Depression Has Stolen My Sense of Humor
Of late, life has become pretty humorless. I don't find anything funny; on the contrary, I cringe at jokes that get laughs out of most people. If others' jokes have this effect, it's a given that I cannot see the funny side of things myself. And to think I used to be a mischievous twentysomething. Well, my grim outlook and lack of a sense of humor are more a result of depression than a side effect of growing up.
Depression Makes Life Humorless and Colorless
When I say that depression makes life colorless, I mean that it prevents one from appreciating the good things in life. According to research conducted by Ohio State University, this is why:
"it isn't helpful to tell people with symptoms of depression or anxiety to simply be more grateful for the good things they have."1
In my case, depression makes me someone hard to amuse. And that is a shame because laughter has many health benefits, and I've found that it helps me forget all my worries and problems. When I'm laughing, my mind, body, and soul are at peace, albeit temporarily. Wan smiles and polite laughs don't do anything for me; only genuine laughter enables me to achieve this state. Unfortunately, it's been a while since I've had a good laugh.
Humor Is an Effective Coping Mechanism for Depression
Many of us have heard of the adage "laughter is the best medicine," and it seems we believe it. It's probably why, according to research in the Journal of Psychiatric Research,
"adults with depression symptoms used more humor and sarcasm as a potential coping strategy during the Covid-19 pandemic. Humor use was greater in those with psychiatric disorders, perhaps due to self-preservation mechanisms during times of distress."2
What this suggests is that humor helps one cope with depression. As long as one is not being self-deprecating, I think humor is highly effective in the war on depression. Not everyone has it, but as a quick Google search will reveal, there are many ways to improve your sense of humor.
Laughter Will Reenter My Life
I was born with a weird sense of humor, and depression cannot steal it from me forever. This isn't the first time it has disappeared, and I know it will come back to me. It always does; sometimes, it returns in full force; other times, it is barely alive. But I know it will be a part of me again. All I can do till then is wait.
Grabmeier, J. G. (2020, March 9). Gratitude interventions don’t help with depression, anxiety: Being grateful has benefits, but not for these issues. ScienceDaily. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200309130010.htm
Rothermich, K. R., Ogunlana, A. O., & Jaworska, N. J. (2021, May 24). Change in humor and sarcasm use based on anxiety and depression symptom severity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Psychiatric Research. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S002239562100296X
Shaikh, M. (2022, August 10). Depression Has Stolen My Sense of Humor, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, June 10 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2022/8/depression-has-stolen-my-sense-of-humor
Author: Mahevash Shaikh
It will come back to you! Once I was so down and upset and full of dread that I couldn't withstand even the slightest inconvenience without a tiny breakdown and at some point, I actually broke into laughter. My thoughts were, "Wow this can't hurt any worse, what a tragedy." ...and I began to laugh through the tears! I realized I was right and that somehow brought me relief.
Glad you got it back :)
Thanks for giving me hope, Lizanne.