Dr. John Greden is the Executive Director of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Depression Center as well as a professor of psychiatry.  He agreed to speak with us in his office about depression, offering his years of experience in clinically treating depression and other mood disorders.  Dr. Greden discussed the emerging field of genetic testing in selecting treatments for depression and other illnesses, remarking "It's getting better almost every month so we can determine which drugs are normally metabolized...five years from now this is going to be the norm." 

In our almost hour-long talk Dr. Greden shared his insight on how some of our most creative artists and musicians, over the course of history, may have suffered from clinical depression.  He emphasized that while there have been observed linkages between creativity and mood disorders, the productivity that springs from such artistic talents is the strongest during periods of wellness.  He feels strongly that it's time to change society's view on depression so those who need help are not afraid to ask for it.

Dr. Greden also voiced his support for the use of technology in the treatment of depression.  With certain apps on a smartphone, a patient can self-monitor and seek support when depression symptoms flare up.  "They're very powerful tools for helping get people better, keep people better...that's what's with you all week.  Not my appointment.  Those are your tools...they'll help you do the things that you know help, but sometimes aren't so easy to just make part of your routine in life."

Thank you to Dr. Greden for making the time to sit with us and offer such a valuable perspective to Death Is Not the Answer.