Thu, 11 February 2021

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm GMT


The Art and Science of Overcoming Depression

Oliver Kamm in conversation with Hannah MacInnes

Candid, revelatory and deeply versed in current scientific research, Oliver Kamm joins us to reveal how the scourge of clinical depression can be countered and may eventually be overcome.

More than a fifth of the population of the UK report symptoms of depression or anxiety. Yet how much do we really know of the condition and of ways to treat it?

Sadness is an inevitable part of life, but for most people it will usually alternate or coexist with happy times. Clinical depression, on the other hand, is a mental disorder that causes torment and anguish. It has no moments of relief. It unhinges us from everything we thought we knew about the world and makes us strangers to those we love.

In this livestream event, Oliver Kamm will recount what it’s like to be mentally ill with severe depression, and he details the route by which, with professional help, he was able to make a full recovery. His experience prompted him to find out all he could about a condition that has afflicted humanity throughout recorded history.

He explains the progress of science in understanding depression, and the insights into the condition that have been provided by writers and artists through the ages. His message is hopeful: though depression is a real and devastating illness, the mind and its disorders are yielding to scientific inquiry, and effective psychological, psychiatric and pharmacological treatments are already available.

Praise for Oliver Kamm’s Mending the Mind:

‘Oliver Kamm’s urbanity, erudition and compassion are raised to the power of two in Mending the Mind. He put them to work in crafting this gorgeous and urgent book, and on every page they remind us of his moral that enviable gifts are no protection against the affliction of depression.’ – Steven Pinker

‘There are lots of books on depression, but not many combine both an authentic and moving personal story with rigorous research and analysis. Kamm tackles the big questions on depression, and his answers are clear, unsentimental and compelling.’ – Professor Sir Simon Wessely

‘Oliver Kamm has the rare ability to combine emotional honesty with intellectual rigour. The result is a book that simultaneously breaks your heart and educates you as it brings light to one of the darkest corners of the human condition.’ – Nick Cohen

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Oliver Kamm

Times columnist and leader writer

Oliver Kamm is a leader writer and columnist for The Times. His book ACCIDENCE WILL HAPPEN: THE NON-PEDANTIC GUIDE TO ENGLISH was published by W&N in 2015. @OliverKamm

Hannah MacInnes

Presenter, Podcaster and Host of How To Academy’s live programmes.

Hannah MacInnes is a broadcaster and journalist. Alongside hosting How To Academy’s live programmes and podcast, she presents a cultural show on Times Radio and interviews on-stage at a number of other major literary events. She is the host of The Klosters Forum Podcast series and has written for the Radio Times, the Evening Standard and TLS. Before going freelance she worked for 8 years at BBC Newsnight, as Planning Editor and as a Producer / Filmmaker.