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Struggling in Silence: Physician Depression and Suicide

Every year, nearly 400 physicians — the equivalent of two to three medical school classes — take their own lives. Struggling in Silence: Physician Depression and Suicide explores this alarming trend. Through touching and sometimes tragic stories, the documentary explores the impact of depression and suicide on a diverse group of physicians, medical students, families and entire communities. The film profiles doctors living with a variety of mood disorders: a medical-school student who, once teetering on the verge of failure, makes a surprising comeback; a surgeon facing the stigmatizing attitudes and policies of his Southern town; and a neurologist who became involved in new areas of patient care as a result of her bipolar disorder. Experts discuss depression's symptoms, neurobiology and treatment, its prevalence in the medical community, the need to cultivate a supportive environment for physicians and the ongoing struggle to destigmatize mental illness.