Down and loudBMJ 1999; 318 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.318.7184.678 (Published 06 March 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:678
- Raj Persaud, consultant psychiatrist
- Maudsley Hospital, London
A Living Hell, BBC2, a 3 part series Wednesdays 11 15pm, starting 3 March
Lewis Wolpert—professor of biology as applied to medicine at University College London—became clinically depressed a few years ago after a mild heart problem and required admission to the psychiatric wing of the Royal Free Hospital. A Living Hell follows his journey into uncovering what medical science reveals about depression. Given the media's preference for personal anecdote rather than impersonal fact, a series like this had to wait until a doctor presenter was suffering from depression himself and agreed to be explicit about his illness on television. However, Wolpert has cleverly used the media interest in his illness to instruct the public on the essential issues.
It is perhaps because there is so much current popular fascination with depression that Wolpert has been indulged by the BBC in focusing on this one illness for three 40 minute programmes. Exactly why this should happen now is something of a mystery to those …