Filmmaker Susan Polis Schutz’s documentary The Misunderstood Epidemic: Depression is an intimate look at how depression affects its victims and their families. The inspiration for the film came from Schutz’s own experience—she kept a journal while struggling to overcome depression. That journal was the basis for her recent book, Depression and Back: A Poetic Journey Through Depression and Recovery.

The film presents firsthand accounts of how depression can happen to anyone, regardless of age, race, or socioeconomic background. It addresses a wide-range of topics in candid detail: symptoms; suicide; the stigma and lack of understanding; the stress in families and relationships; the loss of ability to work. The film also discusses the pros and cons of medication, different types of therapy, and support groups. It contains uplifting advice to families and friends of people who are depressed, inspiring hope for happiness and a path to get better.