Depression Help



Humour. You don’t know how good humour is until you’ve lost it. When you start slipping into depression, humour leaves with all other positive emotions. I didn’t realize how much I missed humour until I started coming out of the darkness.

I’ve always thought my brother was more humorous than me. As kids he’d make us laugh even at the stupidest jokes. He’d use humour to heal us after our alcoholic father went on an emotional rampage. Of course there were times my brother’s sense of humour annoyed me and I’d tell him to be more serious. I used to measure my sense of humour against his and in my mind, I always fell short. So I got used to the idea that I was the serious one and he was the funny one. 

When I started sliding into depression, I noticed my sense of humour leaving me. I’d get annoyed more than usual with my brother. I’d argue with him about the silliness of what he just said, which in hindsight never made any sense. TV comedies seemed outright stupid, not funny. I hated laugh tracks. I should know when I want to laugh, right? Comedians I once liked now became people I avoided. I’d critically analyze anything that was comedy. Want to tell me a joke? How about instead I tell you about everything that’s wrong and bad with this world or my life. 

Eventually my humour was gone. I didn’t laugh. I cried. I bawled. I raged against my life and being alive. I attempted suicide. Then, after much inner turmoil and anguish, I started to see hope. I began to believe in myself. I started to love myself. Somewhere inside me, humour returned.

At first I thought it was sarcasm. I’d make a comment or two and think, “Okay, now the fireworks will start.” Instead, people laughed and remarked on my terrific sense of humour. I slowly started watching comedy again and it didn’t annoy me. I actually got the jokes.

I still remember the first time I laughed after years of silence. For me, it was like a joyful sound had burst out from my stomach, sort of like the critter in Alien. My muscles weren’t used to laughter anymore and I ached. Then I realized I couldn’t stop laughing. I kept on laughing until tears rolled down my cheeks. It was relief mixed in with joy. I’d never had such a profound moment caused by laughter. It was as if a light had turned back on inside the darkness and I had full control over when to turn it off or on. 

Humour helps me deal with depression and it lets me connect with the world. You don’t realize how valuable humour is until it’s gone.


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