Struggling to understand depression? Read this.

Illustration for article titled Struggling to understand depression? Read this.

For those seeking hope and understanding in the hopeless meaninglessness of their – or someone else's – depression.

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Allie Brosh (the cartoonist/blogger/awesome-lady behind the much-loved webcomic/blog/awesome-place Hyperbole and a Half) has been struggling with depression publicly for some time now, and privately for even longer. Back in October 2011, Brosh posted her funny/sad/poignant "Adventures in Depression." This morning, following an 18-month hiatus, she posted another comic on the subject: "Depression Part Two." It's a followup of sorts. A status update. And it is characteristically superb.

Here's what Brosh wrote about the update in a "Pre-Post Transition Post," which she published last night in the lead-up to her long-awaited return:

If, at any point over the last eighteen months, you've wondered what was happening to me and why it might be happening, my post tomorrow should explain everything.

I've been working on it for the better part of a year (partly because I wanted to get it exactly right, and partly because I was still experiencing it while attempting to explain it, which made things weird), and I'm relieved and excited and scared to finally be able to post it.

At this point, you're all probably wondering what is it? What's in the post?? Is it airplanes? And no, it unfortunately has very little to do with airplanes.* It's a sort of sequel to my post about depression. It is also about depression. In parts, it might get a little flinch-y and uncomfortable, and if I succeed in making you laugh during those parts, you're going to feel real weird about yourselves. But it's okay. Just let it happen. I WANT it to happen. Because it makes me feel powerful, and also because there are flinch-y, uncomfortable things everywhere. Seeing them is inevitable. If we can laugh about some of them, maybe they'll be less scary to look at.

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Depression – both for those suffering from it, as well as those affected by its clutch on friends and loved ones – can be an immensely difficult thing to wrap one's head around. Brosh's very personal treatment of the subject is hilarious, and heartbreaking, and highly affecting – but it's also a very lucid description of some of the most impenetrable aspects of major depression. Do yourself a favor and read it – and read the original, while you're at it.

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DISCUSSION

I am sad that I don't have anything to be sad about. = WHITE PEOPLE PROBLEM

How do we not see this as some sort of out of control narcissism? The whole thing is so consistently self-referential, so far up its own ass. Funny how the realization that everything is empty never leads to asceticism, no one is ever like "maybe I should just go to a soup kitchen and feed some people with actual problems." Never does the thought that some sort of perspective on ones problems might help as opposed to wallowing in the existential profundity of dried out corn.