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Monday, May 17 at 10 p.m. – The Misunderstood Epidemic: Depression

(Rochester, NY) The Misunderstood Epidemic: Depression, airing Monday, May 17 at 10 p.m. on WXXI-TV (DT 21.1/cable1011 and 11),is the latest documentary from filmmaker and best-selling author, Susan Polis Schutz.  It is a riveting national portrait of one of America’s least understood mental illnesses told through the first-hand accounts of victims of depression and their families.

Each year, more than 21 million Americans are diagnosed with clinical depression annually and yet it remains one of the most misunderstood conditions – often not even seen as a medical illness, but as something imagined or self-inflicted.  In fact, depression strikes one in four women and one of every eight men at some point in their lifetimes.

Told from the perspectives of the victims of depression and their families, “The Misunderstood Epidemic: Depression” reveals the heartbreaking stories of men, women and teens trapped by clinical depression.
Polis-Schutz reveals the powerful, often shocking accounts of people who suffer the lowest depths of depression.  It took her three years to complete the film and she attended more than 300 Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance meetings to find the right people to interview for her film.  Through the victims’ stories, the film explores how depression can happen to anyone regardless of age, race, or socioeconomic background.  

One by one the victims’ tales are unraveled in gripping detail: symptoms; suicide; the stigma and lack of understanding; the stress in families and relationships; the loss of ability to work or function in school.  The director takes a hard look at the pros and cons of medication, different forms of therapy, and support groups. 

Ultimately, “The Misunderstood Epidemic: Depression” inspires hope for happiness and a path to wellness for the victims of depression and their families.  It is filled with uplifting advice to families and friends of the victims of depression.

In addition to her work as a best-selling author, Polis Schutz’ previous film, “Anyone and Everyone” was a widely-acclaimed documentary on how parents from all backgrounds and walks of life cope with learning their children are gay.  It was a ground-breaking work and the first of its kind. 



WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. Log on to wxxi.org for more information about our services and programs.