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July 22: Clay Williams speaks to AM900 CHML host Ted Michaels about his upcoming 750K run for Defeat Depression. (Listen & Donate)

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What BETTER Feels Like

The Documents

What Better Feels Like: Answers from People Who Have Experienced Depression

 
(Download PDF)

Many interviewees agreed that
better is not a destination but a journey. This document offers a place to start.

What Better Feels Like: A Guide to Maintaining Wellness

(Download PDF)

Each interviewee emphasized the importance of maintaining their wellness, once better was achieved.

The Interviewees

Ten people from across the country agreed to be interviewed about their depression and their journey to better. All had experienced at least one major depressive episode with many having recurring bouts.

While each voice is unique, their experiences had strong similarities. 
Special thanks to the interviewees:

Anne
Crhis
David
Deanna
Heather
John L
John S
Lori
Lucy
Nancy 



Just as recognizing the signs and symptoms of depression is important to enable people to seek out treatment, it is equally key to recognize the signs of recovery or 'what better feels like.'

Mood Disorders Society of Canada embarked on a project to learn from others who have "been there," to understand what better feels like to them. Here, ten people who had experiened depression were interviewed to answer questions like: What is depression like? What are the signs of getting better? What helped and what didn't? And what does better feel like?

The results... two documents and several videos in the words of those who have lived experience

Videos

Nancy's Story 

Deanna's Story

Lucy's Story


More About the Project


The Questionnaire

Each interviewee received the questions in advance so they could reflect upon what their answers would be. Interviewees often remarked that they found the questions to be challenging. People said that they had to really think about their answers. All felt that they had been made to think - in a good way. And all were pleased to be able to contribute.

1.Can you recall the first sign (s) you noticed that made you think that your depression might be lifting? Can you describe those signs?


2. How did you know you weren't getting better and what did you do?

3. What do you think was the trigger (s) that allowed you to turn the corner?

4. What do you see as the "ingredients" that led to your getting better? What was helpful?

5. If not covered in the question above, can you tell me specifically how you worked with your professional caregivers? What was not helpful?

6. Define what better feels like - for you.

7. Tell me what you do to maintain your wellness?

The Documents

While the research focused on the answer to the question, what better feels like, the questionnaire covered a number of topics - as did the interviewees who did not feel at all constrained by the format and talked about their experiences in whatever ways they wished.

The "Answers" document is organized around the themes that emerged, some of which follow the questions asked and some of which do not. It stays true to the voices of the interviewees. This way, their personalities, their passions and their sage advice is in their own words.

The "Guide" is based on what interviewees learned. It is a woven narrative of a summary of the points they wanted readers to understand. Their actual words punctuate sections of the guide to provide emphasis and insight into their recommendations on how to maintain wellness.

 




Read May 2015 E-News