If you suffer from depression, you should watch the video below.

If you know someone who suffers from depression, you should watch it too.

The video is a lecture by Dr. Robert Sapolsky, a brilliant biologist (of the neuroendocrinologist sort) at Stanford. It’s less than an hour in length, and Sapolsky is a very engaging speaker who makes complicated topics very easy to understand.

I’ve suffered from depression for most of my life, been in therapy, read a book on it here and there….and in less than sixty minutes, Sapolsky gave me a much clearer vision of exactly what the hell is going on in my mind and soul. It’s enlightening, and somewhat terrifying.

I was particularly taken with his explanation about how nature (genetics) and nurture (trauma) can interact and literally change the way the brain functions. I already knew that emotional events could have lasting neurological effects, but now I understand how that probably happens. He explains very clearly how, say, a miserable childhood and possession of a certain gene can do crushing damage not just to a person’s psyche but to their brain chemistry. (Which reminds me of the Andrew Vachs column on emotional abuse I blogged about here).

You should watch.