenteeism’, the phenomenon by which companies lose billions of dollars every year in lost productivity to depressed employees who come to work but don’t actually work. All of this means that depression can be as debilitating as a physical obstacle.
For instance, carrying a cane. But, with a visible disability, we assume it will take practice to cope, including things like physical therapy. Yet when it comes to depression, we think that a label and medication are enough to cope. Now, I’ve worked in mental health non-profit for years. And while I’m thankful for the great strides we’ve made with anti-stigma campaigns, it’s time to go beyond getting a diagnosis, into giving people actual coping mechanisms.