Out of the Blue:
The Nature and Treatment of Clinical Depression
... and related talks on mood disorders

DepressionMap2

Clinical depression is one of the most prominent public health concerns in Canadian society. It is the leading cause of long-term disability claims in the country. Despite this fact, there is often a lack of understanding about the nature, treatment, and self-management of this common problem.

Out of the Blue is designed for the general public (clients, families, friends, managers, rehabilitation consultants, clergy, and all others interested in the topic) but can also be a useful overview for healthcare professionals.

Topics covered include the different types of depression, epidemiology, the diagnosis of mood disorders, the most common symptoms and presentations, a model for understanding depression, an overview of pharmacological treatment approaches, and a discussion of psychotherapy and self-management approaches. Shorter versions of the talk are best if the range of topics is restricted somewhat.

The presentation is explicitly designed as an information session, not as treatment. Participants usually receive slide notes, and can also be provided with copies of the Antidepressant Skills Workbook if desired.

Formats: Available in 90- and 120-minute versions, as well as half-day and full-day workshops. Shorter versions can give a thought provoking overview, whereas longer versions can give deeper understanding of this difficult and complex topic. These presentations work best with visuals, so there is normally a screen with presenter’s laptop and host’s (or presenter’s) projector.

Also Available...
Rethinking Depression:
What if Everything we Thought We Knew is Wrong?


This talk takes a more challenging, controversial stance than the standard version of Out of the Blue. It is given more often to audiences of health professionals and policy makers, but is adaptable for general populations as well.

The mental health field has experienced a series of significant questions over the way mood disorders are conceived and treated. In this talk we reinforce many of these concerns, suggesting that the critics may well be right - and that this may point us to a new and more effective understanding of these common problems.

Questions discussed include (or can include, depending on the nature of the group and length of presentation):

  • Is depression becoming more common?
  • Have we redefined normal sadness as psychopathology?
  • Is diagnosis helpful?
  • Is there a biochemical imbalance in depression?
  • Do antidepressant medications actually work?
  • How did problems with pharmacological treatment go unnoticed?
  • Is public education about depression helpful or harmful?
  • Does psychotherapy work?

At the end of this talk participants may well feel that they know less about depression than when they started. This may be a good thing.

Formats: Available in 60-, 90-, and 120-minute versions, as well as half-day and full-day workshops. Shorter versions are best if only a subset of these questions is addressed, whereas longer versions can give a more comprehensive perspective on problems within the mood disorders field. These presentations work best with visuals, so there is normally a screen with presenter’s laptop and host’s (or presenter’s) projector.