Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Depression Part Two (2013) (hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com)
113 points by Elof on Jan 12, 2019 | hide | past | web | favorite | 25 comments

I get why the corn was funny, it makes sense to me having depression. She was feeling really down, everything was pointless. She was on the floor at her lowest. Then she saw a very concrete example of something just as pointless / sad. A corn under the fridge is going to be alone, forever (or at least until the fridge is moved). I think it probably felt like relief, she wasn’t alone. Someone understood. That’s what she had been missing throughout the blog post.

That's a great explanation -- I didn't get why it was so funny when I read it originally.

As a companion piece, I remember finding this other post [1] by a psychologist explaining the (non-biological) causes and stages of depression displayed in this comic.

Hyperbole and a Half was one of the funniest things on the internet. I keep hoping the author will come back one day.

[1] http://www.thedirtynormal.com/post/2013/05/09/the-science-of...

It's worth buying her book to read the introduction. It's not on the net, and it's one of the funniest things I've ever read in my life!

I go back to this post when I’m feeling my worst. It’s salient and relateable and has probably saved my life

It's sad to be reminded of Allie Brosh who published these wonderful stories and then went silent[1]. It's nice that the stories are out there and people continue to rediscover them.

I hope she's alright and having a good life off the internet.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allie_Brosh#Book_and_later_act...

This was very relatable. In some cultures, becoming disinterested in the world is not seen as something wrong - you end up a monk as one example.

It's really, everyone else not knowing what to do with you that causes so many problems. If we viewed it as ok that a few % of the population will want to drop out of playing along and simply do their own thing without harming anyone, we'd be in a much better place.

Ascetic types may indeed become uninterested in the day to day grind of the world at large, but they are very much seeking some culturally-specific version of exaltation or enlightenment. The utter inability to ever feel anything but detached boredom is something very different, and eventually excruciating.

> The beginning of my depression had been nothing but feelings, so the emotional deadening that followed was a welcome relief. I had always wanted to not give a fuck about anything. I viewed feelings as a weakness — annoying obstacles on my quest for total power over myself. And I finally didn't have to feel them anymore.

This part rang alarm bells for me. Not going to play armchair psychologist with this guy, but for anyone else who views emotions as "obstacles"/unnecessary and is depressed, that's probably why. You need to learn to regularly express your feelings in a healthy way, even the unpleasant ones.

> but for anyone else who views emotions as "obstacles"/unnecessary and is depressed, that's probably why

I completely disagree. She was very clearly stating that that is not the proper lens to look at life through, but it was a byproduct of her depression that lead to that conclusion, as a means to combat the strong pull of her emotional states.

I recommend reading "Part 1" of this strip: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2011/10/adventures-in-...

What you're saying is correct, that we need to learn how to regularly express feelings in a healthy way, no matter what they are. But to state that this was the cause of her depression was HUGE reach and really downplays and patronizes the reality of depression in so many people's lives.

> Not going to play armchair psychologist with this guy

He's a she.

> You need to learn to regularly express your feelings in a healthy way, even the unpleasant ones.

This is a bit simplistic. There's more to the effects of depression lending to the inability -- or lack of desire -- to express one's feelings. Expressing feelings as a part of a healthy way of life isn't lost on folks with depression, it's just that the depression makes it so easy to avoid what is seemingly an undesirable situation. Things that don't make sense to an otherwise healthy mind make a lot of sense when you've got depression (or some other mental malady).

I think it entirely depends on your past experiences. Let's compare two hypothetical experiences:

1. When Alice was 7 years old, she scraped her knee and started to cry. Her mom ran over and comforted her and then they went and got her a bandaid.

2. When Mark was 7 years old, he scraped his knee and started to cry. His dad yelled at him to stop being such a pussy and shut the hell up. He couldn't stop crying so his dad hit him.

It is pretty clear who is going to try to not cry going forward. You don't need to repeat what happened to Mark many times for him to learn that expressing how he feels in that scenario is not a good idea. Keep this pattern going long enough and you get an adult who is probably going to view emotions as a burden. As to whether expressing emotions is a good thing or a bad thing, it entirely depends on who you are expressing them to.

>You need to learn to regularly express your feelings in a healthy way, even the unpleasant ones.

According to modern psychological studies, which, between p value abuse, replicability crisis, publish or perish, and politics, should be suspect. It wouldn't surprise me if supressing certain emotions, for certain people, in various contexts, might be ideal.

Annecdotally, almost anytime I would discuss my feelings, I would feel like an absolute idiot and definitely not better.

Stoicism is the only answer I have found. Be aware of, express, but be in control.

I'm generally pretty stoic, but I find if I'm very candid about how I'm feeling it comes across better. Not all the time, of course, but interspersing candid feedback on my emotional state throughout interactions with others makes me feel better and makes me seem more human to others, increasing rapport, and enabling me to accomplish my goals better.

Discussing one’s feelings doesn’t necessarily mean giving into them or letting them control your actions.

Not the OP, but I'd say - it's not about anyone controlling your actions. It's about the way of conveying the message. It's about controlling yourself so you wouldn't just break open and flood other with whatever you might think is genuine and appropriate, but others would probably get as uncontrolled gibberish of madman said with ferocity haven't seen before.

Only because we shame men for asking for support.

It takes time to unlearn that, and to allow ourselves to be vulnerable.

So let's say a man expresses how he feels and is then shamed for it. This really just reinforces the notion, for this man, that he shouldn't be expressing how he feels. I'm not sure you can "unlearn" in the way you're saying unless you're in the right environment and around the right people. Or if you're willing to let people shame you, which is probably a bad idea.

Yeah, it takes finding people that you can trust, that won't be shitty to you for telling them you are having a hard time.

Close friends, siblings, or parents are often a good source of support.

Maybe the advice should be to never express a feeling to someone who will shame you for it. At least then you know it is possible.

Really good read. As someone who can’t really relate but knows someone very close who likely can, if any of you know of any other similar articles I’d love to read some more and have them to share from time to time.

This is why I love the internet.

Thank you so much for posting this here. It made my day.

She's very salient and talented. A lot of psychologists have recommended their patients to send this and "Part 1" (http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2011/10/adventures-in-...) of hers as a way for those who are not dealing with depression to better understand and relate to those who are.

This is really beautiful and expressive.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact