Charting the Depths

Reflections on the science of depression.

Fighting Depression Stigma: The Ends Justify the Memes

Memes are inventive, provocative, and attention-grabbing. Ironically, a profusion of angry, silly memes is likely to do more for our public conversation about depression than many rounds of sober sloganeering. Read More

As a formerly depressed

As a formerly depressed person myself, I love this idea. However, some of these memes are used incorrectly. The text in most memes matters as much as the picture. By using these memes corectly, especially the first two, you could probably get more people on board with your cause.

Thanks for the feedback

Glad you love the idea! Would be helpful if you explain what you mean "used incorrectly" JR

Certainly. For example, the

Certainly. For example, the World's Most Interesting Man meme always begins with "I don't always..." and the continues with "but when I do..." as seen here: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/the-most-interesting-man-in-the-world. Minor fixes like that would make these memes much more impactful.

Anonymous beat me to it.

Anonymous beat me to it. Verbiage on a meme is of supreme importance.

More like, "I don't always talk about depression, but when I do ...
I expect ignorant asshats to tell me to just snap out of it."

Meme me up, Scotty!

I agree wholeheartedly that a meme campaign would help to shed light on the issue of depression, which needs to be a topic of discussion more often than it is. I believe, however, that many people view depression simply as mental weakness, and this country does NOT embrace weakness. Americans, in general, promote Darwinism on steroids. "Go Big or Go Home!" Thus, I believe that this concept of perceived weakness needs to be addressed.

Moreover, as someone who has suffered from chronic depression my whole life, and who has survived more than a dozen major depressive episodes (some only by the grace of God), I fully understand what depression is. However, those who have not had the pleasure, don't have a clue. Many think depression is like a general malaise, a "blue funk" or a brief period of sadness, which might define a mild case. But "depression," in my experience, falls along a continuum, from mild to dark to vacuous black hole. While we as a society seriously need to talk about all degrees of depression, there is a fundamental different between those who experience general malaise and those who find themselves at the event horizon of total hopelessness. Perhaps these are distinctions without a difference as long as people are talking about "depression" in general. I just thought I would raise the issue for consideration.

I tried working on some of

I tried working on some of the memes but honestly I understand making talking about depression more accessible, but as someone who has been through the worst and is still working on it, I would compare it to losing an arm that of course could grow back (ie like myself I thank god I am so much better) but you don't know if it ever will, it's such a debilitating illness that I myself find it difficult to come up with really clever memes, I think 'it's just me' has presented a good way of doing this making jokes about the way depression is perceived by others than actually about people going through it.

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Jonathan Rottenberg is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of South Florida, where he directs the Mood and Emotion Laboratory.

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