Why Do I Think That Depression Memes Are So Relatable?

Medically reviewed by Arianna Williams
Updated October 19, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Content Warning: The below article mentions suicidal thoughts. If you or a loved one are experiencing suicidal thoughts, reach out for help by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is free and available 24/7. You can also text 988 if you're not comfortable calling. 

Depression is a common and potentially serious mental health condition that may require professional attention, emotional support, and treatment. Coping skills or self-care may be beneficial in managing the tough symptoms of depression. 

For some people, this may involve exercise, journaling, or connecting with others who are going through similar challenges. Some people find that humor (watching a funny movie or looking at funny depression memes) is an effective strategy for coping with depressive symptoms.

Do Depression Memes Always Catch Your Attention?

Understanding Depression

Depression is more than temporary sadness. It is considered a mental illness that is responsible for many symptoms that can affect an individual's entire world, including their thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and daily functioning. There is no singular cause for it, and it may impact people of any age, including children and teens, gender, or socio-economic status.

Depression is thought to develop because of complex biological, psychological, and environmental factors. Risk factors that can increase one's likelihood of developing it include:

  • Having a family history with it
  • Certain personality traits, such as pessimism
  • Negative thoughts 
  • Low self-esteem 
  • Experiencing trauma or abuse
  • Other mental health conditions, such as anxiety or bipolar disorder 

Various types may exist, including symptoms of other mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder. However, general signs and symptoms can include the following:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness, numbness, or hopelessness
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased energy levels
  • Changes in appetite (eating too much or too little) and sleeping patterns (sleeping too much or too little)
  • Social isolation
  • Loss of interest in usual activities
  • Challenges with concentrating and decision-making
  • Suicidal thoughts

Due to their symptoms, individuals experiencing them often find it difficult to keep up with responsibilities at school or work and maintain relationships.  

There is no cure. It is, however, treatable, and managing symptoms is possible. You may try talk therapy or medication (antidepressants) to improve your symptoms or quality of life. 

Why Are Depression Memes Popular?

If you regularly engage with social media posts over the course of a day, you may know how prevalent memes are. They generally use a picture or pictures accompanied by text that makes a joke. Content about it may be popular, as the humor could help lighten an individual's mood temporarily. Those who enjoy depression memes may feel heard or seen through the content. 

While depression is a serious mental health disorder and not a joke, memes about this condition may make the topic more relatable. Seeing it described on the internet may provide an avenue to discuss the challenges associated with living with the condition. People may post funny memes to express their reality and what they are experiencing in their lives. 

Even if they don't know how to fully explain what they are going through, connecting to funny depression memes can provide new language around their experience. It can also be comforting to laugh and be reminded that others are dealing with similar challenges and experiences.

They Can Be Very Relatable

One of the reasons why this content may be so popular is due to their broad appeal. They are often easy to understand and involve less vulnerability and stress than directly discussing one's experience. 

If you’re experiencing a day of crippling depression or anxiety, seeing someone post depression memes can come across as immediately relatable and bring a smile to your face.

Relating to others in this way can help you understand that you aren't alone. People with depression and anxiety may isolate themselves from others and spend a lot of time inside their heads. It isn't unusual for someone with either of these to feel like they're abnormal or others cannot understand them due to what they are going through.

However, it is common. An estimated 280 million people in the world are currently living with depression. Seeing relatable content about it on the internet may help remind someone that their experience is valid and that others are experiencing similar challenges while also shifting their perspective temporarily to one of humor.

Laughter Is Good For Your Mental Health

Whether watching a funny YouTube video or reading relatable memes, laughter may reduce stress. Many individuals find memes and humor to be an effective coping skill for managing symptoms and enhancing mood.

Laughter has been shown to have positive benefits on mental health and the immune system. The act of laughing often releases endorphins (feel-good hormones) in your brain, boosting mood, and alleviating depressive symptoms. Laughter is also linked with decreasing stress-causing hormone levels such as cortisol.

The Importance Of Seeking Professional Treatment

While laughter and humor may help improve your mood, enable focus on the more positive stuff of life, and help you cope, these tools may not replace traditional treatment options. Trying to manage it on your own can feel challenging. 

It might feel like you can get by for a little while, but it's also possible for it to become worse over time. Depression is a serious mental illness that often requires appropriate treatment and attention and is not simply a matter of "thinking more positively" or "getting over it."

If you are experiencing symptoms, consider taking the time to talk to your doctor or mental health professional. They may help you establish a plan for treatment moving forward. 

Treatment for depression often involves psychotherapy, medications, or a combination of both. Some people also find attending group therapy or support groups helpful in managing it while building connections in a safe space with individuals who understand the condition. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help individuals identify unhelpful thinking patterns that may contribute to their depression while reframing their thoughts to affect their feelings and behaviors positively. Anti-depressant medications may also be prescribed to reduce depressive symptoms. 

Lifestyle Changes To Aid In Support

In addition to professional treatment, specific lifestyle changes may make a significant difference in easing symptoms. Mental and physical health are often closely connected. Therefore, taking care of your mind and body by fostering healthy lifestyle habits can decrease the severity of these symptoms. You might try: 

  • Eating a nutritious diet
  • Exercising regularly
  • Getting adequate sleep
  • Avoiding alcohol and drugs 
  • Engaging in stress management techniques such as meditation or yoga 

Building and maintaining a solid support system of trusted friends, family, or a support group can also be important in navigating the complex emotions and challenges of living with a mental health condition.

Online Support 

Online therapy may be beneficial for individuals dealing with mental illness. This therapy often allows you to speak with a therapist and get treatment from the safety of home or anywhere you have an internet connection. Multiple types of online therapy are available, as well as different modes of connecting with your therapist. You can choose to hold sessions via phone, video chat, email, or instant messaging within an app.

Online therapy is efficient and effective at treating various mental health conditions, including depression. A study by the University of California, Berkeley, found that depression symptom severity was "significantly reduced" for 38% of online therapy users, while 62% experienced at least partial reduction. This is comparable to the effectiveness of in-person therapy.

Through an online counseling platform such as BetterHelp, you may contact a licensed therapist trained to work with you to address your concerns. 

Do Depression Memes Always Catch Your Attention?

Takeaway

Depression is a common mental health disorder, contributing to the popularity of memes about it. While utilizing humor can be a positive coping mechanism, it does not replace proper treatment for those who may need it. 

Overcoming it is a process that can require ongoing attention. Reaching out for professional help may be the first step towards increasing your quality of life and moving towards your goals.

Depression is treatable, and you're not alone

The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
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