This Emotional Life (Part II) – Asperger’s & Depression


This Emotional LifeA few posts ago, I mentioned the documentary “This Emotional Life”, which PBS aired in 2010. I missed it then and have only recently watched it. I regret not watching it before and sharing what it says in it here. I think it is a documentary not only about bullying, but in many cases about the kinds of people who get bullied and the long-term effects it can have.

There are two particular segments that come to mind along with the original one I posted about bullying a little while back. Those are the segment about Asperger’s Syndrome and the loneliness that comes with it and the segment on depression and the findings on that. I have included part of the Asperger’s segment below:

What makes this so powerful is that this 29 year old man is still working on finding himself and working past the loneliness of his youth. How did that affect him in the long-term? I have a friend who’s son has lived with Asperger’s syndrome his whole life and is very similar to the person in the story above. Few friends, very smart in certain areas, low social skills, and a want to be something they are not. They teeter on the edge of wanting a normal life and the danger of more severe autism. But they are human, like us.

It is hard to watch, at least for me, without feeling that somehow it was a very hard childhood. You can see and hear it in his brother’s words as well. There is another segment on depression, with a focus on teen depression and yet another segment on PTSD. What was interesting in the depression segment in particular is how it talked about how those that feel this way don’t want to feel this way and scientists are finding differences (physical) in the brain that may explain it. Could it be that, even as children, there are pre-dispositions that would lead them to be bullied and then lead to further depression.

I look to myself, the WORRIER, that then led to chronic anxiety, some panic (normal with anxiety) and then depression about it all. If my brain is scanned, would it have always been different from others? Is that why I would react when picked on while others would not and be left alone? I believe there are some answers here and have very much (enjoyed not being the right word) gotten a lot from watching this particular show. I do think these studies that this show explores and those that suffer with worry, anxiety, panic, and ultimately depression and PTSD should be looked at further during youth to see if there are predictors that could be picked up.

Since my own scare with anxiety and depression I have picked up reading a lot of books on the subject. There is much to be said for the fight that must be done to defeat panic and anxiety and ultimately depression. There is no short term cure and there is no magic trick to make the feelings inside those of us change. It is part of who we are. We seek love, comfort, to be liked, self-confidence, happiness, satisfaction. But the important word is seek. It is always a part of a journey and at some point it is a realization that it is the journey that matters. Once you reach the destination, what is left? Seek and then find and then seek again. I remember that empathy is the lesson when it comes to understanding others. You don’t have to be like them to understand them. Learn from videos like the one above and then understand this is how some feel and find empathy to help when needed. And remember, when you need help, reach out and ask. I’m sure someone will answer.

2 thoughts on “This Emotional Life (Part II) – Asperger’s & Depression

    • So much so, Roxy. It was done very well and should be viewed by a wider audience at some point. It is helpful for those that deal with these issues.

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