I facilitate a support group for people with mental conditions along with those who love and support them. Several of us have years of experience of functioning while depressed. The other day we were exploring what it feels like to be deeply depressed yet not needing to make it go away. We were talking about the things we do while depressed and the topic of watching movies came up. It brought up interesting ideas that I hope you will share your insights about.

We started calling out favorite movies to watch while depressed, like The Hours or What Dreams May Come, and started joking about why would we want to watch comedies during depression. Somebody said that if others heard us they would be shocked. When asked why, the conversation turned to what we thought most people would think.

We all mentioned that the mainstream belief is that we would be triggered into uncontrolled depression if we saw anything sad; so, we should be watching comedies to help us get out of the depression. We concluded that we prefer sad movies because it helps us to explore the richness of the experience and become more clear about it; comedies seem inappropriate for the state.

While I agree that the mainstream belief is probably as described, I wonder if there are others who watch sad movies while depressed. More importantly, Why? Do you prefer sad or happy movies when depressed? Why? What are your favorite ones? Does it seem strange that we would prefer sad movies?


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