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December 2nd, 2009 by Dr. Phil

Facebook Strikes Again

ladyAtComputer1Just when I think I’ve heard it all, here comes the story of one Miss Nathalie Blanchard.

Miss Blanchard is a young Canadian woman who, for the past year, has been on sick leave from her job at an IBM office after being diagnosed with major depression.  According to reports, Miss Blanchard posted cheerful, smiling images of herself on Facebook, photos of her beach vacation and nights out with friends. She says her insurance benefits were cut off because the insurance company said her Facebook pictures indicated she was no longer depressed and was ready to return to work.

Really? Really? So we allegedly have diagnosticians working for insurance companies that can diagnose someone from some photos? Give me a break! How about asking for an updated evaluation? How about some good, old-fashioned due process? How about learning about depression and the process involved? The cyclical nature of the disorder?

I’m actually not surprised that an insurance company (and it’s probably not the only one) is reportedly watching its policy holders on Facebook, looking to see who might be fibbing about a particular illness. But is a social networking site really the place to make a medical diagnosis, especially when it comes to something like clinical depression? I get it if someone’s saying they have a bad back and can barely walk. If they then post dated photos or videos of themselves doing back flips, OK, that’s a problem. Mental illness is not so transparent.

Miss Blanchard is allegedly taking legal action against IBM and her health insurance company, arguing that the doctor who was treating her for depression recommended that she socialize with family and friends instead of staying at home and staring blankly at the wall. I’ll be very interested to see how that lawsuit turns out.

In the meantime, believe me when I go on one of my periodic rants about the stuff you stick up on your Facebook page. The Web is great, but it may also be a modern-day, real world counterpart of Orwell’s “Big Brother.”  Am I being paranoid or just realistic? Let me hear from you.

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126 Responses to “Facebook Strikes Again”

  1. FosterBoys says:

    Dr. Phil,

    I’m REALLY curious if you’re as astonished as you say you are. You didn’t know things like this happen all the time? How could you not know how much and how often middle-class America gets screwed? This is the reward we get.

    “Successful people do what unsuccessful people won’t”. BULL. That’s a lie that the privileged tell themselves to justify their feelings of entitlement. Meanwhile, hard-working men and women get up every morning, fulfill their responsibilities, toe the line, and do the right things. But they don’t deserve the comfort of not only success, but of decent treatment by the institutions who serve us.

    Success is being in the right place at the right time and having the wherewithal to capitalize on it.


  2. Linda says:

    I think it is a shame that it has to be this way because it is so much fun also.

  3. Erin says:

    In all fairness to the insurance company, you have to admit it looks very bad. This person is out having a great time and posting it on Face book and is getting insurance money because she can no longer work. If she can function well enough to post things on facebook then why can’t she attempt to go to work. I am not saying go back to working the same hours or do the same thing, but I would think that she could do something.

    I guess I just was faced with a similar situation, so I am a little bit sensitive to this issue, but I was out of work for depression for about two weeks and could not work. If I could post facebook pictures and have a great time, then i could at least go to work and make an attempt to work. I am not saying she should have not had a follow up visit, but physicians today over diagnose depression anyway and will dignose depression to anyone.

    My psychologist says that depression is just like any other disease, and should be treated as such. Lets put this in perspective, lets say that the women filed a claim of chronic back pain and could not work but showed up with facebook pictures of carrying a ton of bricks. My guess is the claim would be denied.

    Depression has it spells but my point is if you are able to go onto trips and post things on facebook you at least could make an attempt to do something at work, maybe work part time or do something completely different.

    I do not see why clinical depression should not be treated as another medical disease, like cancer.

    I think one of the main problems is people are getting diagnosed as being clincical depressed when they are not, which causes people not to get the proper treatment because claims like this are denied.

    Like I said, maybe I am a little more sensitive because I am clinical depressed, have been since I was 15, I am not 26 and probably will be for the rest of my life (at least that is what the doctors are thinking), since it can only be controlled with medication, so I take a little offense when someone is getting benefits like this and then going on facebook and posting pictures like this and then suing because they denied the claim. It is almost like hello what did you think was going to happen, if you show the entire world that you are having a good time but could not work because you were depressed.

    Insurance companies are already skeptical of paying claims for depression (thank goodness i have really good insurance company) so I do not understand someone who would be surprised that an insurance company would deny someone of a claim who shows pictures like this. I think we either need to treat depression like any other disease or we do not. The same rules should apply for mental disease as physical disease. Again I am a little sensitive to this issue.

  4. Erin says:

    If she were working instead of being on vacation, when quote:
    “In the moment I’m happy, but before and after I have the same problems” I think she would have more creditability instead of not doing anything for over a year and half.

    I think at the very least if she is well enough to post on face-book she could a least make an attempt to work at least one day a week or an offer to work one day a week from home, or half a day a week. I think if she did that it would not look as bad as it does (as she was attempting to work, however could not work very much and could not do what she did before because of the depression). If that was not an option for her because of her job she would have more of a leg to stand on when suing the insurance company.

  5. Janet Davies says:

    I think this woman will win her case in court. Its just sad that now on top of depression she has to deal with court and legal issues. I wish her all the best! She needs to teach this insurance company a lesson and set a precedence!

  6. You are being realistic. I agree with you, Dr. Phil, “The Web is great, but it may also be a modern-day, real world counterpart of Orwell’s “Big Brother.”

    Too, I believe it is plausible what Miss Nathalie Blanchard said her doctor said since says so too in below link I share with depressed persons. Not only do I share below link… I apply if life throws me a few curve balls that get me down.


    I use to think my dad enjoyed living at VA Hospital because he always had such big smiles for me when I visited… then I realized those smiles were “for me visiting” since dad enjoyed my visits. Lots of people are “faking it until they make it” and even the link above says to go on and do things even if you don’t feel like it.

    “Looks can be deceiving” is true in both aspects that sometimes a person IS sincere and is painted otherwise or “can” even truly look otherwise even when sincere or if, as you say, not an expert. Or a person can be insincere from get go and fool others so much that person and everyone begins to believe sham. Even misperceptions can seem very real to everyone misperceiving on both sides of the issue. Cure misperceptions with reality.

    “There is no reality and only perception.” Insurance companies prefer to pay as little out as possible on claims so look for ways to pay as little as possible or not pay at all. Most persons prefer to receive maximum available. So on that note I’ll just say IDK… beyond I sure wish I had you in my corner to defend my honor. I hope you got the message I sent via your Dr. Phil Website CONTACT DR. PHIL option this week.

    N.B. Heart gripping show about Kate McRae and her family today and thanks for the heads up that when we donate to the DR. PHIL FOUNDATION we can earmark for Kate McRae. Holding Kate McRae and her family and you and your staff and my fellow Dr. Phil Website members and all those dear to us in my prayers. All the best to us each and everyone and God Bless Us All during the Holidays and… always.




  7. Joyce says:

    I have to agree with Dr Phil here… Clinical Depression has many faces… Just because she was able to go to the beach once and enjoy herself means absolutely nothing… I mean really with depression, it doesnt mean you are just lying in the bed staring at the walls doing nothing day in and day out. Yes most days for me are like that, however I do have my moments when I feel like getting out and walking or doing something..
    And depression can be hidden very well. I know I have hid it. When anyone is around I can put on this really brave face and pretend everything is all hunky dory when I really feel like crap inside. No I cant work but it is not just due to the depression, I also have physical problems which compound the depression, which compounds the pain. Vicious cycle…
    I truly hope this woman wins her case because you cant tell how a person feels or how depression affects a person just by a few pictures… I can function well enough to sit here for a while and post things, doesnt mean I am any less depressed or feel like doing anything.

  8. Joanna says:

    Dr. Phil,

    I agree with you completely. Since when can a proper diagnosis be made via a few pictures on a social website by anyone, let alone your insurance company!!!

    If they wanted real facts then they should contact the doctor. Period!

  9. Joyce says:

    The more I think about this post the more ticked off I become… For someone to step in and say a person is not depressed anymore just by looking at a few pictures just makes me mad….And for someone to say it is just like any other disease is so wrong on many levels…
    Just because perhaps I may go stand at the lake and look over it, does not mean I feel any better it just means I need something else to stare at for a while. You cant look at a few pictures and tell what a person really feels inside. I can go to the grocery store once a month, sometimes I get out and walk and sometimes I just sit here. It doesnt mean I feel any better when I am out as compared to just sitting at home. I can be all happy and all that on the outside but be dying on the inside. A picture cant tell how a person feels…
    You cant look at me and tell whether or not I have a headache, or back pain or terrible pain from the fibro I have. Neither can you tell just by looking at someone if they are depressed or not.

  10. Erin says:

    What I am saying is deression needs to be treated like other diseases, as it needs proper diagnoses and treatment. We do not tell a cancer patient that you can “get over it” like we do many depressed people, we tell them to get medication or do certain things to attempt to beat it. Depression is a disease. It effects both mind and body.

    What makes me mad when people say it is not like any other disease. It is in so many ways. It effects you physically, and you cannot just talk you way through a serious depression and get over it. Why should depression be treated differently then any other medical disease. Depression has such a stigma behind it and I think if we were to treat it like a medical disease more people would be willing to get treatment.

    If depression is different then other diseases, such as cancer, then why am i on medication? As I have asked myself over and over again. If depression is not really like a “disease” what is it and why am i getting treatment for it?

    I am saying that people need to think about depression like any other disease because you cannot cure cancer by “getting over it” but people seem to think that “depression” is something you can get over and switch on and off and it is not.

    However, in this case it is not like the person is shown running a few errands or walking the dog (then it would be an entirely differnet case, and the insurance company should be sued) this person felt well enough to go on vacation (her words, not mine) and hang out with friends, because her thearpist told her that socializing would be good for her. However, she is sick enough not to go to work, but well enough to take a vacation, and hang out with her friends, and post them on face book, that is what I have a problem with.

    I would be more willing to side with her if she went on vacation and hung out with her friends but someone posted them on there facebook. But the fact is she posted them on her facebook, is what gets me. It is almost like she is saying look at me I am scamming the insurance company.

    I know when I was out of work the last two weeks if I could do facebook or do really anything I would at least attempt to go to work.

    The below example, written in January of 2009, is a great example of the stigma of depression and people who should be suing for damages:

    A council suing its former managing director for £1m for allegedly lying on her job application because she did not disclose she had depression is at risk of being accused of disability discrimination.

  11. Danae says:

    I have to agree with Dr. Phil on this one. To be ‘judged’ by photos is ridiculous. I’ve been dealing with, and have dealt with, serious depression in the past and the internet is a great way to keep from being too isolated, without it being more than one can do. But I also know that even when I was feeling suicidal I DID still find things funny at moments (generally some antics by my pets) and laugh and/or smile. It may not have lasted long, but your face and emotions don’t become stone because you are oppressed. It also depends on the people, the circumstances and the depression itself, I think.

    There is also the fact that not everyone posts every detail online. I mean, even now when I am down – I rarely air whats going on, and what is making me upset online. If I email or write a post it will more often than not sound a LOT more positive, upbeat than I am actually feeling. For those “I hate my life – I wish everyone would die – Why don’t I just go jump off a bridge” feelings that I must write down, those go in a private journal not to be aired for anyone and everyone to read. If I don’t want FAMILY reading my private stuff why would I air it for the random (and often cruel!) public?

    And as someone said here, if she was able to get out for a bit and do something she could (at least attempt to) enjoy, then bravo. A lot of times people in depressions can’t even do that. But yes, depression/mental illness does not mean people are sitting there staring at a blank wall all day. Sheesh.

    I think with these insurance companies, they are most (if not all) just trying to get out of paying anything. They are too busy wanting to make a profit for their own pockets to really care about the people they are SUPPOSED to be helping.

  12. Joyce says:

    I have to agree somewhat with what Erin said but only the statement that way too many people just tell you to “get over it”". I have been told to just “get off my butt and get over it” by some very rude people who dont have a clue of what I am feeling or going through… And what Danae said is so true!!! Just because I am deeply depressed does not mean that I am so stuck in a hole that I cannot find joy in certain things or laugh and play with the grandkids. So no being depressed doesnt mean that all you can do is just sit and stare at 4 walls all the time. There are times when you do feel a little better and like Danae said it may not last long, but it is an effort to do something. No you cannot see depression for the most part on a persons face neither can you judge whether they are still depressed or not just because they had a few good days.

  13. Rebecca says:

    I see both sides, but then, I do pretty much the same thing. Throughout this past year of grief I put on a “happy face” around people who really do not want to hear my boo-hooing. All it takes though is for someone to say something that spins me into a whirlwind of tears and sadness. You can be depressed but appear “OK”. You can smile and it may even look like you mean it. Who knows what she does in her alone time. But then, if she can go out and party and frolic on the beach…why can’t she go to work??? Hey, my job is no bundle of ha-ha’s but I do it, because I do not have the luxury of pulling in a check just because I am sad. Sometimes, and often-times people take advantage of their “labels” and in turn they take advantage of what the system will pay for them.

  14. amy says:

    I am a 34 year old single mother of 3 teenagers and am legally disabled due to bipolar and depression. I also have been diagnosed with borderline paranoid schitzophrania that stems from post tramatic stress disorder that came from many childhood tragedies and the tragedy of my 18 month old daughter passing away in 2000. I have a facebook and i wouldn’t agree that i am not disabled because i smile in some pics. I have 3 kids and i go to alot of sports/school events and post pics of my kids on my facebook. In my opinion it is a good way for me to cope with my feelings and talk to friends and give or get advice. I wish i could work but can’t do so because i have more bad days than good. I cannot hold down a full time job because of my disorders. I have tried and tried. I hope i dont offend amybody because i am not trying too. I just wanted to share my personal view and opinion as i want people to know my situation, like i said, just because i have pics on my facebook, doesnt mean i am ok and can work. It is work for me to even get outta bed somedays because i am so down in the dumps. Again i apologize if i offend amybody.

  15. Kathy Osburn says:

    I have to admit, I am torn here! I agree with you, Dr.Phil, on one hand, but then on the other hand I agree with some of the others that have posted. I mean, I don’t think that it’s fair for a insurance company to make a decision SOLELY on a picture on a facebook page. I do, however, feel that if there is laughing and a good time going on seemingly that she is “not that depressed” then she may need to go back to work.. not full-time at first but definately show some responsibility to your workplace. Make an Effort! If she is making the effort to get out and have some fun, then maybe she should try and make the effort to go back to work on a part-time basis!! I mean, C’mon! Stop trying to sit at home drawing any kind of income (whether it be medical coverage or disability check) “acting” sick when there really isn’t a “major” illness here. Take for instance, I have an uncle that cheats the VA system to the limit! He was a veteran (briefly, might I add) but regardless, he did serve the country until he had knee surgery. Well he got better and went to work.. had been working off and on for several years… when he got word that he could sit at home and draw a VA disability check if he was trully disabled and couldn’t work. Well, low and behold, he put the biggest FRONT on that I, and the rest of my family, has ever seen! Went to the doctor walking with a CANE.. and got the doc to believe that he is disabled, and every 3 months going through the same routine, acting like he can’t get around.. so he can sit at home (or bar for that matter!!) and draw an almost 3,000 dollar check every month.. He’s a bachelor that owes soooo much money on back owed child support for his (now grown) 3 children..and he loves it that the IRS or the State can’t take a time of his VA check for that. He’s just a low-life person that has many depths of arrogancy!
    It’s these types of people that are behind the way I feel about this blog of this woman… makes you wonder if she is just “working” the system a little much. So what that she maybe a depressed person, that’s what medication is for and there are lot of people in this world that may have a worse illness than she does and they are working their tailends off trying to stay afloat and provide for their families.. It’s just sad ..
    Joplin, Mo.

  16. Erin says:

    After reading all of the other posts I think I was a little too hard on this person. I forgot the times when I was hospitalized for a month for deression last year, that even though I was depressed I did have some happy times, short lived and working would be impossible because they did not last very long.

    I am starting to see Dr. Phil’s point, it is hard to judge a situation by photos. I agree there should have been a follow up visit to judge wheather the person could go back to work temporarly then cutting off of her benefits completley.

    Sorry if I judged anyone, when I get going on a subject I tend to be a little bit closed minded about a subject. And I did forgot all the times when I was hospitalized and when I was really sick that I did have few moments of happenies, however they come on suddenly and I did not have advance notice so working would be almost impossible at those times (because I would be fine for a hour or two and not fine after that). Also, I remember going into work thinking I would be ok and get through it (like I told this person to do) and having to go home as soon as I got there because I was sucidal and it took everything I had not to die. I decided that even though I felt fine like I could make it in the morning I should talk to my doctor, see about a medication adjustment, and wait until he gives me the ok that it would be safe to go back to work.

    I guess I see Dr. Phil’s point, why could there not have been a follow up visit from the insurance company to see if this person was cabable of going to work on a part-time basis. It will be interesting to see what comes out in court.

  17. Sam says:

    I think the insurance company is going to get taking to the bank for this one. That’s insane that they watch you, its not as if they are employers. But at the same time why did she feel the need to post pics on face book instead of just enjoying them at home. However, they had absolutely no right to take an action against her based on what they found on the internet, has no one ever heard of photo shop and stolen passwords. This case is funny for everone but that poor woman who now has to go to court. lol

  18. Caryn says:

    I agree with Dr Phil. I am clincally depressed and have been for 13 years & I’m 30. Every day is different for me. Every person who has depression is different. I have good days and bad days. I can go on trips, see friends, and attend college but it is a minuet by minuet struggle to do so. My psychiatrist also beggs me to get out into the world, and be distracted instead of what I want to do, which is lay in bed all day. I do not think anyone with depression should be “diagnosed” by pictures. If you met me, you would never know that I have a storm inside my brain. I call it “acting as if”….in pictures a person is going to smile. It’s called functioning through life. I do it because I have to, or I will literally stay in my condo forever. My many medications are a large part of why I get out of bed.

  19. Nora says:

    I’m depressed but I still smile when someone takes a picture of me…

  20. Larisa says:

    Wow that is very interesting that insurance take their time to look at the facebook to see their clients pictures. Today there is no privacy if you are posting something on the internet. I do not have an account eighter to facebook or twitter and I feel relieved that no one is looking at me. I thinks is was wrong that insurance company did that and I totally agree with Dr. Phil. Pictures do not say the whole story a person might be feeling inside. So its very wrong to judge that way.

  21. Rik says:

    Most of my closest friends are posting (on Facebook) a very well and happy photos.It’s like a perfect life without any problems.
    But behind those happy photos their friends and colleges don’t know what is really happening.
    Like my friend’s parents they seems so happy together but nobody knows that their marriage are on the rocks and it’s a secret that they don’t even live in one roof anymore.

    My other friends are looking good and enjoying life but nobody knows that their all breaking into pieces and having a terrible heartache. One of my best friend seems to be very cool and content about her life but behind the curtain she’s struggling each and every minutes of it.

    Some are just showing off their everything like cool and expensive gadgets, partying in expensive clubs,shopping in expensive boutique but in real life they’re broke,no jobs and getting frustrated how they’ll pay the mortgage and other bills this month.

  22. Kayla says:

    Everyone on here has a lot of good points. And I agree with what a lot of you have to say. I understand that if she’s showing some slight of happiness then she should be able to go back to work, whether it’s full time or part time. But is it really fair for the insurance company (or any of us) to really judge her life? Just because she’s showing her self in some pictures where she’s smiling, laughing, and having a good ole time with family and friends, does that honestly mean she’s fully cured (if at all) from depression? No. I don’t think so.

    And if the insurance company is so worried about it, maybe they need to look into the situation more, talk to the doctors. Get her evaluated again and check the seriousness of it. I don’t think she should get totally cut off from her benefits just because of a couple of pictures. They shouldn’t get so technical just yet. Would they rather see pictures of her getting worse, just so they’ll believe she’s telling the truth about her illness?

    I think depression takes a while (if at all) to go away. Maybe it never goes away, and it’s just managed. Maybe some people know how to keep it under control better than others. Maybe in those pictures where she’s smiling and laughing, maybe those were some days where she kept her depression managed and under control. Even if she seems to show some happiness, does that mean she still isn’t hurting inside? And if she really does know how to keep it under control, then maybe should go back to work. But who really knows for sure?

  23. gina says:

    Not keeping a facebook page private is asking for trouble. And being off for depression for a year means she needs a new psychiatrist to adjust her meds, or she’s milking it.

    Unless the depression is tied to her job.

    I had that problem awhile back. I could function outside of work, but being there made me want to steer my car into the nearest tree during the lunch hour. Things were so bad at work because of a new boss, I went home from work one night, looked at the five bottles of medication I’d been prescribed since the downturn began, and wondered how much I would have to take to make the pain go away.

    Instead I called my psychiatrist (another addition since the new boss), who had me in the office the next morning and off work for two weeks. With her blessings and encouragement, I continued to go to my part time job, where I felt safe and secure. Before my two weeks was up, I was fired from the bad job I’d held for 20 years. (Best thing for my health, by the way.) The bad boss also tried to get me fired from my part time job.

  24. Cathy says:

    This just proves once again that people should really think long and hard before they put certain things up on facebook. As it can come back to bite you. I think there are definately two sides to the story and when I look at it, the insurance company has a pool of money that it needs to protect to ensure that there is sufficient funds to honour all claims submitted. If there is an indication that claims are going through fraudulently then they have a duty towards their other policyholders to stop it from happening. However, I don’t agree that they should deny the claim based solely on the pictures, and would have agreed if they had called for futher testing and questioning from the Doctor. If this information came to light they should have investigated further and not based their decision solely on photos on Facebook! So although I don’t think they are wrong for ‘checking’ up on their clients I feel the manner in which they handled it is infact wrong.
    Again we must all remember that when posting pics etc up on Facebook – it’s out there for the world to see. So it’s best we all take a lesson from this ladies experience and be more sensitive as to what we expose on the web…
    I believe that if she can provide just cause for her still being clinically depressed then her insurance company will provide the claim.
    We are not Doctors so we cannot judge whether or not she’s fit to go back to work…. perhaps these photos indicate that she is well on her way to recovery and may just be almost ready to go back to work.
    I wish her luck and hope that in future she too will be more aware of what she posts on Facebook.

  25. Theresa says:

    Unfortunately if there weren’t people out there scamming then it would be a simple matter of calling the insurance company intrusive.
    Where I work several people have been caught working other jobs while on stress or medical leave and not short leave I am talking double dipping for a couple years.
    I think SCAMMERS are the real guilty parties when it comes to situations where innocent people are unfairly treated in cases like this.
    A person out for depression will be afraid to smile for fear of being seen because others abuse the system

  26. TheQuackPack says:

    Well speaking as a Former Trauma Nurse, and also one who has Mental Illness in my family and also suffers from OCD myself. I can surely see how even a very depressed person can post smiling Pictures!

    The unwritten law of society is often to put on a smiling face on the surface cover it up etc.. Smile and the worls smiles with you cry and you cry alone.

    90% of people who meet me would have NO idea I have OCD I have years of covering it up.. THose who know do so BECASE I tell them or let them in on it.. or are family members.. I suspect its no different for depression.

    I do not think that it is the business of Insurance companies to diagnose based on any criteria medical or Psychiatric conditions.

    I would also have to say that posting things to Facebook requires you to approve your friends unless you do not select that option. With all the trouble over teh years of people getting “busted” posting pics on facebook.. teens drinking, Spouses cheating etc.. You’d think users would be more Saavy..
    But then again perhaps she did not feel she was doing anything wrong!

    Regardless of the circumstances.. Its insane for ANY insruance company even if employing consulting Psychiatric staff or Physicians to simply LOOK at this person and make a diagnosis! IF this type of behavior is to be allowed and accepted then where will it stop?

    Insurance companies already overstep what they should in all areas of Medicine, I think everyone needs to take a FIRM stand on this and SAY NO WAY!

    Thanks for posting this! WE Fully Agree with You!

    Take care
    The Quack Pack
    Wisconsin, USA

  27. Rebecca delgado says:

    Dr Phil, I am appauled at the ignorance of other posters! Depression is a serious disorder that is so sadly misunderstood by those never truly experiencing it’s effects!

    I have also been suffering from depression at some level for most of my life, being mildly bipolar and resistant to medication. Does that mean that duringy brief moments of “clarity” i’m not allowed to try and enjoy myself?! For example, right at the moment I have the strength to step out of my comfort zone and try to enjoy the activities I so much enjoy. Even if it is difficult I try and make the best of it! Many people suffering from depression know how to “put on a face” even when hurting inside! I do it every single day for the sake of my children. Just because she was following dr orders by attempting to enjoy normally enjoyable activites has in no way changed her ability to return to a stress-filled workforce! I had a coworker once who hid his deep depression, pushed on with his job and committed suicide! What if he had sought proper help?

    The bottom line for me is the misunderstanding of depression and bipolar spectrum that causes these ignorant posts. I would love to see this adressed on your show. It would help greatly to remove some stigma assosiated with these forms of mental illness and maybe save lives by helping people understand that getting help is nothing to be ashamed of. I could go on forever…

    Some posters have quite obviosly had no experience with the clinical approach to this problem. I send her strength to fight this injustice and wish I knew more about this story. I put on a “game face” nearly every day for my children and it can be down-right exhausting…I can’t imagine also adding the stress of the workforce!

    Although I qualify for disability, I have a successful ex who helps me to stay at home. But if I didn’t, I would need to resort to assistance because working would end me up in the hospital! I’m not the least bit ashamed of that. It takes a strong insightful person to seek help, and even those suffering from depression deserve to make an attempt for some brief moments of joy. Even as depressed as I am currently, a trip to the beach could help me “fake it till I make it”. Good for her for trying to help herself.

    Please do a show dispelling the myths of depression as well as the SPECTRUM of bipolar disorded. This country needs their eyes opened and and the stigma of mental disorders to be addressed. For me, it would be the best show you’ve ever done!


  28. Elizabeth says:

    We have to be realistic and admit that there are people out there who would do anything to get free money, even fake an illness. I do believe IBM and the insurance company have the right to question this lady’s illness under the circumstances. How is depression a job related “injury”?. I would love to hear that explanation. Dr. Phil, what would you do if this lady was your employee? Would you just keep paying her without questioning her illness after her photos surfaced? It is within the insurance company’s right to investigate every claim they have and you suggesting that people watch what they post on Facebook sounds like you are condoning cheating the big corporations with fake illnesess. This lady may still be sick, but she may be cured. Isn’t depression curable?

  29. FosterBoys says:

    Dr. Phil,

    I DO see your problem with what happened. What right did the insurance company have to make a clinical judgment? Psychologists are the only ones who can do that because they are professionals and never make mistakes. Their diagnostic tools are above reproach and their findings are indisputable. It’s SCIENCE, after all.

  30. Anita says:

    I don’t know enough about clinical depression to really have an informed opinion. So, I guess I can see it both ways. I don’t know how depressed a person would have to be to never smile. I think the wake up call here for all of us, is that insurance companies are going to do everything they can to not be responsible for thier clients. I think we all need to be vigilant and make sure we don’t end up without insurance coverage for whatever reasons because “Big Brother” IS evidently watching.

  31. Robin Davis says:

    This is exactly what scares me about the new mamogram & pap smear guidelines. These insurance companies are gonna quit paying for yearly exams claiming “they aren’t necessary”. I guarantee thats gonna happen!! I am not at all surprised they did this to her!! They don’t want to pay for jack!! I needed this medication one time & the company I was with wouldn’t pay unless I took some other crap that my doc & I knew didn’t work & wouldn’t help me!! I just fig they knew more than my Doctor!! Its unreal to me!! I just hope they reform the healthcare system soon to include things of this nature & keep them from happening. I hope she rakes them over the coals!!

  32. Kelly Even says:

    Oh good. I have 5 kids and we are always running back and forth to the doctors. From now on I’ll just send them a link to our facebook pages and have them call something in. I’m wondering what their idea of depressed photos would have been. Should she only pictures of herself in tears? If she had some moments of joy it’s what she SHOULD be putting out there. If this woman was missing a leg I’m sure everybody would understand her struggles because they could see she is missing a leg. You can’t see the damage if it’s inside. I suffer from depression myself, along with my father and son. Talk to most who knows me and they will tell you I’m the happiest, and funniest person they know. That is the image of myself I choose to put out there. My struggles, my feelings, and my worries are only fully shared with four people. My husband, doctor, cousin, and best friend. It’s not like if you’re depressed your face is not capable of smiling. Never in my years of dealing with this have I had a doctor tell me the best thing for my depression was to stay home and isolate myself from the outside world.

    I hope there is someway she can continue treatment while going through this court battle. I’d hate for this to get out of control. I’m scared for her.

  33. Julie says:

    Just because someone smiles and laughs and has a good time, doesn’t mean they’re not depressed. It’s not just about being sad and gloomy ALL the time. Many in my family suffer from depression, but you wouldn’t know it unless you know it.

  34. An extreme example such as the one you cite, Dr. Phil, can open up the conversation, but is hardly representative of the majority of situations. I cling to the hope that most situations are more clear cut. (Yes, I question my gullibility, too!)

    Still, I guess I have to form some sort of opinion about Ms. Blanchard’s case! Like most people, I am disgusted by the insurance company’s *tactics* but am equally bothered by the sense of entitlement she represents. (The energy and focus necessary to the filing and follow-up of a lawsuit? Huge! I doubt that a clinically depressed person would have the true emotional wherewithal to pursue it. Now, if it were being conducted as a test case by a civil rights/mental health advocacy group, I could understand…)

    I think that things will probably work out for her in her “favor,” at least legally, as the conclusion just isn’t medically, legally, or morally justified — that her virtual self should speak to her psychiatric reality. Only medical and other mental health professionals should have that degree of authority.

    Now… as for the broader picture!

    I should say, first, that I was fortunate enough to have purchased private disability insurance a few years before I became disabled: “permanently and totally,” was the conclusion by the insurance company, doctors, and the school system where I taught. I am very thankful for the “third party sick pay” that I am supposed to receive until age 65, at which point the Social Security monies for which I do [NOT] qualify will [not] kick in! For the morbidly curious, private disability usually pays 60% of what your salary was at the time of the onset of disability. The amount is never adjusted. The coverage does NOT include any sort of food subsidy or health coverage — something many people on government welfare (SSI) often forget to mention as part of their “benefit package”. That is a HUGE oversight on their part, as the cost of health coverage for some of us is now unaffordable. As for the cost of food? In my home, there are no dessert items or candy; We rarely eat meat; We follow the rule of not buying what we cannot afford — a rule that applies to everything, not just food.

    Ummm, if we sound totally ruthless and devoid of pleasure — it ain’t so! We’re fantastic cooks, no matter the raw material we have to work with; We plan some doozie splurges; We believe life is to be enjoyed, and richly.

    Given my situation, you might expect me to be a cheerleader for people who live off of disability income, whether publicly or privately financed. Not even close! I don’t even care anymore whether I sound hypocritical. I help the people in my life who honestly need help, just as I help the more abstracted children of the world with donations. It is the right thing to do (for us). But I get tired to the bone of “helping” people who can think of no other way to live, who emotionally and financially trick others into becoming their permanent means of support.

    The level of irresponsibility that I have witnessed among the “disabled” population is astounding. How to explain that it is a lifestyle for many, even one passed from parent to child as if that were the most normal and expected form of mature development?

    It USED TO irk the heck out of me to see people cheat the system — then it became such a commonplace event that I hardly react anymore. People sit around waiting for their “check,” badmouthing the “system” that doesn’t fork over “their” money fast enough, showing absolutely no insight into what constitutes the “system” or where “their” money actually comes from. Ask them and they will tell you that their healthcare is “free.”

    The people who are NOT really disabled enough to work — and I’ve no idea what percentage of SSI recipients that would be, but believe it to be a substantive minority — those folks? I hope they DO live lives that are confined, restricted, and depressing. It’s evil of me to wish ill to others — but that isn’t the totality of my wish — I hope that they see how low they’ve set their standards for themselves and their families. If the highest form of lifestyle a person can imagine is one based on receiving a monthly pittance that comes from the pockets of fellow struggling citizens? Well, some sort of JOLT has to come along.

    I believe that one of the “S”es in SSI is “supplemental,” meaning that it is not meant to be the sole support of anyone. Under the law, it is possible, and it is encouraged, for one to continue, or start, to work.

    The negative power of doing nothing is almost cancerous in nature, and unlike cancer has the further evil, apparently, of being contagious….

    I know that you did not intend for your blog post to provoke a discussion of welfare fraud, but it somehow has touched a nerve!

    I wish Ms. Blanchard all the best in her fight to emerge from clinical depression and to return to living without Big Brother peering over her shoulder. The health insurance industry needs to modernize itself in terms of mental health diagnoses and symptoms, and rely on medical pros for assessments, not a page on FB.

    I think the reaction you are getting comes from the wish that a tiny portion of the skepticism the industry is showing would filter down to the bureaucracy of the US system of Social Security.

  35. Ashton says:

    Dr. Phil,

    I am someone who was diagnosed with depression last year, was (and still am) on medications, and believe me it was rough. I think it is great you are taking a stand the way you are. If it wasn’t for prayer, family, and friends, I would have not gotten through it. The people that are watching Miss Blanchard seem to care more about money, not about her recovery.

    Thanks for taking a stand

  36. YVETTE says:

    I have sympathy for anyone with Depression on any level. What give’s any one the right to diagnose without a degree.. I agree with one of your comments on your page Depression has many faces, I myself have struggled with it but the one i am haunted by is what happened in my family. I had a beautiful happy soon to be my daughter in law commit suicide, No one saw this coming and we live with it day to day. Some signs of depression were there but to take it to that extent was and is sad. I looked at who her friends were and some family problems, My question if the goverment wants to throw all this money out there, Why can’t we get the help for our children, The gov will supply them with condoms, planned parenthood, ect behind parents back, Why not have a place for help that will take these kids serious and keep them safe..??? I no longer understand this country, I adore my kids, I am mom to alot of children (TEENS), Where are their parents ? If these children don’t get the love and help from home where can they go? I do hope alot of Teens read your blogs Dr Phil, The internet takes place of home time but they may get some help here..!!! No child is a throw away, they need the love and understanding, You can be a parent and a friend but try to be a good influence ALSO.

  37. To Amy, above,

    Don’t spend one more moment worrying about whether you “offend” anyone! You are not subservient to a single person who posts here. You don’t owe anyone an explanation of your situation.

    I am sorry that this line of discussion makes you feel the need to justify yourself.
    You are doing the best you can, and faking your way through the rest — by that I mean probably going to many of your children’s functions when you don’t feel well at all.

    All I would hope for you is that your illnesses become manageable one day, so that you can leave disability behind. Until that happens, remain active in life, keep pushing yourself to live large and well! Best wishes…

  38. Sarah says:

    There are a few factors everyone is forgetting. First of, there is a dependability factor for a job. It was “requested” that I go on disability because my employer needed someone dependable. My sporatic “today I feel well, tomorrow I don’t” doesn’t lead to being the consistent and responsible employee I was, or one they needed. If you know of a job where someone can show up when they want or are able, and stay home when they’re not, let me know. Even jobs from home (which are nearly impossible to find) need consistency.

    The second point is this: I often am mistaken for being healthier or happier than I am because I make a point not to wear my feelings on my sleeve. While I know this leads to others not necessarily always believing in my disease, I can’t worry about that. I try the best I can to appear cheerful, whether it’s a day I can walk or not. Many people comment that I sound “fine”, that I must be feeling “well”. Not necessarily. Many of us just choose to make the best of the life we have ended up with. There is enough suffering in private that serves no purpose to share with others (except with our doctors, or the insurance company if they want). Frankly, I think this pertains to anything we’re going through: illness, grief, etc.

    Lastly, I don’t know about you, but I would not choose disability as a life choice. Give me good health any day! I’d rather be a contributing member of society, working hard for a paycheck and having a respectable lifestyle, like I use to. Sitting at home with many limitations is not much fun. If I were able to get away on a vacation it wouldn’t change much else about my life. It would just be a little diversion, a new location to suffer. I assume this is true of the woman who works for IBM, as well, despite her smiles.

    Let someone evaluate her again. Do it fairly. If her depression is under control, by all means let her give employment a chance. But don’t assume it is because of a location, or a smile.

  39. Irene says:

    Oh goody. How i absolutely love to hear those judgemental comments by people who have no idea what they’re talking about. People who want to blame people for the unfairness of the system; that because they do this or that they must be cheating the system. I think with any social networking sites there’s a risk, you’ve got to be careful about what you put out there, it doesnt take a genius to figure out that you can never be too careful and that there’s always a risk of people seeing what you put out there, no matter how much security you might have applied. You cant diagnose a person’s state of mind by looking at photos or their behavior;

    to insurance companies and for those people who are being judgmental; a reminder; the only people who have the right to diagnose a person as having depression are the professionals; doctors. Leave that up to them.

    And to the person who wondered whether depression can be CURED. Can alcoholism be cured? Over eating? Anorexia? Drug addiction? The answer is no. Depression cant be CURED! But it can be MANAGED! Just like alcoholism or drug addiction you don’t simply wake up one day cured, it takes a lifetime of management. People with depression need support, not judgment.

  40. Miranda says:

    I am not surprise by this @ all. Employees where I work have taken each other off their friends list because of nasty posts, work relationship issues, etc. To me, acting this way on facebook is like being in high school all over again. When will adults actually grow up & start acting like adults and not like 16 year old catty school girls?! If you can’t handle others’ posts or status comments, don’t have a facebook. Everyone is entitled to an opinion but you can’t let it bother YOU… As far as an insurance company evaluating someone’s mental issue online, that’s obsurd & they should be reprimanded to the fullest extent. Will this happen? Probably not…

  41. inkchell says:

    I am someone who suffers from depression I also am not able to work it has been so for 2 1/2 years i do not recieve any medical leave, unemployement or disability I have no insurance, so Its not like I have a free ride. I only blame myself but when your depressed you CAN”T do the things that are required to help your self you can’t answer the phone, find the will to get dressed to make it to that meeting or appt. Much less hang out with family and hop the waves at the beach. My point being I wish I had her depression…………

  42. Robin G says:

    I suffer from depression, for most of my 53 years. it is a difficult illness to manage, I am not sure why but am not responsive to the meds. I have had to learn that this is the way my brain functions and most days push past it. It is kind of like managing chronic back pain. It is something you learn to live with. I have empathy for this young woman, but I also know you have to work at this thing. Even when you don’t feel like it. There are 12 step groups out there, and church
    folks that would love her. I do think she needs to do this. It would empower her and might help her overcome some of her feelings of helplessness. I just hate the thought that this is what our society has come to. Everyone deserves health care. I wish that alternative methods were covered, I exhausted all my medical coverage and now have a pre existing condition. It totally sucks!

  43. Similar happened to me as per hay expert of store’s third party. I slipped on hay and tripped over pumpkins at a store October 27, 2008, when we were getting Lynn a birthday cake. The management acted genuinely concerned (in front of crowd and assured person with me to “call if needed I ANYTHING”). EVEN ONE OF THE EMERGENCY PERSONS lost footing and had to grab ahold of me to not fall. I called and was directed to third party of store.

    I didn’t get a lawyer because I’d heard back about getting an Ultimate Makeover on THE DOCTORS so didn’t want any legal entanglements that might jeopardize being chosen. I trust Dr. Phil and The Doctors and just added knees to my head to toe, inside & out medical, dental & visual medical needs.

    I didn’t see a follow up doctor until December when I didn’t hear back from THE DOCTORS to finalize I’d be getting an Ultimate Makeover. Went to doctor since when I went on my powerful, prayerful walks painful like a car without shocks and didn’t use to be before falling twisting left leg and landing on right knee cap so hard felt like busted knee cap… Had I heard back that I would receive a Ultimate Makeover would not have pursued further since, again, trust THE DOCTORS and their colleagues.

    First store’s third party tried to blame my shoes and said still evaluating and to wait until I had ALL my medical bills to send in. No doctor wanted to see me since uninsured so I got MRIs on my own to be sure I was okay before I settled… hoping I was. I told store’s third party that office of a sports orthopedic doctor in my home town said would fix torn meniscuses yet needed to know I had ability to pay up front. I asked third party if didn’t they have guidelines of reasonable remedy for someone with a torn meniscus in each knee and lower back injury? Sent them MRIs.

    IT WOULD BE STRESSFUL ENOUGH JUST DEALING WITH GETTING INJURIES FIXED WITHOUT 1) being treated like gum on bottom of medical professions shoes since uninsured. 2) BEING LIED TO BY STORE & LED ON BY 3RD PARTY who I fell had no intention of paying claim and when didn’t pay claim, claim rep hatefully said, “Next time watch where you’re going!” That’s depressing.

    Lynn was listening on speaker phone when I asked claim rep if there was hay in any of her photos because I remembered slipping on hay first before tripping over pumpkins. She said, “Yes but not enough to slip on. Plus, I didn’t mention slipping on hay first when she first talked to me.” When a person misplaces keys do they do for amusement or forget where put on purpose? No. So, the same difference. People honestly remember things later all the time.

    I GUESS WAS ENOUGH HAY TO SLIP ON SINCE I DID PLUS ONE OF EMERGENCY PERSONNEL WHO HAD TO GRAB AHOLD OF ME TO NOT FALL.! Lynn remembers hearing man kidding when slipped, “The pumpkins are attacking me too.” I took ballet and had been walking about 5 days a week for FIFTEEN YEARS prior. I was watching where I was going to get a basket and a hand wipe and SLIPPED ON HAY. I don’t care if I didn’t remember how I slipped on hay at first before catching foot on pumpkin.

    Lynn said I better get a lawyer… well lawyers don’t like to accept cases of self-insured businesses with BULLY third party like store had since third party widely known to not pay and draw out cases in legal proceedings for years. Plus, my fave store so I discontinued service when lawyer never provided medical care promised PLUS I don’t just want any doctor that might not have a good success rate cause I only have one set of knees.

    There’s actually a website of persons similarly abused by this third party being hateful to injured persons and denying legitimate claims. WHEN IT’D BE STRESSFUL ENOUGH JUST GETTING INJURY FIXED WITHOUT INSURANCE DRAMA.

    Only got a lawyer when I never heard back from THE DOCTORS I’d get an Ultimate Makeover. Yet third party of store hee hawed around since store self insured plus, as I said, I don’t want knees messed up worse if doctor not experienced. Concept of insurance is to return person to capacity before loss (injury) and since sometimes that cannot be achieved there is monetary compensation to compensate.

    If all this wasn’t depressing enough… I got my hopes up I might get an ULTIMATE MAKEOVER than never did. On top of that a person online began belittling me since I’m not insured. Over 40 million are like me and uninsured. Even a CEO of an insurance company couldn’t get insurance at his own company I saw on world news on TV. Like mother like daughter where THE ONLY REASON MY MOTHER GOT HELP when I was ten was because collapsed at work bleeding to death at TG&Y at Shepard Mall in OKC and taken to ER. There checking out items 7 days a week she herself most times couldn’t afford to pay for.

    So can someone be injured or depressed and be smiling one minute and then sound overwhelmed like at the end of their rope the next? Yes, look at my first post here then this. No, Alice, there isn’t a Santa Claus. Or, if there is, he doesn’t have my address. Yet, I will tell you this… when you camp out in camp despair each day it is harder to get out of there.

    Scroll down at first link and begin reading at HOME CARE:


    So, you see above, the guidelines suggest going on and doing things and finding fellowship even if you don’t feel like it which I advise other’s to do like woman was advised to do, she said, by her doctor. Why? To not, is a ticket to camp despair and no person, place or thing is going to send me there again. Not even myself letting things get to me. People DO have to be proactive when depressed whether from “a little help from their friends” or professionally.

    I have volunteered online for over six years posting suicide prevention and other help information most of which not only have said helps but refer person to me for help info. I’d suggest everyone on here, including school personnel, learn of Dr. Phil Website link:


    There’s light therapy for SAD folks… yet if feel better when leave house could be carbon dioxide levels in home are high etc. As far as those drug resistant to anti-depressants. Cooper Institute of Dallas, discovered that walking 45 minutes a day (doctor approved exercise) can elevate moved naturally. Exercise raises endorphin level and oxygenates the brain. Anxiety, panic and depression have been linked to shallow breathing. It has been discovered that even adults sometimes have exacerbating symptoms adverse reaction to medication so ALWAYS let doctor know.

    Depression survival and/or recovery does depend on being proactive reaching out until you find the help that helps YOU. Also, reaching out to someone you see who is depressed as sounds like friends of woman in this blog article did. If you are depressed because overspend and run up debt… medication won’t cure that so some things require a lifestyle and/or environment etc. change.

    People are individuals so there’s no blanket solution for what will help everyone every time just like we have to shop around for shoes sometimes to find the perfect fit. Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes use to and may still take Zoloft like he said he did on a PBS special. If woman in this article wasn’t depressed I imagine she is now by insurance company’s response. On top of pain injuring my knees I became VERY depressed when treated so rudely by third party of store who’s manager handed Lynn her card and said, “Call if needed anything” who’s third party instead only added insult to injury.

    An anti-depressant won’t help me with my dental and medical and visual needs yet a head to toe/inside and out (the works) Ultimate Makeover from THE DOCTORS would. Anti-depressants aren’t the end all cure all and sometimes fellowship and/or a vacation might be the jump start someone needs to find their smile. It all depends on THE INDIVIDUAL.

  44. Erin says:

    Hi Robin:

    Sorry, I disagree if someone is really seriously depressed it is not something they can learn to live with. 12 step programs do not work for someone that is seriously that depressed since depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain. It would almost be like telling someone who is diabetics to go to a 12 step program to manage her diabetics. It does not work for some people, and some people cannot learn to live with it.

    I think therapy can be helpful and church’s and groups can help some depressed people but other depression cannot be cured or managed that easily. I am glad you are able to function but not everyone is like that and therapy does not work to overcome depression (I know for me a 12 step program would not work) and for a lot of people it will not help.

  45. Ann Kennedy says:

    Dear Dr. Phil,
    We get so caught up in what we consider “innocent play” on these websites that we forget that “Big Brother” is always watching. So now it is a crime to display photos that project an image of good health while clinially depressed. She’s clearly trying to elevate her depression by doing positive things in her life, and then is penalized for doing so. I would think that the insurance companies would be in support of anyone trying to make themselves healthier. This would insure that the sooner one became well the sooner the benefits would no longer be needed. That situation sounds like a win/win to me. But than most of us don’t get to make those decisions. Which I think lies the problem. God Bless to you and yours. oooxxxooo

  46. N.B. Also, medical conditions can cause depression such as compromised thyroid levels etc. so a good physical always a good idea.


    Scroll down at first link and begin reading at HOME CARE:


    JOIN ME ON HAPPY HOLIDAYS TOUR de’ DR. PHIL SHOW exercising today, M-F. I can no longer go on my powerful, prayerful walks to happiness yet doctor said swimming or biking okay. So go on my TOUR de’ DR. PHIL SHOW and/or TOUR de’ THE DOCTORS on recumbent bike w/ a side of weights… You’re welcome to join me to oxygenate your brain and raise your endorphin level. A great side effect, that Cooper Institute discovered on their walking study to alleviate depression, is trimming up and losing weight. I haven’t seen those results yet as just began yet incentive to keep doing via COMMITMENT to do just that.


  47. FosterBoys says:

    I, for one, would like to see Ms. Stephenson get a hand up from the Dr. Phil Show or The Doctors. She’s always got something uplifting to say. I don’t always agree with her, but she’s added a lot to these blogs, wouldn’t you say?

  48. Paradoxis says:

    I suffer from depression and for brief periods of time I can present to the world as totally normal, happy, confident and capable. The *cost* to me is that I’m so exhausted by the end of it that I have to completely isolate myself just to regain a little equillibrium.

    The effort required to “look” okay when you have depression is enormous. The cost is not something that others get to see.

  49. Shannon says:

    Hi Dr. Phil: Things are not so black and white, I am sure you will agree with this statement. It is not that easy to drop an opinion on this situtation because there isnt enough information to state whether or not the insurance company over reacted.

    I do wonder if the young lady is able to socialize why she would not be able to work at some sort of job. But again I dont have enough information.

  50. Joyce says:

    I totally agree that there are those that abuse the system. I have witnessed it over and over. However we on our own cannot tell who is and is not truly disabled, as I said a disabled person doesnt have a certain look. A depressed person can appear so totally normal, yet you have no idea what is going on inside. And someone else posted on here that when there are other problems going on other than just the depression it can compound the situation… Yes I am depressed, yes I have many physical ailments. Any yes I am filing for disability. I cannot work anymore. I am now 48 yrs old and I worked for 21 years. The only time I did not work was when I was married to first hubby and he refused to let me work. I got my first job when I was 15…. I did work for the last ten yrs and hid the depression pretty well or so I thought I had. I recently had to quit working due to tremendous stress and increasing pain. I was in the hospital twice for heart problems, turned out to be stress related. (Except for the Irregular heartbeat, which I have had since I can remember). Can you look at me and tell I am in tremendous pain??? NO Can you look at me and see the depression??? At times yes and at times NO…. Do I laugh and play with the grandkids??? yes I do, does it make me any less depressed??? NO..

    Would I rather work??? You can bet a million dollars on it… I mean I gave up a terrific paying job with great benefits, good insurance that the company paid for and great vacation and sick time. Would I rather have my 1,700 dollar a month job instead of a measly 600 I can draw off of SSI. Any day. But that is not possible due to the pain and disabilities I have.
    Have I become more depressed since I had to quit. I sure have, because I was making ends meet, now im not.
    Pain, depression it all affects each and every person differently. No 2 people are alike. Just because I can laugh or smile for a picture, it doesnt tell the whole story of the pain or the depression.

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