NPR's award winning show, 'To the best of our knowledge' does a great job of presenting a useful understanding of that feared state called Depression . This week's episode is entitled: 'This Sadness' is an excellent opportunity for you to investigate this mood, especially for those of you who've tasted it. Heal.


Jerome Wakefield is co-author of "The Loss of Sadness: How Psychiatry Transformed Normal Sorrow into Depressive Disorder." Wakefield tells Steve Paulson how the medical profession's attempts to make precise diagnoses have led them to define emotional states as medical conditions.


Joshua Shenk is the author of "Lincoln's Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness." Shenk tells Jim Fleming that Abraham Lincoln never attempted suicide, that we know of, but he refers to it in a poem he wrote, and Shenk recites the poem. Also, Eric Steel is the director of a controversial documentary film called "The Bridge." Steel tells Steve Paulson that his crew filmed The Golden Gate Bridge every daylight minute for one year, and thus witnessed many suicides and even more attempts. Steel tells Steve who comes to the Bridge, why it's such a magnet for suicides, and how his crew tried to intervene.


Photographer Michael Nye made portraits of mentally ill and homeless people in San Antonio, where he lives, and also recorded their stories. He's put the results together in a powerful mix of words and images. Nye talks with Anne Strainchamps about the experience of working with these people. The photos can be seen at

Listen to this sadness

Related websites:

Lincoln's Melancholy -
The film "the bridge" -
Michael Nye's project on Mental Health and the Homeless -