by Andrew Solomon
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
The New Survivors
- Pamela Weintraub
In this article from Psychology Today, the author examines the attitudes and mindsets of cancer survivors.Pair “The New Survivors” with “Depression, The Secret We Share” and ask students to discuss how depression is explored in each text. Why is what Jasan Zimmerman experienced a form of depression, rather than general sadness? How do both texts explore traits of resilience? What do they have in common?
- CommonLit Staff
In “Coping Mechanisms,” the author explains the difference between adaptive and maladaptive coping mechanisms.Pair “Coping Mechanisms” with “Depression, The Secret We Share” and ask students to discuss how adaptive and maladaptive coping mechanisms are explored in Andrew Solomon’s speech. How do adaptive coping mechanisms contribute to the resilience that Solomon discusses? How do maladaptive coping mechanisms negatively contribute to a person’s depression?
How Resilience Works
- Diane Coutu
In Diane Coutu’s “How Resilience Works,” Coutu discusses the three main traits of resilience and the role that resilience plays in success and survival.Pair “How Resilience Works” with “Depression, The Secret We Share” and ask students to discuss how the two texts explore characteristics of resilience. How do Diane Coutu’s ideas regarding an individual’s resilience compare to Andrew Solomon’s beliefs regarding resilience and depression? Why do both authors find it important to find meaning in the challenges you face?
I felt a Funeral, in my Brain
- Emily Dickinson
In Emily Dickinson’s poem “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,” a speaker describes the loss of something internal that affects them deeply.Pair “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain” with “Depression, The Secret We Share” to prompt students to discuss the poem that begins Andrew Solomon’s TED Talk in greater detail. How do different forms of writing help contribute to students’ understandings of depression? How does Dickinson’s poem explore other aspects of depression?
The New Era of Positive Psychology
- Martin Seligman
In Martin Seligman’s speech “The New Era of Positive Psychology,” Seligman discusses his contribution to the development of a new field of psychology that focuses on how people can increase their life satisfaction.Pair “Depression, The Secret We Share” with “The New Era of Positive Psychology” and ask students to compare Andrew Solomon’s description of overcoming depression with Martin Seligman’s discussion of achieving happiness. Do students think that Solomon would agree with Seligman’s views on treating mental illnesses? Why or why not? What role does leading a meaningful life play in the two texts?