When depression and thoughts of suicide can make you laugh

It takes a good, patient and unfortunate writer to convey the lightless depth of depression. It takes genius to make you laugh along with it:

Hyperbole and a Half — But people want to help. So they try harder to make you feel hopeful and positive about the situation. You explain it again, hoping they’ll try a less hope-centric approach, but re-explaining your total inability to experience joy inevitably sounds kind of negative; like maybe you WANT to be depressed. The positivity starts coming out in a spray — a giant, desperate happiness sprinkler pointed directly at your face. And it keeps going like that until you’re having this weird argument where you’re trying to convince the person that you are far too hopeless for hope just so they’ll give up on their optimism crusade and let you go back to feeling bored and lonely by yourself.



  1. Aliasalpha says

    Its such a perfect description, I’m on the lookout for my own bit of corn

  2. embertine says

    This is genius – I won’t say it exactly mirrors my own experience, as I had the low-grade running panic and the hateful little voice for most of the time rather than the deadness.

    However, I do remember (after I’d been to a few sessions of CBT) watching a Disney movie that I’d seen a dozen times before and ending up under the coffee table, crying with laughter, over a horse holding a frying pan. It wasn’t the end of the Pit of Despair, but it was a surprising moment of “Huh, that’s what that feels like. Oh yeah.”

    So very glad Allie’s back.

  3. Cathy W says

    I’m planning to set the last panel of that post – rainbows and “Maybe it’s not all hopeless bullshit!” – as the new desktop background on my PC. Leave it somewhere I can see it.

    For me, it wasn’t corn on the floor, it was the sudden realization that ducks do, in fact, have knees… but I’ve been in that same place.

  4. embertine says

    it was the sudden realization that ducks do, in fact, have knees

    This made me laugh so hard that I had to stuff my hands in my mouth in the middle of the office to avoid instigating some kind of career-ending incident.

    Thank you so much, that made my day.

  5. says

    It’s multimemedia new electronic mastery. I’m not even sure if she realizes how brilliant it was, or how many people that’s going to touch. But I’m gonna link it on the FP of DKos tomorrow morning. She’s gonna get some hits. “It’s not that I want to Kill myself … it’s just that I want to be dead somehow.”

  6. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    Oh yeah, spot on.

    Especially the hate/anger phase.

    It was amazing how something that might sound “negative” and “wrong” actually felt like coming back to life.

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