Depression memes have been circulating in social media in recent years. These are memes that contain expressions of thought that a depressed person in likely going through. A case in point was a twitter post in 2015 made by a user named Lonely Dad linking Thanksgiving to his “eventual death”. When he retweeted the same post three years later in November 2018, it was retweeted some 3,900 times and thus took on the status of a meme.
Memes have a fascinating way of multiplying online. The day was when memes were commonly spread by word of mouth, in pithy sayings and popular quotes. But in this day and age of nano-speed technology, we are flooded by memes on social network sites of all sorts. One of these are depression memes, that touches the deep dark secrets of the human soul.
Depression memes play a certain role in this field of psychology. One cannot ignore its impact not just on people who suffer depression, but also on society in general. There has been an openness and acceptance of depression as an illness that needs to be understood and sympathized with. Some of those who spread these depression memes have that purpose in mind, to bring awareness in a funny (they think) way, and an ounce of laughter or a smile to whoever receives the memes. The memes may also serve as a validation for people suffering depression that they are not alone in their plight and that there are others out there who suffer the same illness.
Some memes depict the nature of depression, that depression is often an unwanted guest who nevertheless welcomes himself inside your home (mind). You can do nothing about it and seem helpless and vulnerable in allowing the unwelcome guest in. But you do. Memes of this nature shout out to depressed individuals that the world understands what they, the depressed individual is going through.
One of the most popular memes describes a man pretending to be who he is not. He is putting up appearances in front of friends in order to hide who he truly is. This seeks to connect with people suffering from depression. They feel deep inside (and by sad experience) that it isn’t safe to reveal to normal people that you are suffering from depression. You are afraid they will not understand or dismiss it altogether. The only safe place is to keep depression to yourself because normal people cannot really understand the mind of a depressed person.
Some depression memes focus on behavior. One of the manifestations of depression is immobility. Depression sometimes cripples you in a way that despite you knowing there are a lot of things, important things that need to be done, you simply cannot move. You have been told that you are lazy; and somehow for a time you become convinced. But no matter how you try, all you can do is stare at work staring back at you. And it circles downward. The more you are aware of how unproductive you have been, the more depressed you become; and the more depressed you become, the more unproductive you get. Memes of this nature seek to stir up humor. They are well-intended and get the message across to normal people.
But can memes really help people suffering from depression? Not in a direct way. by: dad.d.baker