Spoiler Alert – If you haven’t seen the movie don’t read on!

It may seem trite to say that a film about emotions is emotional, but it’s the truth.

I just watched Inside Out. It’s a film I’ve looked forward to seeing for a while as I’d heard nothing but praise for it since it was released. I was interested as well to see whether another thing I had heard was true, that the film was smart and gave a very quick look at what depression actually is.

I can say with utter assurance that this is absolutely the case.

Inside Out’s premise is this. Each of Riley’s emotions is personified, and each one takes turns being at the helm of Riley’s mind dependent upon the scenario. So, for instance, fear may be at the helm during a nightmare

The film follows Riley, a twelve year old who’s just moved from Minnesota to San Francisco. The film follows her emotions as she tries to navigate this emotionally turbulent time.

What Inside Out does with immeasurable skill is clear up a common misconception about depression. That depression is not merely an extremity of sadness, rather, at its worst it is an absence of feeling altogether. It’s the emotional equivalent of the lights being on but nobody’s home. You get a hint of this when Riley’s command console goes dark, and for a few brief moments she has no emotion.

Ultimately, I think the principal message of Inside Out is an absolutely crucial one, that all emotions are valid. And that’s something to keep in mind this Mental Health Awareness Week. It’s absolutely essential viewing for this #MHAW16.

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